January 9, 2007

Is wheat making your dog sick?

Both of my dogs seem to do well on hypoallergenic dog chow. Little Ben is a cocker spaniel, which I learned is an allergy-prone breed. Cheap dog foods made him very itchy, and he licked his paws constantly. So I upgraded their food. Now they eat either lamb & rice nuggets or venison & rice nuggets seasoned with a little quality canned food.

I give them small amounts of meat from the table, but not much because Ben gets digestive problems from many foods, even dog biscuits.

Here's an article on Canine Food Intolerance to Gluten, Casein, Soy, and Corn. The writer says that the Irish setter is the only breed that had been definitively diagnosed as gluten intolerant. He says he researched its typical medical conditions. Bingo- a match for the problems that celiac humans suffer from. BUT, the interesting thing was that they matched those of the Labrador, Golden retriever, German shepherd, Cocker, Rottie, and other breeds that are having big trouble medically.

Apparently he is a vet. He says I immediately began taking all of my patients off of wheat and barley, the two main gluten grains in pet foods. As I learned that casein (from cow's milk), soy, and corn could all do the same harm to the intestinal villi that gluten did, I started taking all patients off of those food ingredients as well. Wow! The miracles started happening.

Both dogs and cats improved on the diet. I've noticed that the special dog foods are increasingly popular. I used to have to go to the pet store for them but now I can find them in Kroger and Wal-Mart.

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