Is gluten safe to feed my dog?
Over time, gluten can wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive system. If you look at the ingredients of most dog treats and dog food you will notice high amounts of wheat, corn, barley, rice and oats, and all are sources of gluten.
These, in addition to soy products and molasses are often used as “filler” in dog food—the reason being they are less expensive, However, if you add up all of these ingredients, they greatly surpass the meat and protein sources contained in most dog food.
Corn in any form is not good for dogs because dogs have a difficult time digesting it. However, corn gluten is especially dangerous. In fact, corn gluten was one of the substances found in the major pet food recall of 2007. Corn gluten is usually a by-product of processing corn to make cornstarch and corn syrup. It is generally sold as a golden yellow meal or as light-brown granules. Gluten is the tough portion of the corn that contains the grain’s protein. Corn gluten meal is gluten in its dried form.
Corn gluten meal is an easily digested form of protein, but it should never be the primary form of protein in a dog’s food. In addition to its use in pet food and food for farm animals, it is also used as an herbicide.
A lot of times, a dog will develop a full-blown allergy to gluten; in fact, 10 percent of all canine allergies are considered to be caused by food. The gluten allergy is also called “Celiac,” but a dog can have sensitivity to gluten without it becoming a full allergy. This problem can develop at any point in a dog’s life and manifests a variety of symptoms, including skin and bowel problems. After diagnosis, a lifelong change in diet is usually required to treat the condition. Symptoms can include digestive problems and itchy, flaky skin.