- It is false to say that dogs’ natural diet did not include any gluten. A dog in the wild would consume the stomach content of its’ prey consuming some gluten in the process. It is true though to describe dogs’ natural diet as very low gluten.
- Most of commercial diets don’t just contain gluten, they are extremally high in gluten. Look on the ingredients’ list of your dog’s diet. You will see a grain in first place, probably a grain in second place too. That means that the majority (typically 60%) of your dog’s diet is grain based (usually wheat, oats, corn or barley).
- While dogs don’t necessarily need gluten free, there is increasing evidence that very high gluten diets (as found in most pet foods) are not good for them. High gluten may be related to development of skin allergies and joint disease. Incidentally these are the ‘new age’ diseases becoming very common in modern dog.
So what do you do? Gluten free diets are hard to source and they are more expensive. This is because they necessarily contain higher levels of animal proteins. Food companies add high level of grain to their diets because it’s cheap to source.
You can of course make your own diet for your dog. Keep the grain component to below 20%. Vary the protein sources – don’t just use muscle meats or mince. Change the meat types, mix in cheese, yogurt, fish, egg – not every time but now and then. Always cook the meat as raw meat can spread parasites to your dog. Mix a variety of veges to the food. Avoid garlic, onions, grapes, chocolate.
If anyone knows of good manufactured gluten-free diet, write a comment and I will add it to the post.