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Free Brittany Spaniel puppies

Golden retriever in field with wheatChances are you know at least one person who has gone gluten or grain free, who cites the benefits of the Paleo Diet and quotes from the bestselling books Wheat Belly and Grain Brain. Grocery stores have made shelf space for gluten-free pastas, crackers, cereals, cookies, and cake mixes and restaurants offer gluten-free pizza and beer to appeal to grain-free diners. But what about our four-legged fur babies? If your dogs are anything like mine, the only diet they adhere to is the “Anything Diet.” As in they eat anything I drop on the floor.

But long before dog food was scooped from a bag into personalized doggie dishes, canines would hunt and capture raw, protein-rich meals. After all, you don’t see wolves grazing peacefully in a field of flowers. Just like the theory behind the Paleo Diet for humans, protein-based, grain-free dog foods more closely mimics a canine’s natural or “ancestral” diet as a carnivore. However, with the introduction of mass-produced dog kibble around World War II, inexpensive fillers like corn, wheat and barley were added to dog food to create bulk and keep costs down. Today, most commercial dog foods still list corn or wheat as a main ingredient.

But while dogs have evolved from wild animals to Internet celebrities, the canine digestive system is still pretty primitive. Dogs have little natural digestive support for breaking down and metabolizing complex carbohydrates and cereal grains. These difficult-to-digest fibers and grains remain undigested, with the body relying mainly on fermentation to break them down, and well, you know how that smells. Over a long period of time, this can damage the lining of the digestive system, resulting in bowel inflammation disorders, food sensitivities, food allergies, leaky gut and obesity.

Does My Dog Have a Food Allergy?

If your pup is presenting these symptoms, talk to your vet. A food allergy could be to blame:

  • Excessive flatulence
  • Loose stool/Diarrhea
  • Rash and skin irritations
  • Chronic licking, chewing or biting to relieve itch
  • Vomiting
  • Frequent ear infections
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