Natural Gluten-Free Foods You Can Give Your Dogs

Here’s how you can feed your furry canine companions healthy gluten-free foods for dogs without having to break the bank.

These natural gluten-free foods are also perfect alternatives to branded kibbles that are produced using gluten and are highly nutritious. 

Is your dog sensitive to wheat or gluten or displaying symptoms of gluten intolerance? This article lists all the gluten-free foods you can feed your dogs.

What is gluten?

Gluten is the result of the combination of two proteins (prolamin and glutelin) that are found in cereal grains including wheat, rye, and barley. Also, gluten is responsible for the elastic texture you see in some foods like bread, donuts, etc. 

Additionally, gluten is a common ingredient found in dog food as it is often used to structurally hold the kibble together. 

What are gluten allergies?

Gluten allergies are reactions the digestive system undergoes after consuming gluten. It presents in varying forms such as gluten intolerance (non-celiac gluten sensitivity), celiac disease, or wheat allergy. 

What are the symptoms of gluten allergies in dogs?

Early symptoms of gluten allergies in dogs usually start with itching which can be seen as red patches, chronic gastrointestinal upset (diarrhea), weight loss, chronic ear infections, and dogs rigorously chewing or scratching their skin. 

Other symptoms include deteriorating skin conditions, poor hair coat, and the inability of your dog to thrive.

Also, inflammation of the intestines, obsessive licking or chewing of the feet, reddish, inflamed paw pads, vomiting, and mucus in the stool are common symptoms of gluten allergies in dogs. 

What gluten-free foods can dogs eat? 

Following a growing awareness that dogs can also be allergic to gluten, there are now many gluten-free food options that dogs can eat to maintain a regular diet. 

While gluten-containing grains like barley, rye, and wheat should be avoided, grains like rice and corn become suitable alternatives.

You can also feed your dogs other starchy vegetables and potatoes in case you wish to completely limit grains. 

List of naturally gluten-free foods for dogs


With the exceptions of wheat, barley, and rye which are gluten grains, some grains are safe for your dog’s consumption. Your dog can consume the following grains as long as they are not processed with gluten:

  • Pure oats (not processed) 
  • Brown rice
  • White rice 
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Sorghum
  • Corn (avoid corn meals like corn syrup) 


Dairy products like plain yogurt, cheese, or milk are also gluten-free and can be consumed by dogs with gluten sensitivity.

However, you shouldn’t give them to your pets as frequent treats or regular meals as they can cause diarrhea. 

Fresh fruits & vegetables

The following fruits and vegetables are safe for your pup’s consumption in slices and also make tasty treats for them. 


  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Watermelon
  • Blueberries 

However, make sure you first remove the seeds, leaves, and stems, as they cause serious issues. 


  • Cooked or baked potato
  • Cucumber slices 
  • Green beans 
  • Carrot sticks 

Note that you should never let your dog consume potato plants or raw potatoes. 

Meats and fish 

Meat is a great option when feeding your pups as animal proteins help them grow to be strong. However, it is advisable to remove all visible fat and cook them properly. It is safe for your dog to eat the following meats:


  • Lean ground beef 
  • Pork
  • Poultry meat (chicken, turkey, Guinea fowl, etc) 
  • Chuck steak 
  • Roast steak

Also, it is advisable to remove the bones before feeding them to your pet. You should also avoid feeding them raw meat, and raw eggs, as they can possess bacteria that cause food poisoning. 

In addition, avoid purchasing processed meat as their preservatives may contain gluten unless the ingredients on the pack say otherwise.

Fish or shellfish

Feeding your dog raw fish or seafood is a risk as they can have parasites that cause fish disease, and can be poisonous to your dog. Also, always properly clean and cook the fish or seafood before feeding them to your pup. 

You can feed your pet the following kinds of seafood among others;

  • Salmon
  • Trout 
  • Shad 
  • Sturgeon 
  • Shrimps
  • Prawn 
  • Whitefish
  • Flounder
  • Herring 
  • Catfish 
  • Cod 
  • Whiting 

Also, avoid fish or seafood that are prone to high levels of mercury poisoning like tuna.

Peanut butter

Also safe for dogs to eat, peanut butter contains healthy fats, proteins, and vitamins such as vitamin B, vitamin E, and Niacin. 

However, it is recommended that you feed your pup with unsalted, sugar-free peanut butter with no added sweeteners. 

Why can’t some dogs tolerate gluten?

If your canine is sensitive or intolerant to gluten, its immune system attacks the gastrointestinal tract and can cause significant damage to it.

Gluten intolerance will also affect your dog’s ability to absorb the nutrients that it needs. This might end up leading to your pup’s malnourishment even when you feed it a lot of quality food. 

Also, note that your canine companion may experience a delayed allergic reaction instead of an immediate reaction if he or she is allergic to gluten.

How can you confirm if your dog has gluten allergies?

If you notice that your dog constantly suffers from a deteriorating skin condition, itching in the feet and ears, diarrhea, constipation, mucus in their stools, constipation, or vomiting, take them to your vet. 

Upon your arrival, your vet will conduct a physical examination of your canine. Your vet will also conduct various tests like a fecal test to rule out bacterial overgrowth or internal parasites, or a radiograph to view your dog’s internal organs.

However, the best way to confirm if your dog is intolerant to gluten is by conducting an elimination trial for several weeks. An elimination trial means completely removing gluten from your canine’s diet (treats, medication, food). 

If your canine’s condition improves, you reintroduce gluten to its diet. However, if symptoms resurface after introducing it back into your canine’s diet, then it is safe to conclude that your dog is intolerant to gluten.

Is gluten allergy in dogs the same thing as a wheat allergy?

No, gluten intolerance is not the same thing as wheat allergy despite the similarities in symptoms. Gluten is the protein you find in wheat and grains like barley and rye. 

Although many believe them to be the same thing, gluten intolerance and wheat intolerance or allergy are subtly different.

Gluten is the protein present in wheat and other grains. Gluten intolerance means your pup is intolerant to everything that contains gluten, while wheat allergy means it is only intolerant to wheat.

Additionally, despite these conditions being significantly different in humans, they are treated the same way in dogs.

This means it is safer to cover all bases by putting your furry companion on a gluten-free diet than to waste resources wondering if it is wheat or gluten allergy. 

Can gluten allergies be treated in dogs?

No, there is no known medical treatment for gluten intolerance or sensitivity in dogs. However, this condition can be managed effectively by putting your canine friend on a gluten-free diet.

While this might seem like a stressful process, it is quite important, especially if gluten is the cause of your dog’s symptoms. 

Also, once gluten has been successfully removed from your pup’s diet, you should see your canine friend return to full health within weeks. Any lost weight will be regained and its fur coat would become shiny with a better skin condition. 

Your vet may also make other dietary suggestions in addition to your pup’s gluten-free diet. This might include a special diet that includes supplements you can add to give your dog’s meal extra nutrients and vitamins.


Can dogs have celiac disease?

No. Although humans may have celiac disease, it is very rare for dogs to be diagnosed with celiac disease.

Also, most gluten intolerance diagnoses in dogs are a result of non-celiac gluten sensitivity. 

Is gluten dangerous to dogs? 

No. In most cases, gluten is not dangerous to dogs unless they have non-celiac gluten sensitivity which is rare in dogs.

Additionally, gluten is not necessary and makes no difference in a dog’s diet besides giving their kibble a chewy texture and maintaining the food’s shape.

What other pets can suffer from gluten allergies?

In addition to dogs, monkeys, mice, rabbits, and cats can also suffer from gluten intolerance. However, this condition is quite rare, even in dogs.  


There you have it, from dairy to meat and seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, and grains – natural gluten-free foods for dogs are not only highly nutritional, but they are also very affordable. 

In addition, it makes it very easy for you and your dogs to enjoy the same gluten-free foods using any of the items listed above if you’re the one who suffers from gluten sensitivity. 

Finally, if you are also gluten sensitive or would simply like to start a gluten-free diet in solidarity with your furry companion, here is a list of naturally gluten-free food you can eat

I hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for reading.