There are genetic disorders that affect to a greater or lesser extent many species, including humans. One of them is in vogue lately, and it has to do with gluten intolerance in the diet. Our four-legged friends do not escape this disorder, so we give you some facts and advice about gluten in dog food.
Gluten and celiac disease
Although admittedly, we are all familiar at this point, it is advisable to give a few strokes on gluten and the disorders related to its processing. Gluten is neither more nor less than a protein – or set of proteins – present in wheat and other cereals such as barley or rye.
Its nutritional value is relatively low and, if it is excluded from the daily diet or taken in small quantities, there is no major problem. But, unfortunately, there is what we call genetic predisposition to suffer from a gluten-related disorder: celiac disease, whereby gluten must disappear from the daily diet.
In dogs, this gluten sensitivity also has a genetic component, and, therefore, there may be celiac dogs. Although a priori this disorder affects any breed of dog, some studies confirm that some breeds are more predisposed to suffer, such as the Irish setter or Samoyed.
Gluten in dog food?
As we have already mentioned, the presence of gluten in the diet is not harmful, except in the case of celiac dogs. This is especially dangerous when we do not know that our pet suffers from this food hypersensitivity and that the presence of gluten in dog food can have negative consequences on their health.
There are some symptoms that may indicate that our dog does not tolerate gluten, such as:
- Digestive disorders, such as persistent diarrhea or vomiting.
- Weight loss, derived from progressive malnutrition.
- Scarce and lackluster fur.
The detection of celiac disease in dogs is relatively easy. One of the most reliable tests is the elimination of gluten in the diet temporarily.
After a while, gluten is reintroduced into the food, which will confirm the disorder if symptoms are observed again. If, after testing, the veterinarian’s diagnosis confirms the disorder, one of the measures that must be taken immediately will be to eliminate gluten in dog food.
Gluten in food: alternatives
When it comes to feeding our dog, we always want the best. Fortunately, advances in veterinary and specialized feeding make it easier for us to eliminate gluten in dog food.
If we have opted for a feed based on feed, we should know that there is feed in the market without cereals. To locate them, just look at the label of the food composition. If we have any questions, the veterinarian can help us choose the most appropriate feed.
In the case of feeding our dog with a homemade diet, the process to follow is the same: avoid all foods with gluten. It is important to emphasize that control over gluten should be done on all the food we provide to our pet, including prizes or ‘treats.’ Although it may seem expensive, good gluten-free diet control will be a big step in favor of our pet’s health.