About wheat gluten
Wheat gluten is a food made from the main protein contained in wheat, gluten. Used by Buddhists in China since the 6th century, it is now a popular meat substitute the world over. Highly digestible, it’s particularly popular with those who favour a plant-based, vegan or vegetarian diet. More than 80% protein, it has a similar number of amino acids to some meat proteins. In various parts of the world, wheat gluten is also known as seitan or vital wheat gluten. And to some, it’s even known as wheat gluten for dogs.
Wheat gluten in dog food
Traditionally, wheat gluten is frowned upon as a protein source for dogs. Like so many ingredients, its abuse by the commercial pet food industry is largely responsible for this view. But wheat gluten does have its plus points, and if you are seeking to feed your dog a plant-based diet, it is certainly a protein source your have to give serious consideration to using.
Gluten is the protein found in a number of types of grain. In addition to wheat, it’s also found in other cereal grains such as barley and rye. Made up of two other proteins, gliadin and glutenin, it is the former that human beings who suffer from celiac disease, react negatively too.
Is wheat gluten good for my dog?
There is no denying that the jury is very much out when it comes to the subject of feeding canines a meat substitute such as wheat gluten.
That said, if you want to feed your dog a meat-free, plant-based diet, the wider the variety of protein sources the better. And while the commercial pet food industry uses wheat gluten for the wrong reasons, I have included it in my homemade dog food recipes for those who wish to feed their dog plant-based dog food.
Why? Because there are a good many anecdotal reports of its benefits, because it is a rich source of plant-based protein, and, as I’ve already stated, variety is important for any dog.
Especially for those who want to feed their dog a plant-based diet, I have written a complete Plant-Based Dog Food feeding guide. It’s a step-by-step guide for anyone wanting to feed their dog a vegan or vegetarian homemade diet.
To that end, there is both a vegan and a vegetarian version to download.
As a canine nutritionist I personally favour a more traditional, meat-based diet for dogs. That said, I believe there is sufficient evidence to suggest that a dog can live a long and happy life on a properly balanced plant-based homemade diet. Bramble’s story attests to that. There is even further evidence that for some dogs, a vegan or vegetarian homemade diet may even offer some health benefits. These can include increased overall health, weight control, allergy reduction and the management of arthritis.
So while it may not be to everyone’s taste, for some dogs, plant-based diets appear to be here to stay!