Dog treats that are gluten-free are good for dogs that have celiac disease (gluten intolerance). Dogs that are gluten intolerant may develop numerous health problems, including allergies, joint pains, and epilepsy.
Quite a few people are on gluten free diets because they are suffering from celiac disease.
Dogs can also be gluten intolerant, and it is important that their diets be adjusted so that all gluten-containing ingredients are removed from their daily foods and treats.
Some dog parents whose dogs are gluten intolerant can see a dramatic improvement in their dogs' health once all glutens are removed from the dogs' diets. Their dogs are less itchy, they suffer from fewer outbreaks of ear infections, and their chronic diarrhea is gone.
More amazingly, quite a few dogs with idiopathic epilepsy have fewer seizure episodes just a few months after going gluten-free. (For more information as to why glutens may cause so many health issues to dogs, see this page.)
Some dog parents may wonder if it is necessary for even dog treats to be gluten-free if their dogs are gluten intolerant. After all, treats constitute less than 10% of a dog’s daily food intake, so the gluten in the treats should not cause such big a problem, right?
For dogs who are gluten intolerant, only a small amount of gluten can cause problems such as allergy-like symptoms. In more serious cases, epileptic dogs will have seizures again after treats with gluten are given to them.
A case in point: There was a report on an epileptic dog who had become seizure-free months after being put on a gluten-free diet only to have seizures again because the dog's neighbor had inadvertently fed some wheat bread to the dog on several occasions. The dog was tragically hit and killed by a car when he became disoriented before the onset of such a gluten-induced seizure.
So, if your dog is gluten intolerant, be sure to eliminate all glutens from his foods and treats.
Here are some common dog treat ingredients that are gluten-free:
While corn and soy are gluten-free, they are NOT recommended for use in dog foods and treats because they are known to be potential allergens to sensitive dogs.
Also, although not gluten-free, starches in soy and corn are "sticky", and it has been found that foods that are sticky can cause problems to the small intestine. (Wheat and soy are the stickiest, followed by corn). These sticky foods act like glue and clog the villi (the tiny, finger-like projections lining the intestinal wall). As a result, atrophy and damage of the villi can occur in dogs who are susceptible. Needless to say, since villi are responsible for nutrient absorption, damage of the villi will, over time, lead to mal-absorption.
Please visit this page if you want to get recipes for gluten free dog treats.