Grain free dog food can be an ideal way to ensure your pup receives all the nutrients he or she requires, making it a suitable solution for those with allergies, gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
Although celiac disease isn’t rare among humans, nutritionists typically don’t advise providing gluten free diets to pets.
Grain free diets have become more and more prevalent as people become aware of gluten, an important protein found in wheat, barley and rye grains.
Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity affect only a small percentage of individuals; for these people, gluten can pose serious health issues and they must avoid foods containing gluten to ensure good health.
Dogs in particular may be particularly sensitive to gluten, an inflammatory protein. Dogs that suffer from gluten sensitivity often experience diarrhea and weight loss; their fur may become poor quality; and in general they will fail to thrive.
If you suspect your dog may have a gluten sensitivity, it is imperative that they receive professional assistance immediately. A veterinarian can run blood tests, an exclusion diet or conduct an intestinal biopsy in order to rule out other potential causes for your pet’s symptoms.
Gluten free diets are popular with people allergic to wheat and other grains such as barley, rye and corn; however, dogs do not generally need one unless they suffer from celiac disease, which affects approximately one percent of humans.
Understand that most conventional dry dog foods contain both wheat and barley gluten, a flour-like substance which gives foods their elasticity and texture.
If your pup is sensitive to gluten, they could experience digestive issues like diarrhea, bloating and room-clearing flatulence as well as skin and coat issues like excessive licking or itchiness.
If your dog has issues digesting gluten, it might be worthwhile to seek advice from their veterinarian about finding grain-free dog food suitable for them – this is particularly applicable if they suffer from DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy).
If your dog has been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity, dietary adjustments could help them feel better by eliminating wheat, barley and rye from their diet. This could provide relief from diarrhea, poor body condition, loss of hair or coat, itchy and scratching skin symptoms as well as itchy scratching on its own.
However, it should be remembered that not all products labeled gluten-free actually do contain no trace of gluten – for instance a product may still contain whole barley flours and wheat flours or barley malt products which all contain protein that contain gluten proteins.
Before making changes in your dog’s diet, it is wise to consult a veterinarian. This will ensure their digestive system can adapt smoothly to new foods you give them and avoid any rejection or shock from sudden changeover. Most vets advise a gradual introduction so your pet’s stomach has time to adapt without experiencing sudden shock from a sudden changeover.
If your pet is overweight or suffering from food allergies that cause gassy behavior, vomits, weight loss and itchy skin problems, gluten free dog food could provide the answer to alleviating symptoms.
Grain-rich dog foods may be hazardous to their health, as they may contribute to inflammation in their bowel and altering gut flora balance. Grain free diets tend to have less carbohydrates but more protein which keeps your pup full while helping prevent potential weight gain or obesity.
Some grain-free dog foods contain gluten substitutes like peas, chickpeas and lentils as an alternative source of protein and fiber, but this could result in nutritional deficiencies for your pup.