Aflatoxins have been the subject of many pet food recalls. Aflatoxins are mycotoxins which cause acute lethal illness and cancer in both humans and pets. Symptoms of aflatoxicosis in pets include vomiting combined with bloody diarrhea, loss of appetite, fever, sluggishness, and jaundice.
When the seed coat of a corn plant is damaged through exposure to extremely dry, hot conditions, mold infestation is the result. These molds produce metabolites called aflatoxins. Due to their behavior it can be difficult to control or minimize the aflatoxin contamination. There can be sections of plants in the field or in storage that heavily contaminated while the rest of the crop is relatively mold free. Therefore random samplings can give misleading results.
On top of the risk for aflatoxin contamination, corn has a high glycemix index, which is a way of measuring the tendency of a specific food to raise an animals blood sugar. The higher the index, the greater the risk of an unhealthy rise in blood sugar.
Here are the actual glycemic index figures for a few common dog food ingredients…
Corn can be the cause of allergies. While the allergy may not be to corn itself but rather the contaminants within the grain.
As a whole grain, corn is not easily digestible. The finer it’s ground the more digestible corn will be, but also the higher the glycemic index.
Some pet food manufacturers like to point out that corn is an exceptional source of energy, especially for working dogs. Corn is a carb, your pet should not be receiving it’s protein through carbs. Meat contains significantly more energy than corn.
Why is corn used so abundantly in today’s commercial pet foods?
- Carbs are cheap
- Carbs are vital to the kibbling process
Keep in mind that when there is an ingredient in our pets food, they consume it for every meal, everyday.