Gluten Free Dog Diet
Proteins form an important component of the diet and are essential for building muscle. However, many pet food products are heavily laden with gluten. This adds bulk to the food and makes it more difficult to digest. Also, gluten is not broken down into useful protein which the body can use. Due to such strain on the digestive system, may pet owners are opting for healthy dog food that is free from gluten. This is gentler on the dog’s digestive system and is also good for the general health of the dog.
Gluten refers to the elastic part of grains such as wheat, rye and barley. It is thick and starchy and many animals do not tolerate it very well. This is because its gummy texture makes it difficult to process during digestion. Gluten is mainly used a strong binding agent that adds heaviness and thickness to products such as soups. Good quality gluten free dog food supply all the vital proteins, amino acids and other important ingredients that comprise a balanced and healthy diet. They do away with the large quantities of gluten which is both harmful and taxing for the digestive system of a dog. Some of the healthier types of dog food may contain ingredients such as fish, sunflower oil and fish meal which contain high amounts of healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Other foods may also contain lamb, chicken, flaxseed, alfalfa and herbs such as rosemary.
The natural dog diet contains very little or no grains at all. As such dogs are not evolved to properly digest gluten contained in grains. Gluten ingestion may result in symptoms such as dull coat, loose stools, itching and dryness of the skin, stomach gas, appetite loss, ear infections and lethargy. Dogs that suffer from certain illnesses such as celiac disease may experience a severe adverse reaction in the digestive tract when gluten is ingested. If any such symptoms are detected, it is important to consult a veterinarian immediately. Some foods that claim to be gluten free are actually only wheat free and still contain gluten in other forms. Many dog foods also contain tainted gluten which can also cause death in some cases. Some of the foods that must be avoided in case of dogs with gluten allergies include barley, wheat, rye, soy, oats, cornstarch, sausages, white pepper, pastas, pickles, semolina, malt vinegar, brown rice syrup, bulgur and wheat grass.