Humans and dogs can both suffer from with celiac disease, a genetic small intestinal autoimmune disorder. Those who are diagnosed with celiac disease have an intolerance to gluten, a protein present in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten allergy can cause damage to the small intestines and prevent food from being properly absorbed by the body. Do keep in mind that pets do not have to be diagnosed with celiac disease to suffer from grain-sensitivity. Since dog’s are unable to communicate whether or not they are feeling well it is important to be able to recognize signs and symptoms of celiac disease and gluten sensitivities.
Symptoms of gluten sensitivity include:
Chronic Gastro-Intestinal Upset (diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting)
Chronic Dermatitis (flaky skin, hair loss, redness, bumps, rashes)
Chronic Ear Infections (dark, smelly waxy debris in the ears caused by yeast overgrowth, shaking and scratching head)
What grains contain gluten?
Check the labels on your dog’s food for wheat or grain products. You may have to change what you are feeding your dog. Dogs with celiac disease can usually tolerate corn, rice, gluten-free wheat, dairy foods and poultry. Luckily there are a great selection of yummy wheat- and gluten-free dog foods and treats on the market.
What are some gluten free alternatives for your dog?
Buckwheat ( which is not related to wheat, despite its name)
If you are concerned your pet may have a food allergy, consult your veterinarian. Blood tests or a change in diet may help to identify specific sensitivities.