Gluten free dog food is becoming more and more popular as pet owners become more health conscious about what their little pups are eating.
Dog food allergies are very common nowadays, which is why measuring the amounts that your dog eats may be very important to his or her health. Dietary dog first aid is an important aspect of keeping your dog healthy so that you can enjoy his company for years and years to come.
A few years ago there was a huge recall of dog food due to a contaminated form of gluten that contained a compound called melamine.
It was a very tragic time as a lot of dogs that ate the infected food ended up dying.
Ever since then, the issue of gluten has become a very popular topic, and the question always arises of how beneficial gluten free dog food actually is.
Humans are prone to a type of disease known as celiac disease, which is also less formally known as gluten allergies. What most people don't know though is that dogs can develop celiac disease just as easily, which is why monitoring gluten intake is a very important aspect of your dogs health.
Vets actually think that celiac disease in dogs is more common than we think, mostly due to the fact that the symptoms aren't very serious most of the time.
They mostly present themselves in the form of difficulty digesting certain types of food, and allergies like this may also have an effect on your dog's skin and fur, making it dry and scratchy instead of smooth and silky.
So what is gluten?
A lot of people hear the term gluten a lot but never have it clearly defined for them.
Gluten is actually a type of protein that is found in a lot of grains, including wheat, rye, and barley.
When dog food manufacturers need to add extra carbohydrates to their food, they will often use gluten as their source. Most of the gluten used in dog foods comes from wheat specifically because it is very readily available and also quite cheap.
It's often used as a binder in dry dog foods and dog biscuits to keep them together, and in the best canned dog food it's used to add to the texture so that it feels more like real meat.
There's also a fair amount of protein in gluten, meaning that manufacturers will often use it to beef up the protein content on the label.
This is often found in low quality dog foods, since higher quality gluten free dog food uses real animal meat for protein rather than relying on gluten to get enough in. Beef, poultry, and lamb are often used for high quality dog foods as a source of protein.
You should also keep in mind that since gluten is only found in grains, by default a frain free diet is also a gluten free diet. Although there are grains don't mean there is gluten, as some grains like millet don't have gluten.