Considering Gluten-Free Pet Food?

Cat and dog via ShutterstockCat and dog via ShutterstockBy Courtney Temple |

Chances are you've probably heard of a gluten-free diet before. Gluten-free is one the newest diet trends being seen in the pet food industry. But do you really know what gluten-free means? Read on to see why gluten-free may be a good option for your pet.

What does Gluten-Free mean?
A gluten-free diet excludes the protein, gluten. Gluten is found in grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye. These carbohydrates are often used as food additives in pet foods. Caution: a gluten-free diet should not be used as a weight loss technique.

What are the benefits of a gluten-free diet?
A gluten- free diet may be a good option for a pet that is having an allergic reaction to gluten. Pet owners that fed their pets a gluten-free diet often see an improvement in gastrointestinal health.

Learn More: Do I Need a Breed Specific Dog Food?

How can I tell if my pet is allergic to gluten?
If you notice any sudden changes in your pet's skin and coat or if your pet is experiencing digestion issues a gluten allergy may be to blame.

Is it common for pets to suffer from celiac disease?
Unlike humans, the gluten-induced celiac disease is not often seen in pets. There has only been one proven case in a genetic line of Irish Setters.

What is the difference between a grain-free and gluten- free diet?
Gluten comes from grains, therefore grain-free pet food is also gluten-free. However, some grains do not contain gluten, such as buckwheat, millet, soybeans, and sunflower seeds.

Read More: What is Grain Free Pet Food, Really?

Why gluten-free?
A gluten-free diet may not right option for every pet. It is up to the pet owner based on the specific needs of the pet. If your pet is having problems with digestion, then it might be a good option to switch to a gluten-free diet. Consult your veterinarian to check if your pet is a suitable candidate for this type of diet.

How do I check if my pet's food is gluten-free?
The best way to avoid gluten in your pet's diet is to read the ingredient label carefully. Keep a watchful eye out for any foods that contain wheat, barley, or rye.

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