Can Dogs Eat Cornstarch? Per Health Experts

One-of-a-kind cornstarch is produced from the endosperm of maize kernels, of all things. It is a common ingredient in most American kitchens and is frequently used to thicken sauces. Many dog diets and treats contain cornstarch, which begs the questions of whether dogs may consume it and how beneficial it is for them.

The answer is Yes. Dogs can eat Cornstarch. The explanation is that, despite being non-toxic to dogs, cornstarch may nevertheless give your dog intestinal issues and, occasionally, respiratory irritation. Your dog may develop obesity and an increased risk of cancer or cardiac issues if given a lot of cornstarch. And finally, although it’s unlikely, since more and more dogs are developing allergies, cornstarch may also do the same for yours.

You undoubtedly have more inquiries regarding this issue now that you are aware that although dogs can consume cornstarch, it may cause problems for them. Can you thicken homemade dog food with cornstarch, for instance, and is starch poisonous to dogs? Please continue reading to find out! Below are solutions, suggestions, and advise!

What Is Corn Starch, Exactly?

Plants have energy, much like all other living things, and corn plants derive their energy from the endosperm of their grain. It was initially created in the 19th century as a washing help and is what is used to generate maize starch today. Since cornstarch is a starch and starches absorb water, it can thicken liquids like sauces and stews. Additionally, because cornstarch is manufactured from maize, it may have an adverse effect on people and animals that have corn allergies.

Is Cornstarch Used to Thicken Dog Food?

Foods of all kinds can be thickened using cornstarch. That includes dog food, and many companies substitute cornstarch for gluten-containing grains like wheat and other flours. Because cornstarch contains a lot of carbs, it is also utilized as a filler.

Last but not least, cornstarch works well as an anti-caking ingredient to prevent dog foods from clumping together. If you give your dog store-bought kibble, there is a high likelihood that they have consumed cornstarch. Although it’s not always necessary, you can thicken any foods you prepare for your dog at home using a small bit of cornstarch.

Is Starch Dangerous to Dogs?

Dogs have long consumed carbohydrates, demonstrating that the substance is not hazardous to them on its own. However, you should be aware that giving your dog a lot of starchy foods is not advised due to its high carbohydrate content. Starches are bad for dogs for a variety of reasons, including insecticides and fungicides that are sprayed on corn during the growing process rather than cornstarch itself.

Additionally, the majority of maize crops grown now are genetically modified, which eliminates any beneficial components for the GI system. Finally, dogs don’t require a lot of starch in their diets. Yes, they do produce energy, but so do protein and fat, which are often more healthier than carbs.

Do some dogs have starch allergies?

Because dogs typically have little to no protein, they typically won’t have an allergy to cornstarch. However, other carbohydrates, such as potato starch, wheat starch, and starches from other grains, could be problematic. Again, though, canine starch allergies are not frequently observed.

What Happens if a Dog Eats Too Much Cornstarch?

Some dogs have corn allergies, which also cause them to have allergies to cornstarch, however this is uncommon. It’s remarkable how differently every dog responds to cornstarch. Some people won’t be affected by cornstarch at all, while others can react to it mildly. If your dog has a cornstarch allergy, you can notice some of the following symptoms:

  • Itching
  • more often biting their paws than usual
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • obsessively licking oneself
  • stomach pain
  • Hives (red, itchy lumps on the skin)

What Foods Allergically Affect Dogs the Most?

People suffer from allergies much more frequently than dogs do. That’s fantastic news since it means you can give the majority of dogs regular kibble without worrying about them reacting to cornstarch or any other component. Dogs do, however, occasionally experience food allergies. These foods consist of:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • eggs laid by hens
  • milk and other dairy goods
  • Soy-based goods
  • wheat-based goods

Numerous proteins are present in the list above, including beef, chicken, and eggs, if you pay close attention. It’s interesting to note that proteins, not starches or carbs, are the major food allergens in dogs.

Are there any healthy starches for dogs?

Some starches can be given to dogs to boost the amount of nutrients in their diet because they have a little amount of nutritional value. Unfortunately, starch and other carbs account for 30% to 70% of most commercial dog food.

The good news is that some starches, like brown rice, oat, pearled barley, rice, and millet starches, provide them with extra nutrients. It’s also interesting to note that research has shown that dogs have less of an allergy to cornstarch than they do to corn flour.

Cornstarch Spikes Your Dog’s Blood Sugar Levels

One of cornstarch’s most harmful effects is that it raises your dog’s blood sugar levels after consumption. In fact, cornstarch has a higher glycemic index (GI) than normal corn because the amount of sugar after each grinding increases the more corn you grind. Kibble with little to no cornstarch is advised because sugar is something your dog does not need and can make your pet obese.

Which Dogs Should Stay Far Away from Cornstarch?

Since cornstarch is not harmful to dogs, it would be extremely unlikely for a dog to die from eating it. Giving certain dogs excessive cornstarch is still a concern, though. They include canines who already have diseases including obesity and pancreatitis (pancreatic inflammation). Giving a diabetic dog as little corn and other carbs as possible is advised. Although the likelihood is extremely low, if your dog experiences a severe allergic response, cornstarch may potentially impair their ability to breathe.

Why Do Dog Food Manufacturers Use Cornstarch?

Even while there is a slight possibility of an allergic reaction, most dogs do not have cornstarch allergies, making the risk extremely low. Like with human food, cornstarch also gives dog chow a thicker consistency. Because cornstarch is an inexpensive source of energy and dog food businesses are in business to generate money, it is regularly utilized in dog kibble. In other words, cornstarch will still be used in dog food formulations until a large number of dogs develop allergies to it. Most dogs have little trouble digesting it, it’s inexpensive, and it gives them energy.


Dogs can eat corn starch, as we’ve learned today, but it’s not particularly good for them. Cornstarch makes kibble thicker and (perhaps) more palatable while also supplying energy. Starches like cornstarch, despite they give energy, are not essential for dogs’ nutritional needs. In other words, even if they won’t perish or become ill from it, dogs shouldn’t be given large amounts of cornstarch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is cornstarch OK to use on dogs?

A: Cornstarch can be safe to use on dogs in certain situations. It can be used as a remedy to help absorb moisture and provide temporary relief for skin irritations or minor cuts and abrasions. However, it’s important to ensure that your dog does not ingest large amounts of cornstarch, as it can disrupt their digestive system. Additionally, if your dog has a more serious skin issue or injury, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian for appropriate treatment.

Q: Can dogs eat cornstarch gravy?

A: While cornstarch itself is not toxic to dogs, the ingredients in cornstarch gravy can vary. Gravy typically contains seasonings, flavorings, and other ingredients that may not be suitable for dogs. Some gravies may also be high in sodium or contain additives that can be harmful to dogs. It’s best to avoid feeding cornstarch gravy or any gravy that contains ingredients that can be potentially harmful to your dog’s health.

Q: Is cornstarch or potato starch better for dogs?

A: Both cornstarch and potato starch can serve as thickening agents in certain recipes or as remedies for certain skin conditions in dogs. However, it’s important to note that individual dogs may have different sensitivities or allergies to specific ingredients. If you’re considering using cornstarch or potato starch for your dog, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian for guidance. They can provide appropriate recommendations based on your dog’s specific needs and health condition.

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