I read online that my dog should not be eating gluten. Should I be worried if he's not? What does gluten-free mean?
I get asked this question a lot... I feel I should set the record at least a little straighter on the gluten issue.
A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes foods containing gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat (including kamut and splet), barley, rye, malts and triticale. It is used as a food additive
in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent, often as "dextrin". A gluten-free diet is the only medically accepted treatment for celiac disease, the related condition dermatitis herpetiformis, and wheat allergy. It’s reported that an estimated 1% Americans (humans) have Celiac disease.
A gluten-free diet might also exclude oats. Medical practitioners are divided on whether oats are an allergen to celiac disease sufferers or if they are cross-contaminated in milling facilities by other allergens. Oats may also be contaminated when grown in rotation with wheat (wheat seeds from the previous harvest sprouting up again in the oat field and being harvested
along with the oats).
It’s also been reported that Americans spent upwards of 4.2 billion dollars on gluten free foods yearly (It’s expected to jump to $15 billion yearly by 2016) That’s quite a booming business for such a small percentage of the population wouldn’t you say? Unfortunately this probably has a lot to do with a large majority of people who are caught up in the hype of the newest thing to be talked about.
Only a licensed veterinarian can diagnose these diseases and should be advising you on what your pet should be eating. If your dog has NOT been diagnosed by a veterinarian as having celiac disease, crone's disease, dermatitis
herpetiformis, or having an allergy to wheat, your dog will be fine eating their normal non-gluten free diets.