Xanthan gum is a common ingredient in many foods. Anyone who cares enough about what their dog eats is likely to have spent some time checking ingredient labels. However, this does not imply that they are familiar with xanthan gum or its properties.
It’s hardly surprising that most people don’t know if xanthan gum is safe for dogs. The complexity of some product labels and the controversy about the healthiness of some products you often find on labels.
You won’t have to worry about this particular food substance again after today because this article will answer whether xanthan gum is safe for dogs.
In this article:
What is Xanthan Gum?
Xanthan gum is a common food additive. It is widely used as a thickening or stabilizing agent.
Xanthan gum is made when sugar is fermented by a bacterium known as Xanthomonas campestris. When sugar is fermented, it makes a soup-like or gooey liquid that you solidify by adding alcohol. After that, it is dried and ground into a powder.
When you introduce xanthan gum powder to any liquid substance, it disperses fast and forms a thick, stable solution. Scientists discovered it in 1963, and it has been thoroughly researched and proven to be safe. The FDA has accepted it as a food ingredient with no restrictions on the amount of xanthan gum that a portion of food can include.
Soluble fibers are made in a laboratory. It is a soluble fiber and soluble fibers your body cannot digest.
These fibers absorb water and turn into a gel-like substance in your gut that slows digestion.
As a result, your body cannot absorb xanthan gum, and if your body cannot digest xanthan gum, it provides zero calories and nutrients.
What Is Xanthan Gum In Dog Food?
You will typically find xanthan gum in trace amounts of wet or canned pet food formulas. Its principal function in these wet pet food recipes is as a binding agent or thickening. Wet pet food recipes must include thickening or binding agents like this to guarantee that the dog food has a uniform texture and thickness and that the ingredients do not separate.
Dogs are highly likely to turn their noses up at wet pet food that tastes unpleasant, especially if products such as xanthan gum are not added.
Carrageenan and Guar Gum and starch components like Potato Starch and Tapioca Starch are other typical binding or thickening agents used in wet pet food.
A pet food business may choose Xanthan Gum over other alternatives because it’s an ingredient that can be easily supplied at scale and is relatively cost-effective. As companies compete to keep their prices low, the cost of ingredients has a significant impact on the cost of pet food.
Is Xanthan Gum Toxic Or Bad For Dogs?
Although there is conflicting research and opinion regarding the use of Xanthan Gum in pet food recipes, the typical reaction is that it’s unlikely to cause any visible health issues in most dogs or cats.
This reasoning is because the amount utilized in pet food recipes is minimal, likely less than 1% of the total content of a formula. Many additional compounds in considerably higher concentrations may create health concerns or unpleasant consequences.
However, we can say that the presence of Xanthan Gum in some pet foods may cause modest adverse effects such as loose stools or an upset stomach; however, it is difficult to say whether the Xanthan Gum was the direct cause of those types of symptoms.
Some in the business dislike Xanthan Gum as they believe it’s not a natural product. Mainly they thik so because it is synthesized artificially by combining bacteria and dense carbohydrates.
While this is correct, and in an ideal world, all ingredients in pet food would be natural, it makes a lot more sense if pet food manufacturers address several other issues about the state of some dog foods first.
Another point of contention is that the carbohydrates frequently blended with the Xanthomonas bacteria are derived from grain products like corn or wheat, which are problematic additions to pet food because of the high number of allergic reactions to these products.
How Much Xanthan Gum Is Toxic To Dogs
Cat and dog canned food can now contain xanthan gum after the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials ) gave prior permission to use xanthan gum. However, because it is not a natural chemical, you should always watch how your dog reacts to it.
Many studies have found that xanthan gum is safe for humans and animals when used in the recommended dosages. As a result, xanthan gum growth necessitates utilizing a medium that is frequently a carbohydrate such as corn, soy, dairy, or wheat, all of which can cause allergic reactions to dogs if fed in large quantities for an extended period.
So the bottom line is xanthan gum is not toxic to dogs providing it’s within allowable dosages, and your dog doesn’t have an allergy reaction with the grain-based carbohydrates. A sudden drop in blood sugar level can occur if a dog consumes too much of it; however, this is quite rare. One point to remember is that xanthan gum doesn’t taste particularly good, so your dog is unlikely to consume it.
For dog owners who are worried about Xanthan Gum and don’t want their dog to eat it, we recommend checking the ingredient list.
Can Xanthan Gum Kill Dogs?
As with the question above, a lot will depend on the amounts your dog consumes. I doubt it will do your dog any good if they were to consume massive quantities. You can buy xanthan gum from grocery stores along the baking aisle, typically near other products such as flour. In addition, you might find this product in amongst the gluten-free products.
Of course, if you buy xanthan gum this way and keep it at home, there’s always the risk your dog might get hold of the packet and overdose. It’s best to keep the product away from where your dog can reach.
Difference Between Xanthan Gum and Xylitol
The term “xanthan” is often confused with “xylitol,” which causes dog owners to worry about the safety of wet dog foods containing xanthan gum. Because xylitol is lethal to dogs, they frequently inquire whether there is anything in common between the two. Xanthan and xylitol are entirely different chemicals, and there is nothing in common between them.
Xylitol is a sugar substitute commonly found in gum, candy, and baked products. It is a natural sugar alternative; however, it is hazardous to dogs. When a dog consumes xylitol, his pancreas releases insulin quickly. Low blood sugar levels result from this rapid insulin release (hypoglycemia). As a result, the dog’s liver may fail, proving fatal.
Exactly how much xylitol is toxic to a dog? Doses as low as 50 mg/lb of bodyweight of xylitol may produce hypoglycemia in dogs (100 mg per kg).
After ingesting xylitol, poisoning symptoms can show within 15 to 30 minutes. Tremors, convulsions, and a coma are all possible symptoms, as are the dog’s acute weakness and lack of movement. If you believe your dog ingested xylitol and is exhibiting any of the above symptoms, contact your vet immediately. However, do not induce vomiting until your vet gives you the go-ahead.
What Are The Benefits Of Xanthan Gum in dogs – If Any?
Xanthan gum can lower blood sugar levels in diabetic dogs by slowing the rate at which glucose enters the body. In addition, excess sugars in the body convert to lipids, including cholesterol, when sugar levels are high. Hence, lowering blood sugar levels can help prevent the production of LDL cholesterol and the ensuing obstruction of arteries.
Fibers are abundant in xanthan gum, and consequently, it draws water and expands in the colon, causing the digestive tract to expel feces more easily. Xanthan gum, therefore, can alleviate symptoms of Constipation in dogs this way. In addition, it generates a gel-like substance in the stomach by absorbing water, resulting in a feeling of fullness. Having a full stomach will make the dog eat less, which aids in weight loss in obese dogs.
However, remember, consult your vet before feeding your dog xanthan gum to ensure you are giving the correct amount and you do not accidentally overdose your dog.
What Other Ingredients Should I Avoid Feeding My Dog?
Some find feeding their dog with unhealthy ingredients as a concern. Here is a short list of some you should avoid:
- Artificial flavors
- Artificial preservatives
- Meat meal
- Propylene glycol
- Sodium hexametaphosphate
- Corn syrup
- Fillers such as corn and rice when used excessively.
Xanthan gum is common in commercial dog foods because it is safe for dogs. However, because it’s not a naturally occurring ingredient, many dog owners may not think it is appropriate for their dog’s food. Dog food will continue to include xanthan gum. As an ingredient in wet food it does not damage the dog’s health in the amounts manufacturers add.