Gluten free dog food is sought after when a pet develops an intolerance to gluten; a high concentrated protein from the grain of wheat, barley or rye once all the starch has been removed.
When comparing a high quality gluten free dog food to typical canned food or kibble, there is often a lot more meat-based proteins and animal fats present. These are easily digestible and both good sources of nourishment for a dog whilst also being safe for their digestive tract.
Facts About Gluten Free Dog Food
Sensitive stomach dog food is not necessarily always ‘healthier’ for your dog, this is a common myth. In some circumstances and brands yes, gluten free dog food is better for your pet although, this is not a given and the ingredients should always be looked at carefully. It should not be used as a type of food for a sole purpose of losing weight since this is not its main function.
High quality protein is something which is associated with gluten and therefore in that sense it is a good thing to have within the diet and should only be excluded if completely necessary. It also provides helpful acids which aid the protein consumption in the form of amino acids.
Celiac disease (a gluten intolerance) whilst being very rare in dogs in general, can be more commonly found in the Irish Setter breed which may require a more sensitive stomach dog food
Protein provided from corn gluten (which contains approximately 60% to 70% protein) is said to not be problematic for people or dogs with celiac disease and is therefore present in some gluten free dog food products.
Benefits to Gluten Free Dog Food
The main benefits to this type of dog food consist of two main points:
Gluten free dog food is said to be hypoallergenic (which is dog food that contains very limited ingredients so as to least affect dogs who have allergies against certain foods)
This type of food is supposed to relate closely to that of their wild, natural diet and therefore should be better for dogs and least likely to cause gastroenteritis problems
Dogs are primarily supposed to eat meat and therefore a high grain diet isn’t a necessity so it is not anything to worry about if a dog is gluten-intolerant and requires sensitive stomach dog food
Best Way To Tell If Gluten Free Dog Food Is Necessary
Whilst there are blood tests available to determine if a dog really is intolerant to gluten, these are rare and also quite expensive. Also, the chances of a dog having celiac disease are in reality very low, and in actual fact they may just be sensitive to specific grains. The best way to determine if this is the case is the elimination or exclusion method.
This can sometimes be a time-consuming process but one that is well worth it if you can determine exactly what the problem is. Certain ingredients are taken out of the dog’s diet for a specific time period and the behaviour and level of reaction is monitored. This then slowly determines whether a dog has a problem with certain ingredients or grains and ensures that moving forwards there are many less health problems and might require sensitive stomach dog food.
If you are unsure then a veterinarian must always be consulted and their advice is the one which needs to be taken since this is general advice and every dog is different.