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Gluten Allergies in Dogs

by Lori Teller DVM DABVP CVJ July 17th, 2013 | Ask the Vet
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dog biscuitI was at the pet store the other day and while waiting in line saw a bag of dog treats that were labeled as gluten-free. Can dogs have gluten allergies? What are signs or symptoms?

Dogs can have food allergies and be sensitive to gluten, just like people. The major symptoms will be related to the skin and the gastrointestinal tract. Your dog may be excessively itchy with a dull hair coat and may suffer from frequent ear infections and problems with his anal sacs. He may also have problems with bloating, vomiting, diarrhea and/or constipation, and gas.

The best way to diagnose any type of food allergy, whether it’s triggered by gluten or something else, is to discuss an appropriate food trial with your veterinarian. Try not to attempt this on your own because there are many ways to conduct a food trial inappropriately and then end up with misleading or inaccurate results. Typically, if a dog has food allergies and is then switched to the appropriate food, you will see an improvement within a matter of weeks.

The content provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute veterinary advice. The content is not be used for medical diagnosis, treatment, or any other veterinary service and should not be relied upon to guide the medical therapy of an animal. Further, the information transmitted does not constitute the establishment of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship between you and Dr. Teller. Always consult your family veterinarian in matters regarding the health of your pet.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your animal's veterinarian.