When your dog has food sensitivities
With chronic digestive issues being one of the most common reasons for vet visits and the incidence of gastrointestinal disturbances, such as inflammatory bowel disease, in dogs on the rise, more vets are recognizing that food allergies may be a primary cause.
Common food sensitivities are meat proteins and dairy but various grains, eggs, dairy, fish, nuts, food additives and artificial preservatives may also be the culprits.
Although we have eliminated these ingredients from our treats, every dog is unique and we believe that no one food is necessarily allergy-free for every dog. We recommend you speak with your vet regarding your dog’s specific food allergies or sensitivities, and, if unknown, discuss a food elimination diet or other testing your vet may deem necessary.
Why Gluten Free?
There are various reasons people feed a gluten-free diet for their dogs. For people who are severely gluten intolerant, simply handling gluten-laden foods or products can send them to the hospital. In fact, for some, simply inhaling the dust from gluten containing kibble can send their systems into a tailspin so if you are keeping to a strict gluten-free (GF) but still experiencing symptoms, please check your pet's foods! You may need to keep their pets gluten-free for your own well being.
That said, gluten is an ingredient that many dogs do not tolerate well. Gluten is naturally found in the grains, wheat, rye and barley. Grains are not a part of a dog's natural diet and gluten in particular may be an irritant to your dog's digestive tract, cause gastritis, diarrhea, itching, licking of the paws, and obsessive scratching which can lead to open sores and infection.
Gluten is usually used in baked good - including many dog treats - as it helps bind the dough and keep baked goods together.
In addition to the naturally occuring gluten in wheat, oats, rye and barley, many other ingredients are processed on the same equipment as gluten laden ingredients and can become cross contaminated and oats are often grown alongside wheat and are contaminated, so it's important to be vigilant and not only read labels carefully but ask questions and do your research. Just because a food is naturally gluten free, doesn't mean it's safe for the gluten intolerant.
RESOURCES FOR ALLERGY INFORMATION IN DOGS:
The Merk Manual has a good outline on strict food elimination diets.
Max's House also has a different protocol for food elimination trials.
Research on COCONUT OIL and its role in clinical nutrition for digestion, liver dysfunction and pancreatitis.