Dog beagle eating food from bowl in bright interior.

There are hundreds of different types of dog foods out there on the market and choosing the right one for your furry companion can be tough. Should you opt for organic? Raw? Grain free dog food? Gluten free dog food? The companies all say their brand is healthy and nutritious, so what’s a doggie parent to do? Well, here’s a bit of information that might help you decide.


When Should You Change Your Dogs Diet?

Before heading out and purchasing the best gluten free dog food on the market, it’s important to take stock of your dog’s current health. If your dog is eating well, drinking enough, pooping and peeing regularly without difficulty and your veterinarian has given your dog a clean bill of health, it can be wise to simply just keep doing what you are doing. As dogs age, their health changes and this might necessitate a dietary change, but if all is well, there’s probably no reason to change.

However, if your dog is facing health issues, including skin allergies, general gastrointestinal issues, kidney issues or something else, a dietary change might help solve or mitigate the problem. The first step to take when your dog is experiencing health problems is to call up the vet and schedule a visit.

Your vet will examine your pet thoroughly, draw some blood, study a fecal sample and so forth to help diagnose any health problems. Be sure to talk about food and what types of food might be the best option for your furry companion.


Why is Gluten an Issue?

There is much debate about whether dogs should eat grains or food with gluten, after all their ancestors certainly did not. Of course, ancient dog ancestors lived vastly different lives and their bodies are quite different from today’s domesticated dogs.

Dog food companies put grains, such as wheat, into dog food both as fillers and to increase the number of carbohydrates in the food. Unfortunately, some dogs seem to have trouble digesting the gluten in these grains. In such cases, switching to a gluten-free option can make life a lot happier for your pooch.

In many cases, dietary changes can improve your dog’s health tremendously. For our own beloved dog, Kona, switching to grain-free and gluten-free food improved the quality of his life.

While gluten might not be an issue for your dog, it’s not just the glutens that you need to worry about. Many of these grain-heavy dog foods contain low-quality ingredients, such as poor-quality meat and chemicals.

The most important consideration should be the quality of the ingredients. Read the ingredient labels carefully, and if you see items such as “meal” or “by-product meal,” be wary of those options. This is “food” that isn’t even legally permissible to sell to humans, so it begs the question – if humans shouldn’t eat it, should dogs?

Additionally, you will find corn meal and corn often used by dog food companies as some of the main ingredients. Corn isn’t dangerous for dogs, but it’s not as nutritious as many other vegetables, and many companies simply add this ingredient because it’s cheap. Take a look at the ingredient label on each bag of kibble. If the top five ingredients aren’t meat (not meat byproduct), it’s probably not the best choice for your dog.

It also can be smart to avoid ingredients such as peas, lentils and legumes. These are often the ingredients used in grain-free dog food in place of grains. While these are gluten-free, they aren’t high-quality ingredients. They simply provide a source of protein that is cheaper than using meat.

However, meat contains taurine, which is an important amino acid that all dogs need. They might be getting enough protein from foods with peas, lentils and legumes, but it simply isn’t the right kind of protein to support your dog’s health.

Again, many dogs can digest glutens, grains and other common dog food ingredients, but these ingredients are not the healthiest options for your dog, they are simply less expensive ingredients and using cheap ingredients as fillers provides dog food companies with a higher profit margin.


A Healthier Alternative

We founded Naked Dog Bistro after discovering that our sweet dog Kona needed a special diet. We began formulating our own homemade dog food using grain-free and gluten-free ingredients.

Our food still has a healthy balance of protein, carbs and fat, but our ingredients are all organic and human-grade. We don’t add any fillers, meal or by-product, just wholesome ingredients that you can pronounce.

For instance, our Bark-B-Que Beef dinner is created from fresh ground beef sautéed with a hint of tomato paste, molasses and Worcestershire sauce. Whole oats (gluten-free of course) are added for texture and spinach, carrots and zucchini round out the meal. Other flavors include Paw Lickin’ Chicken, Irish Lamb Stew, Beef Pot Roast, Wild Salmon, Lean Lickin’ Pork and Herby Turkey. Detailed information about each variety can be found by clicking on the Fresh Food tab at the top of this page.

While our food is an excellent option for those who need a gluten free dog food, our food also is highly recommend for those picky eaters that turn their nose up at dry and canned dog food. We’ve cured many a picky eater with our fresh, delicious cuisine so if you have a dog that just isn’t interested in their food, Naked Dog Bistro’s dinners might just earn that coveted paw of approval.

Is our dog food the best gluten free dog food? Well, our dogs and many of our canine customers certainly think so. We encourage you to give our fresh, small-batch dog food a try. Give us a call today at (949) 715-9900 and we will let you know about our current flavor availability. And, if you live in Laguna Beach, we offer free local dog food delivery upon request, although your furry friend might prefer a sniff or two around our Laguna Beach dog bakery and boutique.

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