A question came up the other day from a customer that was concerned about her dog’s intolerance to gluten. Her question was whether or not she should be concerned about feeding a beef diet to her pet if the cow had been fed a grain diet, which naturally contains gluten. She was worried that there would be a transfer of the gluten the cow digested in the beef diet, which was being fed to her highly allergic dog.
The quick answer to this question is no, the cow has digested the gluten in the grain to the point that it will not aggravate the dog’s gluten allergy.
Now the more important factor to consider is the origin of the problem: the allergy to gluten. Let’s take a closer look at gluten allergies and determine how we can help her dog overcome this specific problem.
What is “Gluten Intolerance”?
According to the Gluten Free Society, recent research has determined that certain dog breeds are more susceptible to gluten intolerance than others. For example, it was discovered that Irish Setters who were reared on a standard dry dog food diet (kibble) that contained wheat as an ingredient, “developed digestive damage, leaky gut syndrome and immune dysfunction”.
Gluten sensitivity is often misdiagnosed because it presents symptoms that are similar to irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive diseases. It makes sense. Dogs are carnivores – they eat meat. So it should come as no surprise that feeding them a kibble diet, which is primarily comprised of grains, can cause major problems in our pets over the long term.
For years now I have been examining the research being done by “Dogtor J” from www.dogtorj.com. He has been diligent in his quest to discover the effects of gluten on the body of gluten-sensitive dogs. His new website is a wonderful source of information on this disease.
In addition, he has also been discovering the wonderful benefits of feeding a raw food diet (BARF DIET) to reverse the effects of epilepsy. Anyone that is experiencing gluten intolerance and epilepsy with their animals should seriously review his findings.
Gluten intolerance is also referred to as “celiac disease” in cats and dogs however; it is not a recognized disease in many other breeds, besides the Irish Setter. Dogtor J claims that it is inevitable that this condition will be diagnosed in other breeds as well.
Taking A Natural Approach to Combating Allergies
The real issue here is to try and determine what the best and most natural diet that a dog or cat should eat that would present the least amount of long-term health issues while avoiding aggravating allergies at the same time. The unfortunate truth is that most commercial pet foods are not formulated as scientifically and nutritionally optimal as they would like you to think. Most of the popular dry and canned pet foods on store shelves are formulated with convenience and cost of manufacturing as the motivating factors more so than science.
The questions to ask when trying to find the most appropriate food for your pet are:
Are the ingredients natural and are they the same ingredients that the animal would consume in his/her environment? (In other words, are they “biologically appropriate” for their species?)
Are the nutrients in the food readily available for maximum absorption by the body or do they contain artificial nutrients, which are harder for the body to absorb and utilize? (Helpful Hint: The longer the diet stays in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract the more chance it has to ferment and develop toxins. Kibble diets stay in the GI tract for 8-12 hours. Raw diets, on the other hand, stay in the GI tract for 4-6 hours max.)
Are price and convenience the motivating factors behind the ingredients being used in the diet or is it improved quality and assurance of ideal health what drives the company to choose the formula of their food? Keep in mind that grains (corn, wheat, rice) and potatoes are cheap filler ingredients that keep your dog full and satiated but are not necessarily healthy for them in the long term.
Luckily, our philosophy here at BARF World addresses all three concerns and chooses the health of your pet over cutting corners for a quick profit. The ingredients in our diets are all naturally found in the animal’s environment and they are the most readily available sources of nutrition: raw uncooked and in their original state which makes them able to be digested and utilized in your pet’s body in the shortest possible time.
Taking Proper Steps to Prevent Allergies
It is important to pay attention to the problems your dog is having. If your pet is suffering from allergies and intestinal problems, then don’t overlook the possibility of having a celiac condition. Even patients that are having issues with epilepsy can find relief with a gluten-free, raw food diet.
It’s unfortunate but true that the #1 complaint that pet owners have with their pets is allergies and skin & coat problems. For this, we continually recommend they switch their pets to a natural raw diet, supplemented with our Jump Start Bundle which contains both the E-BARF Plus vitamin/mineral supplement, and the Alaska Naturals Wild Salmon omega fish oils. These two supplements boost the immune system to allow the body to naturally fight back against the allergies as well as provide a healthy dose of enzymes, probiotics and essential fatty acids for optimum health.
A valuable recommendation would also be to introduce a grain-free, gluten-free living raw food diet such as the ones we provide to thousands of pets here at BARF World.
Because it is not a matter of IF these symptoms will happen – it is a matter of WHEN. Eventually, a kibble fed dog will exhibit the horrible symptoms of allergies, structural issues, digestive disturbances and disease…a disaster just waiting to happen!
Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. He and his wife love to travel around the world with their dog, Moxie – a Yorkshire Terrier/Maltese mix. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” monthly e-zine at barfworld.com/ezine