Distinctive Dog treats are gluten free and grain free. Gluten free dog treats are not only easily digestible, but healthy. Here’s some information about gluten and why we decided to make our dog treats gluten free. The effects of gluten are still debated among researchers, we do know there is a strong correlation between increased carbohydrate and gluten grain diets and the occurrence of dog health issues.
Gluten is a protein found in grains including wheat, barley, corn and rye. They are often used due to their binding properties and low cost. Unfortunately, for dogs that are allergic, these ingredients can cause additional bloating and other conditions including itchy, flaky skin, hair loss and lackluster coat. And many pets are gluten sensitive at some level, with dog owners attributing symptoms to other causes.
While many dogs are allergic to wheat, corn and soy, many others are sensitive to gluten. When moist, gluten becomes sticky and may cause problems with digestion and nutrient absorption. This can cause problems for all dogs, however those with a dog with gluten intolerance can have diarrhea, weight loss, itchy skin and poor health.
As dogs digest gluten, it passes through the small intestine. Dogs with an allergy have an auto-immune response that attacks the gastrointestinal tract, damaging tiny hair-like “villi” preventing nutrient absorption. Some researchers suggest that the intestinal villi are affected in all dogs. As gluten passes, this sticky substance coats the villi reducing nutrient absorption in all dogs.
While health issues don’t occur overnight, in time deficiencies of nutrients including vitamin C and calcium can lead to conditions like hip dysplasia, elbow and shoulder problems and heart failure.
The best way to determine if gluten grains are causing problems with your dog is to eliminate them. Starting with a completely gluten and grain free diet is the first step. If symptoms subside, you can add gluten free grains including foods with rice flour and coconut flour.