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Is Gluten-Free Food Right for Your Dog?


Is gluten-free or grain-free food right for your dog? Photo: CC--Andre Hagenbruch

Celiac.com 08/04/2016 - With all the hype about gluten-free diets going around, it's only natural that dog owners might wonder about potential benefits of a gluten-fee diet for their pet. Before rushing out and spending money on a bunch of new gluten-free grub for Fido, it's wise to first ask a few questions.

First, figure out whether the dog is sensitive to gluten from wheat, barley, oats or rye, or if the dog is sensitive to grains including soy and corn. It's also possible that the dog has no sensitivities to the current food.

Most dogs do not suffer from celiac disease, so a gluten-free diet is not necessary, nor will it be likely to improve the dog's health in any way. There are, however, some important exceptions. For example, Irish setters and dogs with Irish setter genetics can suffer from hereditary gluten intolerance. Gluten-sensitivity affects only a minority of Irish setters, but it does exist, and it's important to address in pets with symptoms.

Gluten sensitivity is also a factor in epileptoid cramping in Border Terriers, so be on the lookout if your Border Terrier suffers from epilepsy-like cramping or seizures.

While any dog may develop food sensitivities, some breeds are more predisposed than others. Boston terriers are often allergic to products containing corn or gluten, resulting in skin issues, or atopic dermatitis. Switching to a corn-free, wheat-free food can lead to significant improvements.

The main point to remember is that even gluten-free dog food, with no wheat, barley, oats or rye, can still contain soy or corn, while many dog foods labeled as 'grain-free' happen to also be gluten-free.

Dog foods that omit grains often contain other high-carbohydrate ingredients, such as sweet potato or tapioca. Whether grain intolerance, or gluten-intolerance is the problem, it is important to read the dog food label, and to slowly and carefully test out any new foods before switching over completely.

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Also, even though some dogs are allergic to grains, other ingredients, especially beef and dairy, are far more likely to trigger allergic skin reactions.

Here are some top dog-food brands that offer gluten-free options that contain ingredients less likely to cause allergies. Remember, dogs have individual tastes and preferences. Some dogs will prefer and do better with some foods than others, no matter how highly rated the food. Obviously let your dog help guide you on this.

A dog's needs also vary according to life stage. When you change dog foods, do so over a period of several days. So, it's best to try small samples at a time, and make the full switch to a new food slowly. Even the best new food may upset a dog's digestive system if it's not given time to adjust.

Choosing the wrong food for your dog, or forcing a change too quickly can leave both you and the dog unsatisfied. That may be why even the highest quality dog foods can have unsatisfied customers posting poor reviews of a particular item.

To help you with your search, here's a list of Top Ten Grain Free Dog Food Brands from Heavy.com.

Here's a list of Top Five Grain Free Dog Food Brands from thealternativedaily.com.

Here's the list of best Brands of Canned Grain-free Dog Foods, including tubs or cups, according to dogfoodadvisor.com.

Lastly, here's a list of best Brands of Dry Grain Free Dog Foods, including dehydrated or freeze-dried, according to dogfoodadvisor.com. 

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1 Response:

 
Tania Malven
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
08 Aug 2016 8:02:16 PM PDT
Our dog was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease. The most common problem foods are: wheat, corn, soy, diary, eggs, beef and chicken. Fortunately there is a fair variety of dog foods which do not contain any of these but they are generally premium foods. You must always read the labels in case of ingredient changes!!




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I believe the talk around this forum is that cheerios are not gluten free enough for people with celiac at this time. I don't know if anything has changed on that and when their lawyer calls me I'll quickly delete this. haha

Could be we generally say get off of dairy for a few months when going gluten free. The part of the intestines that produce the enzymes, and help break down dairy are associated with the tips of the villi, which are the most damaged if not gone in celiacs. THIS is why most of us end up with a lactose intolerance early on. And most can introduce it later after healing. As to her symptoms with it there was a bunch of research about dairy permeated the gut and causing neurological issues in a autism study I was looking at years ago. And there have been other studies about damaged intestines and how the hormones in milk can easier effect ones body. Personally I also have a huge grudge against dairy on a personal level as it is not natural to suck on a cows tits and drink the stuff, nor your dogs, nor a rabbits......I mean come on even Human Breast milk you would find odd to drink as an adult right? Back in the past dairy was a great way to get calories and fats when there was famine, etc around I mean it is meant to make a calf grow into a 500+lb cow. But on a genetic and hormonal level it is not really for human consumption and now days the whole corporate BS propaganda push and dairy farms shove that oh its healthy stuff down your throat. There are plenty of dairy free options for everything feel free to message me if you need help finding anything I have been dairy free for over a decade.

The full celiac panel checks TTG IGA and IGG, DGP IGA and IGG, IGA, EMA as Jmg stated above. Your test included TTG IGA and IGA. If your IGA was low, a low on TTG IGA would be inconclusive. But your IGA is fine. A high on any one test is a positive for celiac and should lead to an endoscopy for confirmation. So I'd get tested for TTG IGG, DGP IGA and IGG and EMA since there are symptoms. Warning I'm not a doc.

I did a gluten challenge for my endoscopy and requested a second blood test after my follow up with the consultant. I never did see those results but my GP said no celiac was indicated: Which left me gluten free for life, that wasn't an option after the challenge, but with a less satisfactory diagnosis, one by omission rather than the definitive 'you're celiac' one I was expecting. Yes! I have been 'properly' glutened on a couple of occasions but on several more I've detected a change or a reaction based on what could only have been trace amounts. NCGS is as yet poorly understood but patients tend to have more neuro symptoms than digestive. That's definitely been my experience, although it was only after going gluten free that I realised quite how many digestive symptoms I had just been living with as 'normal'. Close friends and family get the full explanation. 'I have an auto immune disease similar to 'coeliac etc.' If they stay awake long enough I'll tell them about the less than perfect testing process I went through or the Columbia Med research and the possibility of a blood test soon. They can see the difference between me on gluten and off it so they understand its not all in my head* If I'm ordering food in a restauarant or asking questions about food prep etc I will often just self declare as coeliac - people are aware of that and understand those requests are medical rather than fad diet based. I don't have any problem doing this, I'm not going to claim that and then cheat on dessert for instance and to be honest I expect once the research is complete the two conditions may wind up alongside others as different faces of the same coin. In the meantime I safeguard my health and avoid getting into a detailed conversation about genuine gluten sensitivity versus faux hipster posturing! *apart from the bits which are in my head

I originally had it on my face and scalp. (22 years ago) First biopsy with dermatologist came back as folliculitis. Then when I had a new outbreak on my upper back, she was able to remove a nice clean blister and we got the diagnosis of DH. She started me on Dapsone (100mg/day) and gluten free diet. Now I take 25-50 mg/day. My understanding at the time was that DH was the skin version of Celiac. Did a lot of research on my own. I met Dr. Peter Green at a Gluten free Vendors Fair and he said that a diagnosis of DH IS a diagnosis of Celiac, even if no other symptoms. So I stay gluten-free