Wheat Gluten – Not Part Of Pet’s Natural Diet!
Veterinarian Reviewed on January 16, 2010 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
My human Sage wrote recently about man’s search for immortality. I myself wouldn’t mind living like a cat with nine lives! If I were a wild dog, chances are I would live to approximately 40 – but domesticated like, my life span has dwindled to 12 or 13, like my pal on the left. Why? Chalk it up to a totally inappropriate diet!
Ok, so to be fair my human Sage feeds me fresh meats and veggies – I’ll probably be yapping long after some of my pals are gone. Dog she’s smart. She feeds me what my body is naturally predetermined to digest and use as fuel. But most folks rely on their vet’s advice on food, and guess what? It’s filled with wheat and grains, totally not what animals are supposed to eat!
Pizza Not For Pets!
You see, wheat gluten may play a role in chronic illness and degenerative diseases in your beloved pets. We are, by nature, meat chompers. According to researchers (read this book), a wild dog’s natural diet consisted of “bones, pieces of carcass, rotten greens and fruit, fish guts, discarded seeds and grains, animal guts and heads, some discarded human food and wastes”. Stinky, the way we like it. Cats are completely carniverous, loving their small mice and rats. This means our diets are made up of large amounts of animal protein and fats, water, and little in the way of carbohydrates.
Pets Should Avoid Gluten!
Most vets and their training books educate that cats and dogs don’t do gluten. We don’t need it, and we don’t eat it. So why is most commercially prepared – and vet prescribed – pet food filled with grain?! Not only that, they’re low in proteins and water. I don’t know about yaw’ll, but I only gnawed on cardboard once. And it was howl-ible. Wet food may look more like the meats that we like to eat, but again, they’re filled with wheat gluten. Blech! People, we can’t digest this stuff! It leaves us bloated, crampy, gassy, and nauseous. You’ve probably noticed that happens to you and your bums when you eat gluten, too. Right? Keep that golden shaft away from us, please.
How Wheat Gluten Can Poison Us:
Veterinarian John B. Symes yaps that the lectins of gluten (wheat, barley, rye) dairy products (e.g. casein, lactalbumin) soy, and corn are all capable of inducing serious health issues in those humans who are sensitive to them – and us pets! He barks: “The Irish Setter is a breed known to suffer from gluten intolerance, but it is clear that gluten is affecting many other breeds of dogs and cats. And why wouldnt it? It is affecting humans and we have had millennia to adapt to eating wheat. Our pets have only been eating wheat-based pet foods for about 20 years now.” According to him anyone who consumes or feeds these foods to their pets on a daily basis will encounter resulting health problems-rheumatoid arthritis, type-one diabetes, lupus, etc. On a grain-based diet, it’s just a matter of time. Yelp!
Why We Pets Shouldn’t Have Gluten:
Basically, gluten creates inflammation. Inflammation means acidic tissues, and that’s where disease loves to grow! I’ll bark again: we need meatmeatmeat, a few veggies, and lots of pure water. That’s it! Commercial pet foods are high in grains, increased fiber and carbohydrates – especially senior, light and diet foods. Older and overweight pets usually respond well to increased protein and fats gained through a diet rich in meat, not grains. Also, many dogs on the dangerous non-steroidal and steroid drugs so commonly prescribed for dogs may see marked improvements in their conditions and, in fact, may no longer need such drugs, which tend to shorten dogs lives. Many owners who feed their pets fewer grains see less inflammation.
List To Avoid!
Read your food labels. Avoid the following:
– Wheat Flour
– Soy products
– Food starches (cornstarch)
– Brown rice syrup
– Malt vinegar
– White pepper
– Pastas < /span>
– Wheat Grass
What You, Human, Can Feed Us!
All this yapping is making me hungry. I’m going to forage around for something chewy… Who wants a treat?
Me too. Love, Buster
Photo Credit: ma1974
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for 28 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan