Corn is often used in dog food… as a filler.
Sure, Dogs are omnivores. And they need some fiber in their diet.
But, all too often, dog food companies use corn, wheat and soy as a cheap way to add extra calories to the dog food without adding nutritional value.
It’s a dirty trick, and you will do well to avoid it.
Corn Isn’t The Only Filler Used
Most people buy whatever they see advertised on the TV. Unfortunately, even some of the “premier” brands that you see advertised on TV and promoted by veterinarians have a lot of unnecessary fillers in them.
Sure, dogs need some carbohydrates, but not all carbohydrates are the same. A dog food that contains brown rice or oatmeal or sweet potato is going to have a much higher nutritional value to your dog than a dog food that uses corn or potatoes.
The ideal “filler” is going to be a carbohydrate that has a high amount of fiber in it. These high-fiber carbohydrates tend to have lower gylcemic indexes which keep the dog’s pancreas from having to counter the unnatural sugar rush that other dog foods give.
The downside with these fillers is that they tend to cause digestion issues in many dogs. These dogs will react and have skin disorders or will experience diarrhea.
In fact, you are most likely looking for a corn-free dog food because your dog is now allergic to corn.
Grain-Free Dog Foods Without Potatoes
Because so many dog food companies use fillers in their product, a new, sub-culture has risen around making purposefully healthy dog food. A lot of these dog foods work specifically to help correct health, skin and digestive issues that cheaper dog foods have created.
So you will see a lot of unique stuff like “gluten-free” and “grain-free” dog foods.
However, many of these brands have started simply started putting potato in, instead of grain.
Frankly, I would prefer that you choose a dog food that uses sweet potato instead of regular potato. It simply has a much better amount of fiber and nutrients.
At the same time, one of my favorite brands is Orijen — you simply won’t find a better mix of vegetables and meat in each bite. And, while they use potatoes in their formula, they balance it out with a bunch of other vegetables.
The 3 Best Corn-Free Dog Foods
#1 Taste of The Wild Hi-Canine Formula
Taste of the Wild is consistently one of my favorite brands. To begin with, they are quite affordable. After all, most of us can’t buy our dogs the very best, otherwise, we would be, well, broke.
So Taste of the Wild does a good job balancing value and price.
But they really do a good job on this particular formula at mixing in a huge variety of vegetables. That way you aren’t getting filler — you are getting a well-balanced meal. It does rely heavily on sweet potatoes, but I prefer that over relying too much on potatoes alone.
The other neat thing is that it mixes in a wide variety of meats such as bison, lamb meal, venison and chicken. Quite cool and ideal for giving your dog a well-rounded balance of meats.
Finally, I really like that it incorporates a large amount of probiotics into the food. This helps restore natural flora to your dog’s digestive tract and keeps your dog’s digestive system working in top-notch condition.
Frankly, this one is one of my favorite, and there’s a reason it is one of the top-10 bestselling dog foods on Amazon.
# 2 Instinct Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Instinct is one of the most well-respected grain-free dog foods on the market. They know what they are doing, and they do it well. Even when scrutinized by some of the top dog food standards, they consistently receive top marks.
One of the most outstanding things about Instinct is that it is potato free! They use pumpkin seeds to add some fiber, and probiotics and fermented foods to restore digestive health.
I will say that my only “complaint” is their use of Montmorillonite Clay. Best I can determine the thought is that this clay helps remove toxins from the dog’s digestive system. Does it? Is it just a marketing ploy?
I’m not real sure. However, I do know that Instinct has brought a lot of dogs back from death’s door, and is a perfect dog food to try if your dog has an especially sensitive stomach.
# 3 Wellness Core Grain Free Dog Food
Wellness core takes such a careful approach to their grain-free foods that I would almost rank them in number 1 spot. What I really like is that they take a careful evaluation as to the quality of the meat.
You see, meats have a lot of different chemicals and minerals in them. Stuff like phosphorus and calcium. And if you don’t watch those levels carefully, you can actually cause some problems for your dog.
The challenge with grain free foods is that they tend to use more meat in their formulas. But if they aren’t careful, they will inadvertently raise the levels of calcium and phosphorus to unsafe levels.
So what you want is a dog food that will watch that carefully. Wellness Core does an excellent job of that by using low-ash meats to help control the calcium and phosphorus levels.
The downside is that they rely heavily on potatoes to take up the slack.
The Best Corn-Free Dog Food For Puppies
If you have a puppy, you know how critical it is to get them the best possible jump on life.
A lot of breeders suggest that you feed your puppy grain free food. In fact, many of them say that it will “void the warranty” of your dog if you choose to feed them something other than grain free.
(Which, if you bought your dog form a pet store, simply means that they have an excuse to sell you more high-end food)
Grain free typically is better, but you want to make sure that you get a grain free food that is high in protein but low in calcium. Additionally, you will want to abstain from over-feeding your puppy as it can cause them to grow to rapidly.
If your puppy grows too fast, it can cause obesity as well as skeletal damage.
So, all that to say that I’m going to recommend Wellness Core puppy formula. Like I mentioned before, they take a lot of care to keep their calcium and phosphorus levels in check. And they include huge amounts of DHA which is absolutely critical for healthy development of the puppy’s eyes and brain.
With no meat byproducts or fillers, this is one of the most wholesome puppy food formulas on the market.