Health knowledge and news provided by doctors.

Gluten-free pet food mislabeling creates concerns

Lana Bandoim's picture
Gluten-free pet food

Gluten is not an issue limited to the human population, and pets can also be allergic to this protein. A recent study from Chapman University has discovered problems with labels on common pet food brands, and previous research has indicated that gluten is sometimes present in products labeled as gluten-free. This has created new concerns for pet owners who worry about the food they are purchasing.


Chapman University’s Food Science Program researched dog and cat food labels by testing the products and looking for mislabeling. Although the most recent study focused on meat in pet food, other studies have looked at gluten. One of the main concerns is that finding one ingredient missing from the label can lead to more missing ingredients, so there may be multiple problems with the food including the presence of gluten.

Despite regulations, Chapman University’s Food Science Program discovered that 16 of the 52 pet food products tested by researchers had a meat ingredient that was not listed on the label. Most of the brands had pork included in the food, but it was not on the label. Researchers also found that some of the brands claimed to have beef, yet there was no beef included, and other types of meat replaced it. A previous study tested 21 pet food products and found five of them had gluten. Mislabeling continues to be a concern for pet owners who may be risking their beloved animals’ health by feeding them the wrong food.

Follow eMaxHealth on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
Please, click to subscribe to our Youtube Channel to be notified about upcoming health and food tips.

DON'T MISS: Bell & Evans gluten-free breaded chicken recalled: High risk bacterial contamination

Some experts blame contamination for the addition of allergens to pet food products, but it is not the only source of the problem. Sometimes products are mislabeled because the manufacturing process is not being monitored closely or a supplier has not revealed the truth about ingredients. If you are concerned about your pet’s food, then you may want to consult a veterinarian.

Read more about celiac disease:
Gluten-free Halloween candy safe for celiac disease
Celiac disease apps help create gluten-free meal plans

Image: Public Domain/Pixabay



Pets, like dogs and cats, are carnivores, meat eaters. The 'foods' we buy for our pets are far removed from what the animal would eat in the wild. Cats and dogs are hunters. They do not eat grains in their natural diet. They get their complex carbohydrates from the belly of their prey. It is the first thing they rip open to get at the gut where the predigested carbohydrates are. Seeds and grains are too difficult to digest. They pass through the gut whole. Carnivores swallow their meat whole. They do not have the teeth to chew their food, so grains are entering the digestive tract whole. Even in animals with a short digestive tract like in cats and dogs they cause health problems. If you love your pet give the animal what they normally eat. Meat! You do not have to worry about labeling, or gluten.