Can Dogs Have Corn Oil in Their Food?by Deborah Lundin
A balanced diet for your dog includes protein, carbohydrates and essential fatty acids. You need a food that has these in the proper ratios, and you need to administer it in the proper caloric amounts. Corn oil serves as a source of fatty acid and calories.
Essential Fatty Acids
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential components of a balanced diet that play a role in the overall health of your dog. These oils contribute to cell structure and function, skin and coat health, and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin D. Per gram, fats provide more energy calories than protein or carbohydrates. For dogs, the appropriate ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids is uncertain. However, recommendations suggest a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 of between 2 to 1 and 10 to 1.
One tablespoon of corn oil provides 7.24 grams of omega-6 as well as 0.16 gram of omega-3 fatty acids. Because corn oil, either already in your dog’s food or added as a supplement, contains both essential fatty acids, it becomes a way to provide both of these to his diet. However, it is important to note that that same tablespoon of corn oil contains 120.2 calories and contributes to his total calorie count. The calories from the corn oil need to be considered when creating a balanced diet.
One downside to corn is that it, along with chicken, beef, lamb, soy, wheat, egg and dairy products, is a common food allergen for dogs. If your dog has itchy skin, hives, hair loss, hotspots or persistent ear infections, a food allergy may be to blame. Consult with a veterinarian about an elimination diet to determine if the dog has an allergy to corn. These allergies can develop even after years of eating a particular food.
Before adding corn oil to your dog’s diet, consult a veterinarian or canine nutritionist. While your dog’s diet requires essential fatty acids, you need to consider calories. Essential fatty acids exist in many of the meats he eats, so he may be getting enough. Adding corn oil in this case would be just adding additional calories. If weight is an issue, other supplements, like fish oil, are available to increase the amount of essential fatty acids in the diet.
- National Research Council of the National Academies: Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs
- The Feed Bag: The Benefits of Fats in Your Dog’s Diet
- Modern Dog Magazine: Sorting Out Supplements
- "The Journal of Nutrition" The (n-3) Fatty Acid Dose, Independent of the (N06) to (n-3) Fatty Acid Ratio, Affects the Plasma Fatty Acid Profile of Normal Dogs
- University of Connecticut International Omega-3 Learning and Education Consortium for Health and Medicine: Difference Between Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids and the Ratio Between the Two
- CalorieLab: Vegetable Oil Calorie Counter
- Cesar’s Way: Choosing the Right Dog Food
- VetInfo: Corn Allergy in Dogs
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images