Gluten-free foods are becoming increasingly popular, but humans are not the only ones who might be sensitive or allergic to the protein, found in grains such as wheat, oats and rye. Considering that wild canines consume mostly animal protein, it makes sense that kibble consisting primarily of grains and meat byproducts might cause problems.
While your pooch might display tummy troubles, much like a person suffering from gluten intolerance, there are other telltale signs, as well. If your dog is constantly scratching, has itchy bumps and oily skin, licks or bites his paws, tail or other body parts incessantly or suffers from frequent ear infections, it may be due to the gluten in his doggy dish.
There are a number of gluten-free and allergy-formula dog foods on the market. If you find that they are out of your budget or your pet simply refuses to eat them, you may want to try whipping up some homemade dog food. You can make a large batch rather inexpensively, and you can make enough at one time to last for a week. In addition, you get the benefit of knowing exactly what your dog is eating. Along with standard food, you can even make gluten-free dog treats so that your furry friend will not feel deprived.
Basic Dog Food
3 pounds ground meat
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups cooked vegetables, chopped
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce or pumpkin
Place ground meat into a Dutch oven or large pan and brown over medium heat. Most dogs do well with poultry, such as ground turkey or chicken, but you can also use ground beef, lamb or pork. You may wish to experiment to see which meats your dog tolerates best.
Once the meat is completely cooked and crumbled, mix in the brown rice, vegetables and tomato sauce or pumpkin. Chopped carrots and green beans are healthful and many dogs enjoy them, but you can try what you have on hand and see which veggies your dog likes. Avoid onions, as they can be toxic to dogs.
Stir the mixture and measure servings into baggies or containers. Keep a day’s worth in your refrigerator and freeze the rest. You may wish to heat the food to room temperature before serving, especially if your dog is averse to cold food.
Peanut Butter Buddies
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 large egg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup natural applesauce
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine ingredients. Drop by spoonful onto parchment-lined or greased cookie sheet. Flatten with your thumb or a fork. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
As you can see, feeding your dog homemade, gluten-free food and treats is not difficult to do. Please note that many veterinarians and other animal experts recommend giving dogs organ meat, such as liver, and raw, meaty bones regularly for improved health.
Before changing your dog’s diet, it is advisable to check with your vet to ensure that your dog does not have special health concerns.