Can Dogs Eat Xanthan Gum? Well, We all know about food additives, right? Let’s rewind to around 1500 BC, when Egyptians first introduced food additives in spices or salt to keep their food fresh.
Back then, folks were just like us, trying to find ways to preserve and maintain the freshness of their food. It is important to mention that food additives are not really there to make the food taste better or more attractive.
If you have ever checked the ingredient list on your dog’s food or treats, you might have seen “xanthan gum” listed. It is a common ingredient in many pet foods, but what is xanthan gum for dogs, and is it good or bad for your furry friend? People have raised concerns about its safety in dog food, although it is generally considered safe for us humans. In this write-up, we will cover everything you need to know about xanthan gum in dog food and treats.
What is Xanthan Gum?
Xanthan Gum is a common food additive, primarily used as a standard thickening agent. Most people often perceive it as chewing gum due to its confusing name. However, it is nothing like that!
This additive is mainly made from a carbohydrate source and is fermented naturally using a bacteria called Xanthomonas campestris. To precipitate Xanthan Gum from the fermentation bouillon, isopropyl alcohol is used.
The suspending leftover is then filtered and dried to get a white powder, commonly known as Xanthan Gum, which has its application in several processed and canned foods, particularly for dogs.
Is Xanthan Gum Safe for Dogs?
A lot of dog foods you buy have Xanthan Gum inside. If it was bad for dogs, they would stop it by now. But, whether you should give your dog foods with Xanthan Gum is a big talk.
Talking about food stuff, Xanthan Gum does not give any special stuff like nutrients or calories. But, you gotta know, one big spoon of Xanthan Gum has about seven grams of fiber that can’t be digested.
This fiber sucks up water in the belly and becomes a jelly thing. This jelly thing messes up how dogs digest.
Here are some things to worry about after your dog eats Xantham Gum:
One of the big worries about giving xanthan gum to dogs is that it might mess up their stomach. Xanthan gum can really suck up water, and that can cause problems in their stomach.
This gum can make a jelly-like thing, and that might make dogs throw up or have diarrhea. It is something to think about if you are giving your dog xanthan gum.
Yet another worry is when the gum is dry, it can be a danger for dogs. This is especially true for dogs that just swallow their food without chewing it well. Choking is a serious danger and can be really bad, even life-threatening.
Just like people, dogs can get allergies. Some dogs might be allergic to xanthan gum, causing itching, skin problems, or other allergic reactions. Finding these allergies can be hard, and you might not notice them until a bad reaction happens.
Controversies Associated with the Use of Xanthan Gum by Dogs
There is a lot of talk about this. Like locust bean gum and guar gum, dietitians who focus on gluten-free stuff also use Xanthan Gum.
This makes Xanthan Gum okay for dogs with Celiac disease (which messes up the intestines a lot) because they can not eat foods with gluten. Brands that use Xanthan Gum say this to support what they are saying.
But, even though fermentation happens on its own, lots of other things like soy, corn, wheat, alcohol, dairy, and other chemicals used in making Xanthan Gum can be not good for dogs.
So, many people against it think that dog foods with Xanthan Gum in them should be skipped because super-processed foods might not be good for a dog’s health.
Why Is Xanthan Gum Controversial?
There have been a few small debates about using xanthan gum in dog food lately, but nothing too serious. Actually, many of them seem to be a bit mixed up. The biggest problem is from people who like natural diets. Xanthan gum is an addition, and some folks think you should never give your dog any additions because they are not part of what the animal eats naturally. But, xanthan gum does not really put your dog’s health at big risk. On the other hand, it does not really help your dog much either. So, it is just up to what you like.
The other problem came from folks who mixed up xanthan gum with xylitol. Xylitol is a fake sugar used in “diet” stuff, and it’s super bad for dogs. Even a little bit can be really bad, causing low blood sugar and liver problems. But, xanthan gum is not xylitol, and they do not have much in common except for starting with the letter “x.”
Why Do Commercial Dog Foods Contain Xanthan Gum?
Without a doubt, Xanthan Gum is a big part of many pet foods, broths, sauces, milk substitutes, and other liquid diets. It is used in these liquid things to stop the things in the food from coming out of the liquid.
Also, it helps make can dog foods more stable, thick, and mixed together. This makes them creamy by mixing all the food stuff.
Should You Feed Your Dog Food With Xanthan Gum in It?
If you have been giving your dog food that has xanthan gum on the label, do not get worried. It probably will not make them sick. But, it is also not doing a lot for them, so if you want to stop giving it to them, go ahead. It is just what you like. But, do not stress about it. Your dog will not be sad if it is not there, and they will not have a bad reaction if it is. Either way, your dog will probably try to make you think your choices mean they are starving and they need just one more bowl of food!
Benefits of Xanthan Gum
Xanthan gum can be really good, especially for dogs with diabetes. It can help bring down the sugar levels in their blood, and studies show that giving dogs Xanthan Gum slows down how fast glucose gets into their blood.
Also, when the sugar levels in the body are too high, it turns the extra into fats, including cholesterol. So, having less sugar can stop blood vessels from getting blocked and prevent LDL cholesterol from happening.
Xanthan Gum also has a good amount of fiber that brings in water molecules and makes the colon bigger. This helps the digestive tract push waste through smoothly. This means that giving dogs Xanthan Gum can also lower the chances of them getting constipated.
Since Xanthan Gum turns into a jelly thing when it gets water in the body, it makes the body feel full. So, the dog will probably eat less, and that can make them lose weight.
Here are more good things about giving dogs Xanthan Gum:
A big plus of xanthan gum in dog food is that it can make the texture better. The thickening stuff in xanthan gum can make the food look better for dogs that are picky eaters. This can make them more likely to eat the food. For dogs with tooth problems or no teeth, having softer and smoother food can make eating easier and more fun.
How much a dog likes their food is really important. Xanthan gum can make the taste and feel of dog food better. This can be really helpful for dogs that are picky eaters or changing their diet. It makes the food more appealing and lowers the chance of the dog not wanting to eat it.
Feeding xanthan gum to dogs has another good thing – it does not have gluten. Some dogs can not handle gluten, and it is hard to find food that’s okay for them. Xanthan gum helps make pet foods without gluten, so dogs with this problem can get food that’s good for them and safe.
Xanthan gum might help make certain dog foods easier to digest. The jelly stuff it makes can slow down how fast food goes through the stomach, and that could help the body take in more nutrients. This can be really good for dogs with stomach problems or issues with digestion.
Stabilization of Food Products
Beyond using Xantham gum in dog food, it is also used in making treats and chewable stuff for pets. It helps keep these things good for a long time by making sure they stay stable and fresh. This is good for people with pets who want treats and supplements that last a long time on the shelf.
Side Effects Associated with Usage of Xanthan in Dog Food
Using canned foods with this thickening addition does not really have downsides. If your dog eats foods with Xanthan gum in a normal amount, it is fine. But, if your pet eats too much, it can cause problems. That is why popular packaged foods like Purina Bella Dog Food do not have any Xantham gum in them.
Since most dogs eat this gummy stuff in their food, there is usually nothing to worry about. Dog foods do not usually have a lot of Xanthan gum to stop dogs from eating too much. But, if a dog eats a lot of it, they might have these problems:
- Loose stools, throwing up, diarrhea, and other stomach issues.
- Eating too much of this gummy stuff can also make the dog’s blood sugar drop, but this is rare.
- Some dogs might get allergies if they eat too much Xanthan gum or somehow eat it by itself.
FAQs Related to Can Dogs Eat Xanthan Gum!
Can xanthan gum be fatal to dogs?
Xanthan gum usually will not kill dogs, but it can make them really sick, especially if they eat a lot. It is better not to give xanthan gum to your dog.
Are there any safe alternatives to xanthan gum for dogs?
Yes, there are safe options instead of xanthan gum, like natural thickeners such as tapioca or potato starch. These options are less likely to give dogs stomach problems.
Can small amounts of xanthan gum be given to dogs?
It is better not to give dogs any xanthan gum at all. Even a little bit can make their stomach feel bad.
So, can dogs have Xanthan gum? Many people like giving their dogs canned foods because they are easy and healthy. But, these canned foods usually have Xanthan gum. It is okay for your dog to eat this gummy stuff in small amounts.
But, some dogs might not handle gluten well, and they could get allergies. In that case, it might be better to make food at home for them.