Can dogs be allergic to grain?

Food allergies are not limited to humans — dogs can also have allergic reactions to certain foods, such as grains and beef. Allergic reactions include symptoms such as itchy skin and hair loss, as well as gastrointestinal issues which can be very unpleasant for you and your pet!

Gluten intolerance has become a hot topic in recent years. However, did you know that gluten intolerance, or gluten sensitivity as it is also known, can cause havoc in a dog’s digestive system? It is an allergic reaction to the protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley, and it can cause a number of chronic symptoms resembling those of celiac disease.

Food allergies in dogs, including gluten intolerance, account for 10% of all allergies, according to studies, despite being relatively uncommon. While most dogs are safe around gluten, if yours exhibits any symptoms of gluten sensitivity, you should take appropriate action. Untreated gluten sensitivity can negatively affect a dog’s gut and general health.

Despite having very similar symptoms, celiac disease and gluten intolerance are not the same. Significant stomach pain, bloating, and diarrhea are a few of the most typical symptoms of both. Celiac is an autoimmune disease. When the immune system of the body attacks healthy tissue that is already present in humans, Damage to the small intestine results from the immune system of the body attacking and destroying substances found in gluten as threats to the body. This inflammation can make it difficult for nutrients from food to be absorbed into the bloodstream, which can cause anemia and raise the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. in which the protein element of a carbohydrate.

In the scientific community, there is disagreement over whether or not dogs can develop celiac disease. However, reports do show that gluten intolerance exists in dogs. When autoimmune antibodies are not noticeable, a person has non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). Dogs with gluten intolerance typically show symptoms between the ages of six months and three years, though it can happen at any time. This condition appears more often in breeds like Irish Setters.

Here are the main signs to watch out for if you’re wondering if your dog is allergic to gluten:

1. Stomach Issues The first indication that your dog has a gluten intolerance is vomiting or stomach problems like diarrhea, loose stools, gas, or excessive mucous in the stools.

2. Skin conditions Keep an eye out for rashes, bumps, and dry, flaky skin. These are all well-known symptoms of food intolerance, but they can also be brought on by seasonal allergies, for example.

3. Before you notice any skin conditions, you might notice your dog scratching and itching a lot. If you notice this behavior, it’s important to determine whether gluten or another factor (such as fleas) is to blame.

3. Red and swollen paw pads are another symptom of a gluten allergy. Dogs with allergies like this may as a result repeatedly lick or chew on their paws.

4. Coat quality Due to a lack of nutrient absorption, a dull, lackluster coat may indicate gluten intolerance. You may also spot fur loss due to excessive scratching.

5. Loss of weight Dogs allergic to gluten have trouble absorbing nutrients from their diets Gluten may be to blame if you’re giving your dog the same amount of food as usual but they’re losing weight quickly.

6. Chronic ear infection An overabundance of gluten can result in a yeast buildup, which can make your dog’s ears infected. Check for head shaking and smelly, waxy debris in their ears.

Any combination of the aforementioned signs could point to your dog’s gluten allergy. You can begin transitioning your dog to a gluten-free diet if you think they may be gluten intolerant. If doing so lessens their symptoms, a gluten intolerance is probably to blame for your dog’s discomfort. If you’re still unsure, you can have a canine nutritionist or a kit that you can use at home to test for gluten intolerance.

Although the terms “gluten-free” and “grain-free” are frequently used interchangeably, they don’t actually mean the same thing. People frequently refer to gluten intolerance when they use the term “grain intolerance,” which furthers the confusion. A grain-free diet excludes all grains, including wheat, barley, and rice. This should imply that all “grain-free” products are also gluten-free, but there is no assurance of this. It is important to carefully review the ingredients when purchasing food for a dog who is sensitive to gluten. Foods that are gluten-free do not contain gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, or rye but may still contain other grains like rice. Grain-free or gluten-free diets can be beneficial for your dog, depending on whether you’re dealing with an allergy or just trying to optimize their diet. Just remember, neither label guarantees good quality. Look for items made with free range protein and healthy sources of starch, like vegetables, just like Beco’s pet food (which is both grain- and gluten-free).

Despite popular belief, there are subtle differences between gluten intolerance and a wheat intolerance or allergy. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains. Wheat can also be known as:

All of the above, as well as additional sources of gluten like rye and barley, are considered to be part of a gluten intolerance. Although they differ in humans, both are currently treated equally in dogs. Therefore, if you are busy searching the internet for advice on how to treat a dog’s wheat allergy, stop there. The most secure and convenient way to completely protect yourself is to keep your animal friend on a gluten-free diet.

Although there is no cure for canine gluten intolerance, the good news is that you can effectively manage the condition by removing gluten from their diets. If a gluten intolerance is the cause of your dog’s symptoms, once you remove the allergen from your dog’s treats and foods they should resume full health, even though this isn’t always simple with perpetually-hungry puppies around. You’ll observe over the following days and weeks that their stools return to normal, they should gain back any weight they lost, and they should get smooth skin and a shiny coat. But it’s best to first consult a veterinarian for guidance and support before beginning any kind of exclusion diet. They can examine your dog physically and run any necessary blood tests to rule out any underlying illnesses. Your veterinarian may suggest other dietary changes in addition to prohibiting gluten from your dog’s diet. They might recommend a specific diet or ask you to add extra vitamins and nutrients to your dog’s food.

When you are aware that your dog is sensitive to gluten, it’s time to stock up on the appropriate foods. Dog foods frequently contain gluten, and the glutenous proteins are frequently used to bind kibble together. Check the ingredients of all the pet food and treats your dog consumes moving forward. There are now many more options for pet foods that are allergy-friendly thanks to the increased awareness of this condition. Watch out for products of high quality that substitute potatoes and other starchy vegetables for grains. For dogs with allergies, wholesome grain- and gluten-free dog food, like our kibble, is a great option. In fact, whether or not a dog has allergies, switching to our product can be beneficial for all dogs. Dogs without allergies shouldn’t experience any negative side effects from grain-free diets, such as loose stools. In fact, since they won’t be eating any cheap grains and will instead be eating more vegetables, their gut health should improve.

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In the pet food section, premium (and expensive) kibbles with “grain-free” formulas can be seen. If we provide the dreaded grain to our dogs, we are made to feel guilty. But what’s the big deal?.

The 2007 pet food contamination tragedy, in which wheat gluten imported from China was tainted with industrial chemicals used to falsely boost protein-level readings and caused kidney damage when consumed, may have given grains a really bad reputation. Thousands of pets got ill and many died. Of course, the grain itself wasn’t the problem, but many people still associate it with that

Given that incident and the current popularity of gluten-free foods for humans, it makes sense that dog owners who are concerned about their pets’ health would do the same. It’s not that wheat gluten is evil. People can have a wheat allergy, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or the auto-immune disease Celiac Disease. The rest of us can consume it or be exposed to it without suffering any negative effects. Although we don’t know how many dogs may suffer from the same condition, it’s likely that not all of them do.

What about the assertion that eating grains leads to food allergies? However, some foods are more allergenic than others, and they can be the target of allergies. They are specific foods, like wheat, rather than general food groups, like grains.

The top five allergy-provoking ingredients for dogs are (in order):

Some dogs can have an allergy to storage mites. According to several studies, dry dog food that has been opened and left unresealed for six weeks frequently (but not always) develops storage mites. The studies did not distinguish between foods with and without grains. According to one study, these mites can be avoided by keeping food in cool, dry, sealed containers for no longer than a month. Additionally, they found that although dogs can have an allergy to storage mites, more people have an allergy to house dust mites.

Concerns about the use of genetically modified grains exist. They contend that using them can result in “leaky gut syndrome,” a condition wherein the gut lining becomes damaged, allowing bacteria, toxins, partially digested proteins, and fats to leak into the bloodstream. This causes an autoimmune reaction that causes food sensitivities, fatigue, skin rashes, gas, and bloating. However, there is currently no proof of this happening—only conjecture. However, choose foods made with less common grains, which are less likely to be genetically modified, if GMOs worry you. These include barley, oats, millet, quinoa, teff, buckwheat, and amaranth.

Dogs are thought to benefit from a diet that is similar to that of their wild ancestors. However, dogs are actually different from wolves in this regard; in fact, scientists believe that one of the physiological changes that helped dogs evolve alongside humans was the ability to digest starch. Dogs and wolves differ in 10 essential genes, allowing dogs to utilize grains more effectively than wolves.

Furthermore, grain-free foods don’t mean plant-free foods. Like wheat, rice, oats, corn, barley, millet, oatmeal, and quinoa, grains are seeds. Other plant sources, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, tapioca, peas, butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, spinach greens, and different fruits, are used in grain-free diets. These are also not foods wolves are known to eat. In actuality, some of these components are less nutrient-dense than grains.

This concept most likely originated from the Atkins low-carb diet that is popular among humans. But grain-free does not mean carbohydrate-free. Foods without grains have roughly the same amount of carbohydrates as foods with grains. Actually, wheat gluten has an amino acid composition that is similar to that of proteins from meat, is 99 percent digestible, and contains more than 80 percent protein. When properly prepared, corn is actually a great source of essential fatty acids, fiber, and highly digestible carbohydrates. It can be a particularly important component of diets for dogs with conditions that call for lower protein or fat intake.

How is a food allergy diagnosed?

A food trial known as an elimination trial, which is fed for eight to twelve weeks, is the best and most accurate way to diagnose a food allergy. This special diet must not contain any ingredients that your dog has consumed in the past for it to be a true elimination trial for it. Additionally, it mandates that no additional foods, treats, or supplements—including flavored vitamins and specific parasite preventives—be fed during the trial period.

The next step is to perform a food challenge by reintroducing your dog’s old food if the food trial results in a resolution of your dog’s allergy symptoms. If your dog’s symptoms go away after the food trial AND come back within a week of a new food, it has been determined that your dog has a food allergy.

Blood tests can determine whether a dog is allergic to a particular food. These are known as serum IgE tests, and your vet will go over whether or not they would be useful in determining your pet’s condition. There is some evidence to support the idea that food elimination trials are more effective than blood tests.


What grains are dogs mostly allergic to?

Wheat, rye, barley, oats, rice, amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, quinoa, and some beans are a few of these grains.

Is grain free better for dogs with allergies?

A grain-free diet would be the best option for dogs who actually have allergies to grains. Dogs with food allergies or other types of allergies, such as environmental and flea allergies, are likely to exhibit the following symptoms: Itchiness Excessive hair loss.

What are symptoms of grain allergies?

Swelling, itching or irritation of the mouth or throat. Hives, itchy rash or swelling of the skin. Nasal congestion.

  • Swelling or tightness of the throat.
  • Chest pain or tightness.
  • Severe difficulty breathing.
  • Trouble swallowing.
  • Pale, blue skin color.
  • Dizziness or fainting.

What do you feed a dog with grain allergies?

Your veterinarian may suggest certain grain-free foods, such as Hill’s Science Diet® Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Grain Free dog food. Turkey and chicken Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Dog Food, Grain Free Science Diet® Adult Grain Free Dog Food.