As it turns out, yes. Dogs can eat flour. In fact, puppy treats and dog food products have flours to act as a binding agent. However, because of their higher nutrient content, some flours are more ideal than others. In this article, I will be discussing the different flours your dog can and cannot eat. Also, if you’re wondering what flour to use in making homemade treats, this article is for you!
- 1 Do grains cause allergies?
- 2 Flour for dogs
- 3 Whole grain flours
- 4 Non-grain flour
- 5 Flours to Avoid
- 6 Conclusion
Do grains cause allergies?
There’s a myth between pet owners that grains cause allergies. Hence, grain-free variants have become a popular choice for dog food. However, this myth isn’t exactly true. Grains cannot cause allergies. Wheat has a higher chance of triggering allergies than grains in general. With that being said, flour is not inherently dangerous for your dog.
Flour for dogs
Naturally, dogs can live without flour. They aren’t a necessary dietary requirement to have a long, happy, healthy life. However, if you do choose to buy treats for your dog, choose variants that use flours with high nutritional value. On another end, some fur-parents prefer to make their own treats at home. It makes them feel secure that all the ingredients used are wholesome and provide nutritional value. Nevertheless, here are some of the flours you can choose from:
Whole grain flours
are the best flour option there is to use. It has an abundant supply of natural nutrients that are healthy for your dog. They are, however, not for all dogs. Whole grain flours can be hard to digest. Non-grain options are a better choice if your dog has a sensitive stomach.
A/N: Flours marked as gluten-free are flours made without wheat or does not contain gluten-containing grains. These are ideal for your dog if they have an intolerance to wheat.
is a popular choice of flour. However, they are not for dogs who have a wheat allergy. They have a protein called gluten which can be a trigger of allergies for dogs. Whole wheat flour is packed with essential nutrients like Vitamin E, copper, iron, and manganese. It is also high in fiber and carbohydrates. This can be a great flour to use if your dog doesn’t have sensitivities.
Brown rice flour (Gluten-free)
is made from grinding un-shelled brown rice. It’s high in fiber, calcium, and folate. It has a higher nutritional value compared to white flour – a flour I don’t recommend using. This is a good choice for savory dog treat recipes.
Buckwheat (Some consider it gluten-free)
is made from the whole seed and not the grain itself. Buckwheat flour is rich in several vitamins and minerals like iron and B vitamins. It is low in gluten and has a high amount of essential amino acids that are beneficial for your dog. This healthy flour is perfect for savory and sweet recipes because of its nutty taste.
Oat flour (Gluten-free but can be added with gluten during storage and transportation.)
is easy on your dog’s digestive system. It contains high amounts of antioxidants (some only found in oats).
Quinoa flour (Gluten-free)
is made from ground quinoa seeds. This grain contains high amounts of protein and all nine essential amino acids. The quinoa plant, however, naturally produces a compound called Saponin that can cause a mild digestive irritant to dogs and humans. It may also be a little difficult for dogs to digest.
Sorghum flour (Gluten-free)
is naturally gluten-free. It contains high amounts of mineral iron and antioxidants that help fight inflammation. It’s also a great substitute for wheat flour because of its light color and texture, and mild, sweet flavor. If you’re going to use sorghum flour, look for a certified-gluten free label. Sorghum flour can be contaminated with gluten during processing.
is ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs. They are easily digestible and contain a lot of nutrients.
Almond flour (Gluten-free)
is a cholesterol-free flour made from blanched almonds. It’s high in fiber and plant-based protein. This is a great addition to add texture, flavor, and nutrients to your dog’s treats.
Chickpea flour (Gluten-free)
or also known as Garbanzo Bean flour is made by grinding the whole Garbanzo bean. It is a plant-based protein and contains high amounts of fiber while staying low in carbohydrates.
Coconut flour (Gluten-free)
Coconut Flour is made from ground coconut meat. It can be added in small amounts to increase the fiber content of your recipe. The fiber content of coconut flour can range between 35%-60%. It is also known to lower blood sugar levels not just in dogs but humans as well.
Flours to Avoid
All-purpose flour or white flour
is the most common flour you can use in many recipes. It’s a mixture of different kinds of wheat and has no nutritional value. In general, I don’t recommend all-purpose flour in making dog treats. Other varieties are much healthier. However, If you choose to use all-purpose flour, choose an unbleached one.
Corn flour and soy flour
are not for your dogs. It doesn’t provide that many nutrients and can be a trigger for allergies. Soy and corn are some of the most common allergens in dogs. Still, even if your dog has no allergies, these flours should not be included in their food. There are far better options.
Dogs don’t need flour in their meals. It’s best if they are avoided or if not, make sure that the flours they consume are healthier options. Make it a habit to read the label in your dog’s food. It can save future visits to the vet and ultimately save you a lot of money.