I met Krystyn in High School and we have remained friends (thanks Facebook!). She told me about her dog, Harley Jade, that cannot eat gluten. I had heard of celiacs in dogs but never met anyone going through it.
Gluten Free Gluttony: What is the name and breed of your gluten free pet?
Krystyn: Harley Jade, she is a Golden Retriever
GFG:How did you realize he was gluten intolerant?
K: We found out when she was about 6 months old, her skin was really flakey and her coat was very rough and she wouldn't stop scratching, she even started to eat the fur off her tail and chew her tail until it was raw :( We went through the vet recommend rice and boiled chicken diet but that didn't seem to help. The allergy test finally came back through after almost a year of trial and error with many hard food products.
GFG:Was it hard to find GF pet food?
K: Surprisingly no, I guess this condition is becoming more frequent in animals because of the stuff their great grandparents had is no longer being tolerated by many breeds, I think that's why we are seeing so many more grain free free food on the market. But our biggest issue was finding a food with zero chicken by products-which pretty much every food has for some reason.
GFG:Does your dog have any other allergies?
K: Yes,to chicken as well.
GFG:Has having an animal with celiacs impacted your life in any way?
K: I guess its let us know what is out there and that its not just a human condition. We would do anything for her so the price is not a big deal, she is our fur kid :) I think the hardest part was not figuring out what was wrong for so long.
GFG: What would you say to anyone trying to figure out if their pet has a gluten sensitivity?
K: With recommendation from your vet, try a rice and some sort of game meat that isn't chicken or beef or pork since those are the most common proteins. If they get better after a month you have found your solution. And if you are a new animal owner go strait to the grain free stuff then you wont have to go though many of the issues we had too. Yes, it may be more expensive in the short term but it will save you and your wallet with the vet and allergy tests its worth it. Much of it has to do with the corn that is the GMO corn causing all of these issues just make sure and read your labels and know what you are feeding your pet. The big brands wont disclose many of their ingredients so be careful.
A huge thank you to Krystyn for taking the time to share about life with her celiac dog, Harley Jade.