Why are Wheat, Corn, & Soy in Pet Food? | Tomlinson's Feed

Be diligent about purchasing grain-free pet foods. Avoid foods and treats that contain corn syrup.
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Dr Max Hawkins explains, “The pet food industry is no stranger to recalled products due to mycotoxins. The earliest documented aflatoxin outbreak dates back to 1974 when hundreds of stray dogs in India died due to the consumption of aflatoxin-contaminated corn (Krishnamachari et al, 1975). In December 2005, 76 dogs were killed from aflatoxin-contaminated petfood in the US, causing a large recall.”
So, why would pet food manufacturers and the less informed choose corn heavy products?
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With so many pet owners trying different diets (like gluten or grain free), it’s only logical for them to eventually start questioning whether these ingredients like corn, wheat or soy should be omitted from their dog’s diet. This question puts many dog owners on the hunt for dog food brands that advertise specific “without” recipes, such as: Corn has been a  for as long as I can remember. Do cats need corn? Why is corn a common ingredient used by so many pet food companies?
Photo provided by FlickrMost pets eat too much grain. Only since the advent of commercially-produced dog food has corn and  been added to the mix.
Photo provided by FlickrNow, instead of using 30% corn, a pet food designer could simply split corn into corn meal and corn flour — at just 15% each.
Photo provided by Flickr
Whole wheat grains are frequently used in canine foods, as they are not only more digestible than corn but are also one of the most nutritionally balanced cereal grains. Rice is another nutritionally beneficial and highly digestible grain frequently used in pet foods. The rice used in Flint River Ranch formulas is a combination of brown rice and white rice — white rice for its digestibility and brown rice for its added nutritional value. (A diet that is 100% brown rice can be difficult for some animals to digest.)Grains in general have gotten bad wrap in the past several years among some pet enthusiasts, groomers, and breeders. In particular, corn as an ingredient in pet food had gotten a particularly poor reputation, a narrative that is pushed most vociferously via the internet.Corn is not the only low quality frequently found in dog foods. Examples of other fillers include wood fiber, corncobs, peanut fulls, cottonseed, straw, soybeans, and citrus pulp. While many inexpensive commercial pet food brands pack their foods with these unnecessary and often unhealthy fillers, they are NEVER used in Flint River Ranch wellness pet food formulas.That stated, I support those that choose to feed their pets paleo style and refrain from feeding grains. Realistically, grain allergies are much lower than animal protein based food items like beef, dairy and fish; but there is much to be said for feeding fresh food. However, it can be difficult to feed a pet freshly prepared ingredients in a nutritionally balanced fashion, whereas a good quality pet food has exactly what they need from a nutrient perspective…and corn is NOT the devil.Regarding its nutritional benefit, it is true that corn in its native state is not well digested by dogs and cats because their digestive systems do not penetrate the outer shell of the corn well…which is why corn is deshelled prior its inclusion in pet food making it quite digestible.The problem hit home for the Hy-Vee Inc grocery chain when the company announced late Friday that it was recalling five different product lines of its privately branded dog food. The products, all manufactured by a Kansas City, Kansas, Pro-Pet plant, were recalled across eight Midwestern states due to elevated levels of the aflatoxin contaminant contained in the corn used to make the pet food, the company said.