Should you follow the fermented diet and wish to remove every trace of gluten in your residence, you have to visit your own pets’ bowls along with your own food: dog and cat foods–especially dry foods–frequently contain whole wheat and pure wheat gluten, and many also contain the gluten grain barley.
Manufacturers use wheat gluten along with protein from corn in pet foods because those foods need to contain protein to be nutritionally complete, and wheat and corn are much less expensive than animal-based proteins from beef, poultry, or fish. Barley, on the other hand, is added to pet food to provide fiber, plus calories from carbohydrates.
Some people choose dog diarrhea with blood without gluten grains (or even without any grains at all) because they believe those gluten-free or grain-free foods are best for their pets. But for people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity with pets in their households, choosing a gluten-free pet food actually can become a way to improve their own health.
Why Choose Gluten-Free Pet Foods?
When starting the gluten-free diet, you obviously first need to focus on the foods you put in your mouth, making those foods as gluten-free as possible. Many people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity begin to feel better right away simply by eliminating gluten from their diets.
However, some people don’t feel better right away, and others feel better initially but then feel worse again after a while. There are several possible reasons this may occur (including reasons which have nothing to do with gluten). But one possible reason is that those who don’t feel better or who relapse happen to be more sensitive than most to trace gluten. For them, having a gluten-free kitchen and gluten-free household is important. These sensitive people also may react to airborne gluten, such as the dust from dry pet food.
At the same time, many people with pets allow those pets to stay in pretty close contact with their humans–on their laps, in their beds, and in their kitchens. Lots of people feed their pets in a corner of their kitchens (where that dust from dry food could spread), and some people even kiss their dogs on the mouth (yes, you can get glutened from kissing someone, even your dog).
You can see how feeding your pet gluten-filled dog or cat food could be a problem in this instance. Anecdotally, there are some people with celiac and gluten sensitivity who say gluten-free pet food was the final puzzle piece that allowed them to feel better. It’s not clear how many people might fall into this category–researchers have never studied the issue. But it’s certainly helped at least a few people with celiac and gluten sensitivity.
In addition, if you have a young child with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you definitely should consider feeding your pets gluten-free food. Toddlers and younger children tend to get into everything, and it’s not that unusual to find them sharing kibble occasionally with Rover or Spot. Supplying gluten-free kibble will eliminate yet another possible source of gluten-y trouble.
Gluten-free and grain-free pet foods do have one downside: they tend to be more expensive than other dog and cat foods (mostly because they contain more expensive ingredients). If you’re interested in purchasing gluten-free dog or cat food, below are lists of possible brands.
Gluten-Free Dog Foods
The following dog foods don’t contain gluten ingredients:
Blue Buffalo: This independent pet food manufacturer makes a wide variety of dog foods, none of which contain gluten ingredients. From the company’s website:”Why is it so significant that there’s not any corn, soy or wheat in BLUE solutions? Corn, soy and wheat have been identified as possible allergens for many cats and dogs.” Some Blue Buffalo dog foods also are grain-free, including the company’s Freedom dog food line and its Blue Wilderness products (look for the”100 percent Grain-Free” badge on the packaging).
Hill’s Science Diet Grain-Free dry dog food: Many pet owners are familiar with Hill’s, which sells prescription pet foods along with retail options. Note that the majority of Hill’s Science diet dog foods are not gluten-free (most contain barley), so stick only with the dry food that’s specifically labeled “grain-free.”
Iams grain-free formula: This popular dog food brand makes several gluten-free and grain-free options. Either stick with the Iams Grain Free Naturals dry food, or choose your product carefully, since Iams does make some products that contain barley.
Purina gluten-free and grain-free dog foods: The Purina Beyond and Pro Plan lines of dog food include some gluten-free and grain-free options. Beware, though: while Beyond Ranch-Raised Lamb and Whole Barley is listed as “grain-free” on Purina’s website, it clearly is not, since barley is the third ingredient. Always read the ingredients.
Taste of the Wild dry canine formula: This grain-free product uses sweet potatoes, peas, and regular potatoes as its source of carbohydrates instead of grains. It comes in several flavors, including bison & venison, lamb, salmon, and wildfowl.
Wellness Pet Food: Wellness has four lines of dog food–Core, Complete Health, Simple, and TruFood. Core, Complete Health, and TruFood products (both wet and dry foods) are gluten-free and grain-free, while some Simple dog foods contain oatmeal (while this isn’t gluten-free oatmeal, I wouldn’t worry about having it in your home unless you’ve proven to be exceptionally sensitive to oats as well as gluten grains).
Gluten-Free Cat Foods
The following cat foods don’t contain gluten ingredients:
Blue Buffalo: Like this manufacturer’s dog foods, all Blue Buffalo cat food is gluten-free, including wet and dry varieties. If grain-free cat food is important to you, look for the Blue Freedom cat food line, Blue Basics, or Blue Wilderness foods.
Hill’s Ideal Balance: This variety of Hill’s cat food comes in both wet and dry formulas. All are gluten-free. Some Ideal Balance cat foods contain brown rice and/or brewer’s rice, making them gluten-free but not grain-free.
Instinct: Billed as”the uncooked manufacturer,” this manufacturer makes limited-ingredient grain-free cat foods that are free of dairy, eggs, potato, corn, wheat, soy and artificial ingredients in both dry and wet varieties. The company also makes grain-free Nature’s Variety Pride by Instinct canned cat food in a variety of flavors. All are gluten-free.
Purina Beyond Natural grain-free formulas: Unlike the better-known Purina Cat Chow (which contains ground whole wheat), Purina’s Beyond Natural cat food line does not contain wheat, corn, or soy. However, you’ll need to stick with the grain-free flavors, since the others contain barley.
Wellness Pet Food: For cats, stick with Wellness Core products, which are gluten-free and grain-free. Note that Wellness also offers a Complete Health line of cat foods–for those, most of the dry foods include barley as a main ingredient, although the canned foods do not include gluten ingredients.
Weruva: This company makes cat food only in cans and pouches, so it will all be “wet.” All varieties are gluten-free and grain-free, and include recipes like”Paw Lickin’ Chickin” and”Meow Luau” that will please both cats and their people.
How to Find Gluten-Free Pet Foods
You ought to know when looking for fermented pet foods the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines on fermented labeling do not apply to those products (those principles apply only to food products geared toward people, not individuals’ best friends).
For example, a dog or cat food product might be labeled”gluten free,” but that could mean the food is free of the ingredient corn gluten (corn gluten is more commonly used than wheat gluten, but despite the confusing name doesn’t actually contain the gluten protein that makes people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity sick). In this case, a product labeled “gluten-free” still could contain whole barley or even whole wheat grains. It might also contain barley malt, another gluten-containing ingredient. Yes, this would be inaccurate labeling, but remember: no one’s policing these labels, and it does happen sometimes.
Obviously, a pet food that contains whole wheat, whole barley, or barley malt isn’t”fermented” by FDA criteria, and would not suit somebody who’s attempting to keep a gluten-free family. So shop carefully, and do not place a lot of stock in the catch-phrases located on the front of bundles –study the components on each product before buying.
However, you will probably be very happy to learn that you don’t have to fret too much about gluten free cross-contamination–unlike with meals that you might eat (that you would like to be as free from gluten free as you can ), you are highly unlikely to buy glutened by simply feeding your pet a product which has very low levels of gluten.
A Word From Verywell
Not everybody with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity should be concerned about purchasing fermented pet food. Some individuals do just good feeding their dogs and cats meals which includes wheat or barley components, as some folks do just good sharing a kitchen with somebody who eats and prepares gluten-containing foods.
But in case you have pets and you continue to experience symptoms even adhering to a cautious gluten-free diet, then you may want to look for their own food bowls as one potential origin for the symptoms. You might finally find it allows you to change your pets into a food that is fermented.