Whole wheat grains are frequently used in canine foods, as they are not only more digestible than corn but are also one of the most nutritionally balanced cereal grains. Rice is another nutritionally beneficial and highly digestible grain frequently used in pet foods. The rice used in Flint River Ranch formulas is a combination of brown rice and white rice — white rice for its digestibility and brown rice for its added nutritional value. (A diet that is 100% brown rice can be difficult for some animals to digest.)
After a high quality protein meat source, some form or combination of whole wheat or rice grains should be the next ingredient listed on a dog food label (as an indication of their importance).
Corn is another whole grain that is frequently found in cat food formulas. The feline digestive system can better utilize corn, and corn also delivers important dietary benefits to cats and kittens, which is why it is one of the primary ingredients in Flint River Ranch cat food formulas.
Corn is, however, more difficult to digest by dogs (as well as humans) and can cause allergic reactions in some dogs. The ingestion of corn or corn byproducts from dog food can also lead to loose stools, diarrhea (chronic in some cases), colitis (inflammation of the colon), and other undesirable digestive problems for your dog.
In hot and humid conditions corn can also be the host for the growth of the fungus Aspergillus flavus and its naturally occuring toxic chemical byproduct, Aflatoxin. In rare but extremely serious cases, such tainted corn has made its way into commercially sold dog food batches and has resulted in often fatal aflatoxin poisoning in dogs, as seen in 2006's Diamond Dog Food recall.
In dog foods, corn (or corn meal) simply serves as a low-cost filler, albeit one that many manufacturers continue to use in order to save money. Corn passes right through a dog, providing little to no nutritional value. If a dog food lists corn as the first or second ingredient on its label, the customer can expect to pay for up to 25% filler in that food. Flint River Ranch does not use corn or corn byproducts as ingredients in its dog food formulas.
Corn is not the only low quality filler frequently found in dog foods. Examples of other fillers include wood fiber, corncobs, peanut fulls, cottonseed, straw, soybeans, and citrus pulp. While many inexpensive commercial pet food brands pack their foods with these unnecessary and often unhealthy fillers, they are NEVER used in Flint River Ranch wellness pet food formulas.
The presence of fillers tells you what the manufacturer thinks of their pet food.