Artisanal Treats for Pets

The Dangers Of Feeding Gluten To Your Pet

Dangers of Feeding Gluten to your Pet Dogs and Cats

Gluten-free diets have been gaining enormous popularity in recent years, for humans and for pets. But why should your pet be eating gluten-free?

For starters, feeding gluten-free can be a great choice for pet parents looking for more nutritious options that go easy on their pet’s stomach. Gluten-free discards the unnecessary ingredients and increases the good stuff- more protein and animal fats.

In this article, we will be covering all things gluten so that you can make an informed decision about what’s right for your furbaby’s health.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein that is naturally found in various cereal grains like wheat, barley, buckwheat, and rye. Though known to be gluten-free naturally, oats that might be grown or processed near the mentioned grains can often contain gluten due to cross-contamination. 

Gluten is a Latin word meaning “glue”, as it acts as a binder. It also adds a stretchy, chewy quality to common wheat-based products like bread, pizza, pasta, and more. Without it, the dough would easily tear down.

Essentially, there is nothing unhealthy about gluten but people and even pets can be sensitive to it and can have adverse reactions upon consumption.

Why Is Gluten Bad For Pets?

For most dogs and cats, gluten is seemingly harmless. However, just like intolerance in humans, our pets can also have adverse reactions to gluten. This can lead to long-term damage as the lining of the stomach can break down due to the inability to digest gluten-filled treats or food. 

In humans, gluten intolerance is known as celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. This is commonly known as gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity in canines. Dogs that are sensitive to gluten will start showing signs comparatively faster after consuming something that contains wheat or other gluten proteins.

Symptoms Of Gluten Sensitivity In Dogs

Dogs are unable to point out which food item is causing them uneasiness but as pet parents, we have to be mindful of any changes in our pet’s health. If you notice any such changes in your pet’s health after consuming certain foods, immediately take your pet to the veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Common symptoms of gluten sensitivity that you should be on the lookout for are:

  1. Vomiting
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Weight Loss
  4. Seizures
  5. Dermatitis (flaky skin, hair loss, redness, constant itching)

Many pet parents don’t ever suspect gluten intolerance as the reason for their pet’s health problems as they’ve been feeding their pet the same food for a long time. However, symptoms can often take some time to surface and gluten sensitivity can emerge even if your pet has been consuming gluten for a while.

Gluten In Commercial Pet Food & Treats

Dangers of feeding Gluten to your pet dog or cat
Source: Unsplash

Over the years, many unfavorable ingredients have made their way into pet treats and food. These are ingredients that lack any necessary nutrients and nutritional value but are more likely to cause harm. 

Gluten, as we now know, is the protein usually found in grains. Dogs and cats have a very limited nutritional requirement for carbohydrates, of which grains are a rich source. Common allergens like wheat, barley, rye, buckwheat, or oats, are commonly used as fillers in pet food.

Corn gluten meal is a by-product of the manufacturing of sweeteners like corn syrup. It is used as a cheap source of protein. This protein is not very digestible and can even lead to allergic reactions in pets.

Here is a list of some more common food items which could contain gluten, and are often hidden in plain sight. 

There have been multiple controversies regarding gluten in pet food and treats. One such is the 2007 Melamine Pet Food Recall, led by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While gluten was not the only culprit, it did play a huge role in this contamination tragedy.

Wheat gluten imported from China had been contaminated with harmful chemicals that were only added to wrongly boost protein-level readings. It was even said to be the cause of kidney damage in many pets. Due to this many pets suffered severe health problems and there were also multiple fatalities.

Is Gluten-Free Better For Pets?

Gluten-free pet treats or food can majorly benefit your pooch’s health helping them live a hearty life. You can take the first step towards this change by introducing gluten-free treats for your pet. Here are a few benefits for you to consider:

1. Better Digestion

Foods with gluten are rich in carbohydrates. Neither do dogs require high amounts of carbs in their diet nor are they able to break down and digest them completely. Gluten-free options are enriched with protein, which is beneficial for your pet’s digestive system. 

2. Weight Management

An excess of gluten can cause weight gain, which then becomes the cause of many additional health issues. Gluten-free treats can have high vegetable content and include good carbohydrates which help keep your baby’s weight in check.

3. Healthy Skin and Coat

Cheap fillers commonly found in pet food and treats can cause various nutrient deficiencies. These can manifest into poor skin and coat condition, excessive shedding, itching, etc. Skipping the grain from the treats can avoid these detrimental effects on your pet’s skin and coat.

4. Balanced Nutrition

Commercial pet treats might come cheap but are loaded with gluten which has an adverse effect on your baby’s nutritional health. Gluten-free treats are free of any fillers and only provide your pooch with the right balance of protein and essential vitamins.

5. Allergy Prevention

Most of all, gluten-free treats allow you to save your pet the toll of an allergic reaction. Gluten-free treats made with minimum ingredients can help keep allergies away. 

Whether or not your pet is sensitive to gluten, there is no harm in pushing it aside just to be on the safe side. Gluten does not have many nutritional benefits so eliminating it from your pet’s diet will not cause any deficiencies or harm.

Start by opting for all-natural treats made to provide your pet with the best nutrition. Pawcrafted offers jerky treats that are free of any cheap fillers that might harm your pet. Our treats are 100% natural and real and will help keep allergies at bay. PS: No gluten either.

Choose the tastiest and healthiest gluten-free treats, made with no additives and only lots of love!

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