What is Xanthan Gum?Xanthan gum is a popular food additive that’s commonly added to foods as a thickener or stabilizer. It’s created when sugar is fermented by a type of bacteria called Xanthomonas campestris. When sugar is fermented, it creates a broth or goo-like substance, which is made solid by adding an alcohol. It is then dried and turned into a powder. When xanthan gum powder is added to a liquid, it quickly disperses and creates a viscous and stable solution. This makes it a great thickening, suspending and stabilizing agent for many products. It was discovered by scientists in 1963. Since then, it has been well researched and determined safe. Therefore, the FDA has approved it as a food additive and placed no limitations on the amount of xanthan gum a food can contain. Even though it’s made in a lab, it’s a soluble fiber. Soluble fibers are carbs that your body cannot breakdown. Instead, they absorb water and turn into a gel-like substance in your digestive system, which slows digestion. Therefore, your body is unable to digest xanthan gum, and it does not provide any calories or nutrients. Related: Xanthan Gum Recipes for Cooking & Baking
Is Xanthan Gum Safe for Dogs?As best we can tell, xanthan gum is safe for dogs. There haven’t been any wide-scale studies performed on its safety, but given how prevalent it is in dog foods, we’d likely know by now if it was causing serious problems. It can cause an upset stomach in massive doses, but it’s almost impossible to feed your dog enough to get to that point. You’d have to feed them so much food that the food itself would likely do more damage than the xanthan gum itself. It’s also worth noting that we only know about xanthan gum’s safety when it’s used as an additive in processed dog food. It might not be as safe if your dog eats pure xanthan gum. Fortunately, it doesn’t have a pleasant taste, so it’s extremely unlikely that your pooch would suddenly decide to down an entire bag of the stuff.
Should You Feed Your Dog a Food With Xanthan Gum in It?If you’ve been serving your pup food that has xanthan gum listed on the label, there’s no reason to panic. It almost certainly won’t have an adverse effect on their health. That said, it’s probably not doing much for them either, so if you feel like cutting it out of their diet, feel free. It’s purely a matter of preference. Regardless, this isn’t an issue that’s worth losing sleepover. Your dog won’t miss it if it’s gone, but they won’t react poorly to its inclusion in their chow. Of course, either way, your dog will likely try to convince you that your choices have led to them starving to death and that they need just one more bowl of food!
Why Is Xanthan Gum Controversial?There have been a few slight controversies surrounding the use of xanthan gum in dog food in recent years, but nothing major. Many of them are likely a case of mistaken identity, in fact. The biggest objection comes from proponents of natural diets. Xanthan gum is an additive, and many people believe that you should never serve your dog additives of any kind, as they’re not part of the animal’s natural diet. However, there’s little risk to your dog’s health from xanthan gum. On the flip side, though, there’s little benefit to feeding your dog xanthan gum too, so it’s purely a matter of personal preference. The other big issue came from people who confuse xanthan gum with xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used to replace sugar in “diet” products, and it’s extremely toxic to dogs. It can be lethal even in small amounts, as it leads to hypoglycemia and liver failure. Xanthan gum is not xylitol, and it has almost nothing in common with it beyond starting with the letter “x.” Read also our latest post: What You Need to Know About Pectin
Benefits of Xanthan GumCan dogs eat Xanthan Gum? Xanthan gum can have significant benefits, particularly for diabetic dogs. It can help lower the sugar levels in the blood as various researches have shown its effect on limiting the rate of glucose entering the blood. Moreover, the elevated sugar levels in the body convert the surplus amount into fats, including cholesterol. So, reduced sugar levels can prevent blockage of blood vessels and LDL cholesterol occurrence. Xanthan Gum also contains a sizable portion of fiber that attracts water molecules and enlarges in the colon. This encourages the digestive tract to push the waste matter through smoothly. So this means that Xanthan Gum can also help reduce the chances of constipation in animals. As Xanthan Gum transforms into a gel-like material when absorbed by water in the body, it creates a sense of fullness within the body. As a result, the dog will tend to eat less, resulting in reduced body weight.
Side Effects Associated with Usage of Xanthan in Dog FoodWhile there are no such disadvantages of using canned foods containing this thickening additive. That being said, if your dog devours Xanthan-containing foods in moderate dosage, he should be safe. However, complications occur when a pet consumes higher dosages. As most dogs consume this gummy-like material in their food, there is nothing to stress yourself about. Xanthan gum is usually not added to dog foods in higher amounts to prevent the risk of overconsumption. However, if a dog devours pure Xanthan gum, he would most probably suffer from the following complications:
- After ingesting excessive amounts of Xanthan Gum, most dogs are likely to experience loose stools, vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues.
- Excessive intake of this gummy-like substance can also cause a quick drop in blood sugar levels. However, this condition is rare.
- Some dogs may also have to face allergies once they overconsume Xanthan gum or eat its pure form somehow.
Final VerdictSo, what do you say, can dogs eat Xanthan Gum? Most pet owners prefer giving their dogs processed or canned foods as they constitute a convenient and nutritious option. However, such canned foods mostly contain Xanthan Gum. Whatsoever, it is all right to let your dog consume this gummy-like substance in short amounts. Still, some dogs may be gluten intolerant, which is why they could witness allergies. So, it would be best to go for home-cooked meals in such a case. Read Our Latest Posts
Great supplier. Quick response and fast delivery.
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I just wanted to share that I’ve bought Xanthan Gum from Ingreland three times now, and each time I’ve had the best experience with their service. They really go above and beyond to make sure their customers are happy! 👍👍👍👍
Was impressed how quickly ìt arrived…about 5 days earlier than estimated.