Contamination, Dogs

We Test Taste of the Wild

3 Comments 26 October 2010

We Test Taste of the Wild

For a few months this summer we switched Waylon from his tried-and-tested gluten-free diet of SOJOS Complete Dehydrated Dog Food to Science Diet’s z/d Ultra Low Allergen Dry Dog Food. We did so after being continually urged to do so by our new vet.  So in the name of budget and travel we decided to test the z/d which would be both cheaper and easier to tote with us throughout the east coast this summer.

It tested negative for gluten and Waylon seemed to love it, but after just a few months on Science Diet we began to notice some great declines in his health.  His arthritis (which hadn’t reared its head since we began feeding Waylon Primal last year) got so bad it was heartbreaking just to watch him limp around.  His skin was so dry and flaky that he had a big bald patch above his tail and despite frequent cleaning, his ears were constantly filling up with yeasty wax.

So we went back to SOJOS and after about two months now, almost all symptoms have cleared up.  But while he was still on the Science Diet, an employee of a local pet shop implored us to try a better quality grain-free food like Taste of the Wild.

I called them up, and they were very kind to send us samples that Waylon was especially happy to see.  But when I tested the food with ELISA’s EZ Gluten Test Kit, it came out positive for gluten.

I wanted so badly for things to work out after all the great things I had heard about TOWL, so I called the company (a subsidiary of Diamond Pet Foods) and wound up speaking with the Quality Control Manager.  He was very nice and promised to contact ELISA for more information about their kits’ capabilities and to look further into the matter.

I was thrilled to hear back from him that same day, but the news was a bit of a disappointment.  It seems that the ingredients sourced for big name dog foods like Taste of the Wild and it’s parent co. are transported and stored in shared containers.  This means that one day a container filled with wheat may be swept out and used the next day for rice or corn.  But what is perhaps the most troubling is that my tests showed that the finished product contained gluten in positive to high positive amounts.

I understand that dog food regulations are held to much lower standards than human foods, but what then happens to the child who is allergic to gluten and goes to feed his dog?  Or even when he is surprised with some puppy kisses.  Not to mention the health of our pets, who are developing food allergies at a growing rate.

Just talk with someone who lost their Wheaten Terrier, because they did not know that the breed is predisposed to gluten allergies.  Or even because they thought the “grain free” food they were feeding their pup was gluten-free, but did not know that these foods are more often than not contaminated with even high levels of gluten.

- who has written 101 posts on Gluten Free Fox.

When Kristen and Taylor created The Gluten-Free Search Engine years ago, they never dreamed that just a few years later they would be sharing their lives with a beautiful, gluten-allergic dog named Waylon. Not too long after adopting their new "dog child," they headed closer to home and found themselves in the mountains of North Carolina. It was here that Kristen realized her lifelong dream of creating healthier, gluten-free beauty products and launched Gluten Free Beauty. Having shared her finds for the safest and best natural, g/f beauty products via her first-ever website,, she is thrilled now to be putting out products that she can enjoy and that she knows are safer than alternatives!

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3 Comments so far

  1. Gabriel says:

    Have you tried Solid Gold’s Barking at the Moon dog food? My black lab has food allergies with grain and gluten sensitivities. She loses hair around her eyes and they become very itchy. The only dry dog food I have found that works for her is the Barking at the Moon dog food by Solid Gold. The manufacture says it is gluten free but like you were saying in your article, I believe to be true of any manufacture then it comes to hauling there grain, rice, other products around. I believe it would be very hard for a dog food manufacture to guarantee a food is gluten free. My dog has been on this food for months now and her eyes have drastically improved. Also, we use a triple antibiotic hc ointment for her eyes to manage the itching when she does has an itching and hair lose spell. The only thing I can do with her condition is to help manage the itching and keep her away from potential allergens. It is heart breaking to see a dog suffer with these problems.
    Good luck!

  2. Lisa says:

    Like gluten, even people with any type of nut allergy have to be so very careful. I remember going into an ice cream shop and there was this little girl who could *only* have the soft serve out of the machine because it was safer from cross contamination. It seems with the hard ice cream, there was often cross-contamination from the staff using the same scooper in all the ice cream bins. Kinda similar to TOTW and their not having a bin “solely” for their formula’s use.

    While TOTW is “grain” free, I don’t recall them ever advertising they were “gluten free”. Would have been nice had their formula turned out to be so tho!

  3. pixie says:

    Hi! I must be gluten free and so does my best friend Connor, my 20 month old Airedale Terrier. I feed him Honest Kitchen food, which sounds similar to SOJO’s. Its dehydrated too and they have a number of gluten free varieties which they test for gluten. Its all also human grade and nothing comes from China. I love the stuff and so does Connor.

    Waylon is a cutie!


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