We became acutely aware of wheat and gluten allergies about 10 years ago, when we discovered that DD is wheat intolerant. Back then, there weren’t many choices for the wheat-free diner, either at restaurants or at the supermarket.
Gluten-free breads were tough and crumbly and didn’t taste like real bread at all. Gluten-free pastas had terrible flavor and texture. And forget about gluten-free desserts and snacks, they were just horrible. For several years, DD actually preferred living without those things and only ate foods that were naturally gluten-free.
Now that more and more people are being diagnosed with gluten allergies, wheat allergies, or celiac disease, companies of all sizes have perfected their products, all purpose wheat-free flours, and mixes that are almost identical to their wheat-filled counterparts. Even restaurants many times offer gluten-free menus. DD is one happy diner again.
During the first couple weeks we had her, she developed a nasty rash on her tummy that spread and became raw. Our vet said it could be an allergic reaction to something indoors, outdoors, or in her food. Well, that covered everything in Daisy’s world. His plan was to clear up the rash and then start her on an elimination program so we could figure out what it was she was reacting to. But he couldn’t do anything until he cured her of her respiratory infection, which took a while.
Keep that chicken away from me! Fowl is foul!
We couldn’t wait that long. We put on our Allergy Detective hats once again and figured out that it was chicken she was reacting to. Any time she ate chicken, she had nasty gas. I mean, n-a-s-t-y. (Sorry for being so graphic, but this was practically a “leave the house” situation!) And what was her puppy food primarily made from? Chicken.
Elimination program, here we come.
We switched her from a chicken blend to a beef blend and it made all the difference. Her rash cleared up on its own. And there were no more “hold-your-nose” moments.
But it got me thinking – can dogs be wheat intolerant too?
The answer is a resounding YES. And apparently the symptoms show, if you know what to look for – dull coats and/or red, flaky, itchy skin, constant head rubbing, diarrhea, vomiting, ear shaking, etc.. Fortunately, there are now wheat-free dog foods as well as wheat free recipes for dogs with this problem.
As for Daisy, we’re sticking with the poultry-free diet. But we’ll always be on the lookout for any new symptoms that might develop as she ages. Because just like people, dogs can develop new allergies later in life.