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What is Corn Gluten Meal In Dog Food?

Corn Gluten Meal In Dog Food is not just a filler and contains nutritional benefits.

I have a question for you.

When you make a shopping trip to your local supermarket to get dog food, what is the first thing you check?

Price? Brand? Flavor?

Ideally, it should be the ingredients.

Every dog food company is supposed to disclose the nutritional value of their product. They must write an accurate proportion of protein, fats, carbohydrates, etc. To level it with the set standards, they often use plant-based proteins like corn gluten meal to increase the ratio of protein.

But this raises an important question, are such proteins beneficial for our furry little friends?

What is Corn Gluten Meal?

Corn gluten meal in dog meal is a by-product of processed corn. It’s an excellent source of protein and amino acids for your dog. A dry powdery substance acquired after removing the starch, germ, and bran from kernels of corn, cooking them, processing them under high heat is called Corn Gluten Meal.

It is considered to be an inexpensive source of protein for various dog food companies.

Wheat, rye, barley, and oat contains true gluten. But it is a misnomer as corn gluten meal contains no gluten! Some genius indeed made a blunder.

Corn gluten meal in dog food

Corn gluten meal is a dried portion of protein where a significant amount of carbohydrate, fiber, and oil is removed. Thus, the protein portion of the corn is known as corn gluten.

According to Debunking Myths around Corn Gluten Meal by Avi Deshmukh, DVM, MS, Ph.D., the corn gluten meal is produced through the process of corn wet milling. It is the same process through which corn sweeteners and corn syrup are obtained. First, corn is cleaned and steeped in a water/sulfur dioxide mixture at 50-degree C. This acidic stew breaks down the corn seed.

Then, the water and germ are separated from the flint, and protein is removed by a water cyclone. Screening helps in removing the hulls and the protein is separated through centrifugation. This protein is the end-result i.e. gluten.

Note: People ask, why is there ash in your dog’s food? If you have the same question then here is the answer.

Nutritional Content in Corn Gluten Meal

Corn gluten meal is filled with plant-based protein. Along with that, it contains various other necessary nutrients. According to Feedipedia, it consists of 65% crude protein. It has 5% crude fiber and 70% of Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN). However, the proportion of calcium and phosphorous is relatively low at 4.5% and 0.05% respectively.

There have also been reports of 15-20% residual starch, 3% fat, and 2% minerals.

Read More: Lamb Meal In Dog Food | Salmon Meal In Dog Food | What is Canola Meal in Dog Food

Benefits of Corn Gluten Meal in Dog Food

Corn gluten meal (CGM) carries a bad reputation as people assume to have gluten. But now you know that reality is different. Even the advantages of CGM are lesser-known, like the following:

  1. Corn gluten meal contains 60-70% of protein. It is a reliable source of some essential amino acids.
  2. It acts as a binding agent and holds the dog food together.
  3. It is relatively easier to digest for dogs.
  4. Its amino acid profile is high in sulfur, cysteine, and methionine. This is useful in acidifying the urine that further helps with the dietary management of urinary calculi.
  5. As it has low levels of ash and phosphorus, it makes an ideal diet for dogs suffering from kidney problems.
  6. It helps with vision, reproduction, bone growth, etc.
  7. It is a useful source of essential fatty acid, linoleic acid.

Thus, there are abundant reasons and benefits to add corn gluten meal in dog foods.

Reliable Corn Gluten Meal in Dog Food

Now that it is established that corn gluten meal is indeed a healthy option if given in moderate proportions, the following are some dependable options:

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food for Small Breed Dogs

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food for Small Breed Dogs

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food is a veterinarian-recommended option. It helps with easy digestion. It is made with a balanced blend of omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E. It is available in two flavors: Lamb and Rice and Chicken. As it contains a minimal amount of corn gluten meal, your dog will gain all the necessary benefits without suffering from any side effects.

You can also read about chicken meal in dog food here. And see, how it is useful for your dog.

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food for Senior Dogs

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food for Senior Dogs

If you are looking for a good corn gluten meal for adult dogs, Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food is the best option. This dog food contains digestible ingredients to support the energy and activity levels. It promotes a strong heart and improved kidney health. As this corn gluten meal is mixed with high-protein chicken, barley, and brown rice, it is a safe option for your dog.

Note: Do you know what is turkey meal in dog food? It is full of protein and made by drying turkey to remove most of the moisture from it. Read more about turkey meals here.

Drawbacks of Corn Gluten Meal

Having a high concentration of protein stands as a recurrent and strong argument in the favor of corn gluten meal. But is it enough for our dogs? The following are some demerits of CGM:

  1. Even though it has a high proportion of protein, the digestibility is not as high as the animal-based protein sources.
  2. Plant-based protein like CGM lacks certain essential amino acids that can only be obtained through meat-based protein.
  3. Overfeeding can trigger an allergic reaction over a long period.
  4. It can cause digestive problems like vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach.
  5. Weight loss can be seen in dogs.
  6. It can result in serious problems like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
  7. A significant amount of corn gluten in dog food can also lead to the development of silica stones in dogs.

Do you know why people use a beef meal in dog food? There are many benefits of using beef meal in your dog food. Check it out here.

Should Dog Food Contain Corn Gluten Meal?

Now that we have discussed both- the merits and demerits of corn gluten meal, it is time to answer the main question.

Should corn glute meal be included as an ingredient or component in dog food?

Well, yes. Dog food containing corn gluten meal should be given to dogs, but only in the right proportion.

Many pet parents assume CGM to function as a filler to increase the protein content. As it is a source of plant-based protein, it is generally added to enhance the protein quotient. This led to many pet parents assuming that CGM functions as a filler. Nobody can deny the fact that plant-based protein is unable to fulfill the complete nutritional requirement. Hence, as long as the corn gluten meal is not trying to replace the meat-based protein, it is good to go for your dog.

Feeding CGM-laded dog food can also cause allergies over an extended period. Thus, it is also advisable to consult your vet about the necessary proportion.

Read More: What is Alfalfa Meal In Dog Food | Why Duck Meal in Dog Food

FAQs About Corn Gluten Meal

Is corn gluten meal a by-product?

Corn gluten meal is a by-product of processed corn or maize starch. It is obtained by the wet milling process that separates the corn kernel into smaller and important components.

Is corn gluten meal as nutritious as meat-based protein?

Corn gluten meal is significantly less nutritious than meat-based protein. The content of 10 essential amino acids is found in less proportion. As these amino acids are necessary to sustain a healthy life, it cannot replace meat or egg-based protein.

Is corn gluten meal good for dogs?

Corn gluten meal is a digestible ingredient carrying a high nutritional value. However, as it cannot provide all the necessary nutrients that are normally provided by a meat-based protein ingredient. Thus, corn gluten meal is good for dogs when it is combined with other protein sources.

Is corn gluten meal toxic to dogs?

Corn gluten meal is responsible for causing severe allergies to canines over a long period. It can also lead to serious GI or skin issues. Thus, it would turn out to be toxic if it is given in more proportion.

Is corn gluten meal the same as corn meal?

Cornmeal and corn gluten meal are made from the whole kernels of corn, but they vary in their purposes. Corn gluten meal is the by-product of processed corn and cornmeal is used as a coating for food.

What is Corn Gluten Meal in Dog Food?

Corn gluten meal in dog meal is a by-product of processed corn. It’s an excellent source of protein and amino acids for your dog. A dry powdery substance acquired after removing the starch, germ, and bran from kernels of corn, cooking them, processing them under high heat is called Corn Gluten Meal.

There You Go

There are abundant factors that can severely affect the health of our doggos. It is our duty to shield them from such atrocities. The only possible way to do that is to gain all the necessary information about dog food.

As corn gluten meal is an inexpensive protein source, it is normally added to dog food to increase the protein content. But given its side effects, it is our responsibility to give it in monitored proportion.

The health of our dogs lies in our hands, and we must fulfill it responsibly. You can also read about what are animal by-products in dog food here.

Also Read:

  1. Porcine Meal in Dog Food
  2. Best Venison Meal In Dog Food


  1. Corn Gluten Meal – Wikipedia
  2. Evaluation of meat meal, chicken meal, and corn gluten meal as dietary sources of protein in dry cat food
  3. The Science of Pet Food Labels | PetMD
  4. Debunking Myths around Corn Gluten Meal by Avi Deshmukh