Is Gluten Bad For Dogs?

We offer five dog food toppers (two of which are gluten-free.) Try them all and save 40% by ordering our meal variety pack!

Is gluten bad for dogs? In general, the short answer is no. Most dogs can tolerate gluten in their diets, and gluten allergies in dogs are rare – only affecting an estimated 1% of dogs.

However, for dogs that are allergic to gluten or have trouble tolerating it, gluten can be harmful, potentially damaging the small intestine and/or leading to other health problems.  

What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein that’s found in certain grains (primarily wheat, rye, and barley.) Gluten is often added to foods, including dog food, to help hold the food together and maintain its shape.

Gluten In Dog Food
Most dog foods and dog treats contain gluten and it’s often used as “filler” in mass-produced commercial brands. Processed grains are cheaper to add to dog food than other proteins, such as beef, chicken, and pork, so many dog food brands contain an excessive amount of grains – more than you might want your dog eating on a daily basis.

Symptoms Of A Gluten Allergy Or Gluten Intolerance
Symptoms in dogs of a gluten allergy or gluten intolerance include:

  • GI issues (such as vomiting, diarrhea, loose stools, or excessive gas)
  • Skin or ear infections
  • Excessive itching and scratching
  • Unhealthy coat or hair loss

Senior Dogs And Picky Eater Dogs
As dogs get older, they often have trouble digesting food as their stomachs and intestines lose the ability to break down and absorb nutrients as efficiently as they once did. This is why many senior dogs develop sensitive stomachs, a problem that gluten-free dog food and dog treats could help resolve.

In a similar vein, dogs who are or become picky eaters might be shunning certain foods for the simple reason that they don’t feel good after they eat them. Eliminating complex carbohydrates (gluten) from their diets could help picky eater dogs enjoy mealtimes again.

Gluten-Free Dog Food Toppers And Treats
At Portland Pet Food Company, we make a number of healthy, fresh, gluten-free dog food toppers and dog treats:

Gluten-Free Dog Food Toppers Subscription Services
For your convenience, we offer a flexible dog food toppers subscription delivery service. When you sign up for a subscription (which can include dog food toppers and/or treats), you'll receive 25% off your first order and 10% off all future orders. You can easily change or cancel your subscription at any time.

For more information about our gluten-free dog food toppers and dog treats, please reach out to us at support@portlandpetfoodcompany.com.

See related blog posts:
Benefits Of A Gluten-Free Diet For Dogs
Gluten Allergy In Dogs