Gluten: it’s a great word that the media, anchors, and companies (human and pet alike) LOVE throwing around. But what does it really all mean, and how can you navigate your way around products?!
“What is gluten” you say?
Gluten is a protein that is found in many products, specifically found naturally in wheat, rye, and barley. It forms a lattice-like structure after kneading dough. This specific structure gives bread its texture and allows trapping of carbon dioxide for dough fermentation. Gluten stabilizes bread structure and gives bread its chewy texture. This is also why gluten-free products can sometimes turnout gummy or strange-textured.
Does Grain-free mean gluten free?
NO! If it says “grain-free” that is awesome! But, unfortunately, it does NOT necessarily mean that it is gluten free. To be considered gluten free (by human and animal products alike) the packaging must say gluten free. This is especially important if your dog (or you) have celiac’s disease.
Celiac’s isn’t an allergy to gluten, but is a response to gluten by the cells in your intestine’s. The easiest (cheapest and best) way to find out if you or your pooch is in fact celiac is trial and error with food! Test taking gluten out of the diet! Although it can be painstaking, and takes a lot of label-reading and product awareness it really is the only way to figure it out (without having blood test and intestine biopsy).
Celiac’s Signs and Symptoms:
diarrhea (usually mucous filled in dogs--a little graphic, apologies)
sometimes no symptoms at all (our bodies all react differently)
What are gluten-free grains?
Corn, rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, teff...and many of these are GREAT for you and your best, four-legged friend! I love the ancient grains that are starting to make a comeback! Many of them have not been genetically modified, and are grown organically!
Overall, just try to be aware of what you are putting in you and Fido’s body, and you’ve already taken a great first step by shopping at SitStay! We are very ingredient and product conscious--if we wouldn’t give it to our pets, it wouldn’t be for sale! And obviously ALWAYS check with your veterinarian (or physician for the two-legged friends) before drastic dietary changes and questions on what is best for you--we are all different!!