Xanthan Gum

Is xanthan gum safe for dogs?

Foods frequently contain the ingredient xanthan gum. Anyone who is concerned enough about what their dog eats has probably taken the time to read the ingredient list. This does not imply that they are knowledgeable about xanthan gum or its characteristics, though.

It is not surprising that the majority of people are unaware of the safety of xanthan gum for canines.  The complexity of some product labels and the debate over the healthfulness of some products are two things you frequently find on labels.

After reading this article, you won’t need to worry about this specific food ingredient ever again. It will tell you whether xanthan gum is safe for dogs.

What Is Xanthan Gum?

A typical food additive is xanthan gum. It is frequently employed as a stabilizing or thickening agent. 

When sugar is fermented by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris, xanthan gum is created. A soup-like or gooey liquid is produced when sugar is fermented, which you can solidify by adding alcohol. A powder is then created after it has been dried.

Any liquid substance quickly disperses and forms a thick, stable solution when xanthan gum powder is added. It was found by scientists in 1963, and it has since been thoroughly investigated and found to be safe. The amount of xanthan gum that can be found in a portion of food is unrestricted, as it has been approved as a food ingredient by the FDA.

In a lab, soluble fibers are created. It contains soluble fiber, which your body cannot digest.

As they take up water, these fibers in your gut transform into a gel-like substance that slows digestion. 

As a result, xanthan gum is not absorbed by your body, and since it is not digested, it has no nutritional value.

What Is Controversial About Xanthan Gum?

In recent years, there have been a few minor but noticeable controversies surrounding the use of xanthan gum in dog food. In fact, it’s possible that many of them are cases of identity confusion.

People who support natural diets raise the most objections. Since additives are not a natural part of an animal’s diet, many people believe that you should never give your dog any kind of additive. Xanthan gum is one such additive.

The health of your dog is not significantly at risk when using xanthan gum, though. However, there aren’t many advantages to giving your dog xanthan gum as well, so it really just comes down to personal preference.

The other significant problem stems from individuals who mistake xanthan gum for xylitol. In “diet” products, xylitol, a synthetic sweetener, is used in place of sugar. Dogs are highly toxic to xylitol. As it causes hypoglycemia and liver failure, it can be fatal even in small doses.

The only similarity between xanthan gum and xylitol is that both words begin with the letter “x.”

Is Xanthan Gum Safe For Dogs?

Xanthan gum is a common ingredient in processed dog foods. Those foods must already be outlawed if they weren’t safe for canines. However, there is still a lot of disagreement over whether it can or cannot be used in dog foods.

Xanthan gum offers no nutrients or calories, nutritionally speaking. Instead, one tablespoon of xanthan gum has about seven grams of indigestible fiber in it. Fiber is transformed into a gel-like substance in the digestive tract after absorbing water. This gel-like substance prevents dogs from digesting food.

Why Does Xanthan Exist In Pet Food?

There are many pet foods that contain xanthan gum, but wet foods and broths, milk substitutes, sauces, and other liquid diets are the most common. It helps prevent the separation of the dissolved ingredients from the fluid portion of the food in these colloidal liquid products. By combining all the food ingredients, it also stabilizes, emulsifies, thickens, and gives canned dog food a creamy texture.

dog food

How Much Xanthan Gum Is Toxic To Dogs?

After the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) approved its use in advance, xanthan gum can now be added to canned food for cats and dogs. It is not a natural chemical, so you should always pay attention to how your dog responds to it.

When used in the recommended dosages, xanthan gum has been shown in numerous studies to be safe for both people and animals. Because of this, xanthan gum growth frequently requires the use of a carbohydrate such as corn, soy, dairy, or wheat, all of which can cause allergic reactions in dogs when fed in large quantities for an extended period of time.

The bottom line is that, as long as it’s used in accordance with recommended dosages and your dog doesn’t react negatively to the grains in the carbohydrates, xanthan gum is not toxic to dogs. If a dog consumes too much of it, it can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar levels, but this is very uncommon. Just keep in mind that xanthan gum doesn’t taste particularly good, so your dog isn’t likely to eat it.

We advise checking the ingredient list for dog owners who are concerned about Xanthan Gum and don’t want their dog to eat it. 

Benefits Of Xanthan Gum

Studies have shown that xanthan gum can help diabetic dogs lower blood sugar levels by slowing the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream. In addition, an abundance of sugars in the body causes the conversion of the excess into fats like cholesterol. The formation of LDL cholesterol and blood vessel blockage are thus prevented by lowering sugar intake.

Large amounts of fibers are present in xanthan gum. As a result, it draws water molecules and expands in the colon, stimulating the digestive system to push feces through. This aids in relieving canine constipation. Because it absorbs water and transforms into a gel-like substance, it also causes fullness in the stomach. In addition to helping obese dogs lose weight, a full stomach will make them eat less overall.

Cancer can be avoided by using xanthan gum, which has been shown to have anti-tumor activity.

Possible Side Effects Of Using Xanthan In Dog Food

There is no drawback to this thickening agent in canned food or other dog foods that would cause pet owners to run to the vet right away. Dogs are safe to consume xanthan gum in moderation. When a dog has too much, problems start to occur.

This gummy-like substance is typically present in small amounts in the food of most dogs, so there is no need for concern. In order to avoid overconsumption, xanthan gum is never used in such a large quantity. The following health issues are more likely to affect a dog who has attempted to consume pure xanthan gum.

Low Blood Sugar Level

Although it rarely happens, eating too much can cause a sharp drop in blood sugar levels.

Gastrointestinal Upset

Because most dogs have delicate stomachs, consuming too much xanthan gum can result in loose stools. It contains a lot of dietary fibers, which aid in food digestion but are not themselves digested. It may result in indigestion and gas. Vomiting, diarrhea, and an increase in bacteria in the small intestine can all result from having too much gas.

Allergies

Xanthan gum may cause allergies in dogs. Actually, the source of carbohydrates used in the production of xanthan gum, not the substance itself, acts as an allergen. Wheat, corn, soy, or dairy can cause allergies in dogs.

Skin irritation and ear infections are two symptoms of wheat allergy. Self-trauma, compulsive licking, eyelid inflammation, and excessive sebum production are all symptoms of soy allergy. Paw biting and skin irritation are both symptoms of corn allergy. Dogs who are lactose in milk allergic may experience gastrointestinal issues, rashes, and itchy skin.

Call the pet poison helpline as soon as possible if you notice any allergy symptoms.

Conclusion

The fact that xanthan gum is safe for dogs makes it a common ingredient in commercial dog foods. Many dog owners might not consider it suitable for their dog’s food, though, as it is not a naturally occurring ingredient. Xanthan gum will still be used in dog food. When added in the quantities that manufacturers do, this ingredient in wet food does not harm the health of dogs.