Like homemade dog treats? There are many reasons I won't let my dogs have white flour. I don't care if you call it white, wheat, all purpose, or cake flour. It's bad stuff and here's why.
In fact no flour of any kind will ever pass any of my dogs' lips again.
First of all, it is not a food. I keep pretending it is, because I like white dinner rolls, pizza dough and pasta, but I know it's not.
It has no nutritional value whatsoever. They only start with wheat. Unfortunately, the wheat is stripped of all nutrients and fiber; then bleached.
Then they have the audacity to label it "enriched" wheat flour or enriched all purpose flour.
Who cares if they ‘enrich’ it now? It is dead, dead, dead. It cannot be revived by adding some man made laboratory born nutrients - so why try to revive it?
We humans like it because it makes fluffy food. Many of us still eat it without thought and share it with our dogs as well. Too bad for us, because here's what it does.
We know eating a lot of refined sugars can affect blood sugar and cause diabetes in people and dogs are no different.
Even though this flour doesn't taste sweet, it breaks down into sugar (glucose) and can lead to the very same problems caused by eating too much refined sugar, including dog diabetes. For signs and symptoms, see Symptoms of Canine Diabetes.
If you mix flour and water – you get a sticky paste. If you've ever rolled out pastry dough, you'll know what I mean by that sticky residue left on your counter top.
When I was a kid, my mom made paste for me with flour and water to glue paper together for my various works of art. Ah the power of gluten.
Your dog's colon can be really impacted by the food he eats. Pun intended.
The most common challenge includes any type of gluten refined grain, especially wheat flour. This flour literally sticks to the villi of the intestines and stays on the colon wall.
The villi are tiny finger-like protrusions to help absorb nutrients. Your body absorbs nutrients through the wall of the colon.
How can you absorb nutrients through the colon wall if the villi are all stuck together and covered with white paste? (To visualize the villi, think of a hair comb all gummed up.)
Dogs who eat white flour tend to have digestive distress and even bloating. Common sense tells me, this must be at least partially responsible for dog colitis, which is a swelling of the colon or large intestine. Also dog inflammatory bowel disease.
The fact is, that carbohydrates are not needed by dogs AND they actually cause inflammation. What is the precursor to all disease? Inflammation. (Learn more about inflammation at my Dog Talk Tuesday.)
Just as we are what we eat, our dogs are what we give them to eat.
As you might guess, we should not be eating much of this garbage either. An abundance of it for all of us tends to ruin our gut health along with our ability to digest our food properly making us store those carbs as fat around our midsection.
By the way, as for Milk Bones cleaning teeth? A total fallacy. While it may start out crunchy, the minute it softens it adheres to the teeth, and causes the growth of bacteria which turns to tarter and then into plaque.
Alternative? How about something completely natural with real nutrition. How about a real raw meaty bone or a chicken gizzard? Even when my Bonz was 14 years old, he'd stand on his hind legs and hop backwards for raw meat. Too bad I didn't understand sooner or my boy might still be with me. Did you know healthy dogs can and do live to be 20? The world's record goes to a dog in Australia who lived to be around 30 and she never ate white flour.