Can Dogs Eat Cornstarch?

By John Martin - May 2, 2022

Cornstarch in bowl and spoon

As a dog owner, one of the most important things to look out for is what your dog eats. Curious creatures that they are, dogs have a habit of eating anything that does not smell foul to them.

However, not everything must be given to dogs. As we all know, chocolate is very harmful to dogs. Similarly, another food item that dogs should stay away from is cornstarch.

Why Is Cornstarch Added to Dog Food?

Now, you may be confused when you hear this because if you check the ingredients on any dog food packet, you will notice that cornstarch is listed as an ingredient. Why is it not good for dogs if it can be included in dog food?

The reason why this is added to dog food is to maintain a consistency that dogs will find easy to chew. The amount of cornstarch added by the dog food manufacturer is very low and in such a small quantity, it should not be harmful to your dog.

The addition of cornstarch also helps in maintaining the slightly wet nature of the dog food, which is also a reason why it is used. However, it is possible that your dog could be allergic to corn, in which case you have to go for dog food that is completely free of cornstarch.

Cornstarch in dried or frozen dog treats, on the other hand, is healthy for your dogs. Nevertheless, excessive feeding of these dog treats could result in weight gain, malignancy, and high cholesterol in dogs.

There are also issues about adverse reactions in dogs when they eat cornstarch, however, due to its low protein concentration, cornstarch is less toxic than cornflour.

What Exactly Is Cornstarch?

Cornstarch is a multifunctional culinary component made from maize kernel husk. It’s utilized in baked products, especially dog snacks, as a thickening, chemical activating agent, and filler.

Husks are required to obtain cornstarch, with the outer shells removed and the endosperm pulverized into a powdery substance. Although unadulterated powdered cornstarch is non-toxic, it is nonetheless harmful to your dog, and it has the potential to cause gastrointestinal problems and pulmonary discomfort.

Whether or not to feed cornstarch to your dog is determined by a variety of circumstances, including the form in which it is available and whether or not your dog is sensitive to corn.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Durian?

Will Your Dog Fall Sick after Eating Cornstarch?

Cornstarch is unlikely to cause your dog any problems when included in their food, however, its poor nutritional benefits somehow don’t make it the safest option.

Cornstarch is frequently used in dog treats as a filler. Maize is not considered a filler in most dog treats because it contains both the nutritionally and structural portions of corn and also the glycemic element.

Dog treats shouldn’t be seen as a sole source of nutrition and should be combined with other forms of nutrients to achieve a well-balanced diet. Even though cornstarch is low in protein, it can pose a health risk to your dog.

Additionally, not all dog treats may be beneficial for your dog. Always study the ingredients and make the right choice.

In Which Form Is Cornstarch Safe for Dogs to Eat?

If your dog does not have allergies to corn, it can eat dog treats normally without any major side effects. Cornstarch in dog food and dog treats should not be harmful to dogs.

However, feeding your dog pure, powdery cornstarch starch is not a good idea. Cornstarch is generally used in all households, especially to make fried or baked goods.

Make sure to keep not only cornstarch but other harmful foods such as chocolates away from your dog’s reach in case you have them in your house.

If your dog is consuming pure cornstarch, it could be due to pica, a condition in which your dog exhibits desires for foods it should not be consuming. In this situation, it’s preferable to take your dog to the vet.

Can Cornstarch Cause Allergies in Dogs?

Even if your dog has been eating the same food for years with no ill effects, they can develop food intolerances. This is due to their immune response being sensitized over time and finally reacting to the allergen.

A protein known as zein is the major component of corn that causes allergy responses in dogs. Cornstarch in dog treats isn’t always terrible for your dog, but can they truly bring any health advantages to your canine companion?

Look out for the following signs of corn allergy in dogs:

  • Blisters
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Inflamed and itchy skin
  • Licking regularly
  • Rubbing of the paws

If your dogs show these signs, it’s best to take them to a vet for an examination.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Mustard?

How Can Cornstarch Affect Blood Sugar in Dogs?

Cornstarch contains a lot of calories, and carbs, and has high sugar content.

It might add to the risk of developing diabetes.

Furthermore, its high-calorie content can also result in obesity. Consuming too many carbs, fats, and sweets is bad for your dog, as you probably know.

Never give your dog any cornstarch if it suffers from diabetes and hypertension. Dog treats that contain cornstarch should be replaced with healthy homemade treats.

Can Cornstarch Cause Indigestion in Dogs?

Excessive cornstarch consumption might cause indigestion in your dogs. They will experience diarrhea, nausea, and bloating as a result of this.

You may have observed that if you give your dog too many treats, it becomes gassy and tends to throw up the next few days. This is because dog treats contain cornstarch and when you give too much of it to your dog, it will have gastrointestinal issues.

When Is Cornstarch Beneficial for Dogs?

Cornstarch is gluten-free, making it ideal for dogs with celiac illness or gluten intolerance. As more individuals remove gluten-containing grains from their dogs’ diets (including wheat, rye, or barley), there is a growing demand for gluten-free treats.

Another interesting use of cornstarch for dogs is seen in grooming. Cornstarch can be used as a shampoo and conditioner to wash your dog, removing excess sebum from his body with no need for water.

However, do not use cornstarch to groom your dogs unless the vet gives you the green signal.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Dried Apricots?

The Bottom Line

Cornstarch is a handy item that almost everyone keeps around the house. However, make sure that your dog does not consume it in any way.

It is up to you to give your pet the healthiest choices when it comes to food. Thus, you need to provide all-around nutrition which will be helpful for your dog, rather than just going on its whims and providing empty calories.