Q: Is gluten-free dog food the best choice for dogs with food allergies?
A: The word ‘gluten’ describes the protein portion of a carbohydrate. It is found in grains such as wheat and barley.
Like almost all dietary ingredients, gluten is neither inherently good nor bad. Gluten is surely one of the proteins that can cause allergies, but is no worse than chicken or beef. Thus, while gluten-free dog food may be the ideal choice for a small subset of dogs that exhibit gluten-specific sensitivity, it is not the best food for all dogs.
The most common cause of a canine food allergy is other protein sources such as chicken, beef, and milk products.
Dr. Jangi Bajwa is a Board certified veterinary dermatologist at VetDERM Clinic in Surrey BC. He is also the dermatology feature editor for Canadian Veterinary Journal. Dr. Bajwa’s special interests include otitis and allergic disease in pets; as well as helping improve quality of life of pets and their families.