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Understanding Gluten-Free Dog Food

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If you’re like us, the new year has you looking at your diet–and your dog’s diet–more closely. More attention has been paid to gluten lately but do you know how gluten could impact your dog’s diet? Today we have a guest post from Scott Freeman, founder of Nature’s Logic Pet Food, about gluten-free dog diets.

Why Gluten-free Dog Foods Make Sense

Gluten has become a hot topic for pet owners in recent years. We all remember the 2007 dog food recall involving foods containing gluten contaminated with melamine. Sadly, that recall resulted in the death of many beloved companions. Adding to the increased awareness is the fact that pets, like people, can often have gluten allergies, also known as celiac disease. This is a relatively common food allergy in dogs and the signs of gluten sensitivities may be seen in skin and coat issues, as well as digestive difficulties. For these reasons, more and more dog guardians are choosing gluten-free foods.

What is Gluten and Why is it in Dog Food?

Gluten is a protein that comes from wheat and other related grains, like barley, and rye. These grains are a source of carbohydrates commonly found in dog foods. Wheat gluten, in particular, is widely used in the dog food industry. It can simulate meat in some wet foods, and also help prevent dry dog biscuits from breaking. It has been reported to prevent gas build-up in dogs and to reduce stool odor. Because gluten it is a protein source, it is sometimes used to increase protein for nutritional labeling claims. However, it should be noted that the highest quality dog foods use carnivore-appropriate animal proteins, like meat, fish and poultry, not gluten.

Not All Grains Contain Gluten

Gluten comes from grains, so “grain-free” dog foods are also “gluten-free.” However, some grains do NOT contain gluten, including buckwheat, millet, quinoa, oats, soybeans, and sunflower seeds. Millet, the grain used in Nature’s Logic dry kibble formulas, is a natural source of protein, B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc. Because millet is NOT closely related to wheat and contains no gluten, it is an excellent choice for dogs with gluten allergies or sensitive digestion.

Check the Ingredients

The best way to avoid gluten in your dog’s food is to read the ingredient labels carefully. Avoid any foods that contain wheat, barley, or rye. Instead choose diets with millet, quinoa, or oats. Don’t forget to check your dog’s treats for gluten, too.

About the Guest Author:
Scott Freeman is the founder of Nature’s Logic Pet Food. He has more than 25 years of experience in the pet industry, with a particular interest in animal health and nutrition. In 2006, after developing successful pet foods and treats for other companies, Scott launched Nature’s Logic. The company has created the first and only full-line kibble, canned, and raw frozen pet food in the world with no chemically-synthesized ingredients. All foods and treats from Nature’s Logic are gluten-free, including the dry kibble, canned diets, and raw foods. They are appropriate for all dogs, even those with sensitive digestion. For more information, visit

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NW Dog Agility

Thursday 6th of January 2011

Thank you for sharing the good post!


Wednesday 5th of January 2011

I've always struggled with what food is right for my two Labradors. One has Irritable Bowel Syndrome and is allergic to chicken and turkey, and she will eat anything put in front of her. The other is a very picky eater but so far has no food intolerances. I happened upon Nature's Logic by acccident when the picky eater was going through a phase of not eating - he went three days with nothing as I was bound and determined that he would eat! But I couldn't continue and grabbed a bunch of samples of food at the vet. I had done some reading on Nature's Logic at the vet and it seemed excellent, and my picky Lab absolutely LOVES it. It is literally the only dry food he will eat without mixing wet or raw in with it.

While at first I was concerned about any grains, dry food requires some kind of binder and there is plenty of debate over potatoes and Nature's Logic uses high quality (and now I know gluten free grains). I do have to pick the varieties carefully because of my chicken/turkey allergic dog, but both are doing great on it.

Sadly, we've just moved from central Oklahoma where I had very little trouble getting it to Reno, NV where few have heard of it, absolutely nobody carries it, and nobody will even order it for me! So I've taken to ordering it online and having it shipped directly to me. While I have to plan ahead, surprisingly prices even with shipping are close to what I was paying in Oklahoma.

We LOVE Nature's Logic!!! Brandi & The Always Agile Labs

Michelle Maskaly

Wednesday 5th of January 2011

Thank you for this post! It was very informative, and having just gone mostly gluten-free myself, it is something I should maybe look at for Toby, too.

Paris and John

Wednesday 5th of January 2011

Hi Michelle! I think gluten-free for dogs is so interesting; I'd been reading up on gluten-free food for people but hadn't really thought about it for our dogs. With the new year, I've been taking a closer look at what all of us in the house eat so this post came at just the right time! Paris

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