This post is written by our holistic veterinarian at "I and love and you", Dr. Angie Krause, DVM, CVA, CCRT.
The short answer is, probably not. In this article, I am going to tell you what xanthan gum is, why it is used in pet food and why it is so controversial. Here we go!
What is xanthan gum?
Xanthan gum is created when a naturally occurring bacteria, Xanthomonas campestris, is fermented using a carbohydrate source. This creates a gummy-like substance that is pasteurized to kill the bacteria. It is then filtered and dried to create a white powder.
Why is it my dog’s food?
Xanthan gum is a thickener and stabilizer. It is often added to canned foods to maintain thickness and keep ingredients from separating. It is considered safe for dogs and causes diarrhea at mega doses.
Should I avoid it?
No. Most dogs tolerate the small amount found in canned diets very well. Some very sensitive dogs may experience loose stools. I have never observed this in practice but it is theoretically possible.
Why is xanthan gum so controversial?
It has become controversial as it is technically a food additive. It is manufactured from a natural process but would not occur naturally. The carbohydrate/sugar that is used to create xanthan gum is often corn or wheat. While the corn or wheat is filtered, there may be trace amounts present in the final product.
Canned diets allow you a convenient way to feed your dog a balanced and tasty diet. If you would like to avoid food additives and processed foods, you can consider switching to a raw diet or preparing a home-cooked diet. You can find more information on how to create a balanced home-prepared diet for your dog here.
If you have any questions about xanthan gum in your dog’s diet, I would love to hear from you! Simply leave a comment below.