Is Xanthan Gum Safe For Dogs? Dog owners need to know that all foods, spices, and ingredients to a diet of their dog can be neutral, beneficial, or toxic to a dog. For instance, zucchini is beneficial. Garlic is poison for dogs. Dogs’ xanthan gum is a bit different. Now is the time to explain what this is and how it will affect your dog. No, this is not some gum product you can buy anywhere where you like.
Xanthan Gum: What Is It?
The first thing we must do is to explain the topic here. As you know by now, this is not gum or anything similar. Dogs xanthan gum is an additive. It comes from the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris. It is fermented, in order to create a gummy-like compound. The substance is then pasteurized which will kill the bacteria. The last step is to dry and filter the compound. It will be a white powder at this stage.
The powder is then added to the dog food. Most canned foods do contain this powder. It is not there for taste or aroma. The ingredient is basically an additive. A manufacturer will add it to make the food look more appealing to you, not your dog! That food will look better, more ‘’polish’’ and more expensive in general.
Here is one thing that you must know at this point. Dogs don’t care about what their food looks like. They will use senses for taste and smell in order to determine if food is good, beneficial or to avoid. As such, Xanthan Gum doesn’t really have an effect on dogs. It is completely irrelevant. We can also add that this additive doesn’t have any health benefits or nutritional values to a dog. It is neutral. ON the other hand, if a dog owner thinks that the food looks better, he will believe that it is healthier hence he will purchase the same food the next time.
Xanthan Gum Is Safe For Dogs
There are countless studies or anything similar that will provide precise percentages, details and so much more about xanthan gum and the effect on dogs. We do know that it is safe for dogs. There are no incidents anywhere in the world that will suggest otherwise. Due to the popularity of this additive, we would know about those issues by now. The bottom line is that the additive is safe for dogs but there are no definite ways we can confirm that at this point.
One issue that is theoretically possible is an upset stomach. A dog would have to eat so much food with xanthan gum that at that stage, the food itself would cause the problem and not the additive. Honestly, this is not something you should worry about. It is almost impossible in real life.
What about pure xanthan gum? First of all, it is hard to find it anywhere. Even if you do find it, it has a bad taste so your pet will likely refuse to eat it, which is good. If you have xanthan gum in raw form and your pet likes the taste which is improbable, don’t allow him to eat it.
Too much of any food or any addition can be a problem. Your pet will end up with an upset stomach. This problem will last for a couple of days and it will disappear after that. In some cases, medical attention may be the only solution.
Xanthan Gum Issue Is Controversial
You may know that there are some people who believe that xanthan gum is bad and it must not be present in any dog diet. There are two reasons for that. The first one is that this is an additive. It doesn’t have any health or nutritional benefits to dogs hence a pet will not need it in the food.
Many dog owners like all-natural foods and the ones that contain xanthan gum are obviously not. This is the main cause of controversy and the fact that some people just refuse to get food with xanthan gum.
The second is due to simple confusion. Xanthan gum sounds like xylitol. The latter is actually an artificial sweetener and is found in our food. It is toxic for dogs and it is one of those ingredients you will never want to see in dog food. Because many people are not vets or doctors, they can confuse these two terms, despite the fact they are completely different things. Xylitol can cause liver failure and hypoglycemia in dogs. Even small amounts are problematic!
The bottom line here is simple. The two artificial compounds here are not the same and xanthan gum is not toxic to dogs nor does it cause any health issues even if your pet eats the food with this compound for decades.
Should you Buy Dog Food With Xanthan Gum
It is up to you. xanthan gum will not provide any health benefits. It is a neutral type of ingredient. It will not cause any health issues either which makes it safe for dogs. For those of you who have been purchasing dog food with the additive, you can continue doing that. There are no reasons to stop. Those of you who don’t like artificial additives to the food can stop getting the food that has xanthan gum on the label. It is up to you.
The best thing here is that your dog will not notice. If you switch to different food without xanthan gum, he will eat normally (if he likes the food). The dogs don’t notice nor care about xanthan gum. You shouldn’t care either.
The Final Word
It is an interesting thing to know. Dogs xanthan gum is safe and neutral for dogs. It will not provide health benefits or nutrients but it will make the food look better so you will like that brand more. If you want, you can continue getting him this type of food. If you don’t like additives, get different foods. The choice is up to you and both are right and safe.