Is Xantham Gum Poisonous to Dogs?

Adrienne Farricelli

Whether xanthan gum is poisonous to dogs is something many dog owners may wonder about. Here's information about this.

If you are wondering whether xanthan gum is poisonous to dogs, most likely your dog ingested something containing this ingredient. Dogs as opportunistic beings tend to get into the oddest things and don't seem to worry at all whether it is something toxic to them or not. All it needs is to be tasty-well sometimes not even that. Regardless, if your dog ate something containing xanthan gum, you are likely worried and want a straight answer. If so, skip straight through the section "is xanthan gum poisonous to dogs?

What Exactly is Xanthan Gum?

Xanthan gum is employed as a thickening agent and is therefore found more and more lately in many products meant for human consumption such as salad dressings, sauces,egg substitutes and ice cream. It can also be found among the ingredients of toothpaste where it acts as a binder, making the product nicely uniform.

Xanthan gum has been in use since 1968 when it was approved to be used in food. It is considered to be a safe food additive in various countries including the USA, Canada and many European countries. It may appear in some food labels with the number E415.

What exactly is xanthan gum? The name is surely curious. It derives from the type of bacteria used during the fermentation process, more precisely, Xanthomonas campestris. Ina nutshell, xanthan gum is made by fermenting corn sugar with Xanthomonas compestris.

Is Xanthan Gum Poisonous to Dogs?

The straight answer is most likely not. In other words, if a dog eats something containing xanthan gum at the concentrations found in human foods, it is not considered harmful to dogs.

According to a study, four groups of 2 male and 2 female young adult beagle dogs were fed diets containing higher and lower levels of xanthan gum. In the high-dose group, dogs developed persistent diarrhea, while the low -dose group got occasional diarrhea. Liver and kidney function tests showed no impact on these organs.

Indeed, as proof that xanthan gum is not toxic to dogs, lately xanthan gum is also being added to some pet foods (particularly wet foods) and even to some toothpastes for dogs. Therefore, in 'normal' amounts, xanthan gum is not harmful to dogs.

Don't Confuse Xanthan Gum With Xylitol!

A whole different story is the artificial sweetener xylitol, which is known to be very toxic to dogs. If your dog ingested xylitol, consult with your vet at once. The word xanthan gum and xylitol may seem similar, but the two are like comparing apples to oranges when it comes toxicity!

References:

  • Jackson, N.N., Woodard, M.W., & Woodard, G. (sine data b). Xanthan gum acute oral toxicity to dogs. Unpublished report from Woodard Research Corporation, Herndon, VA, USA.
  • Woodard, G., Woodard, M.W., McNeely, W.H., Kovacs, P., & Cronin, M.T.I. (1973). Xanthan gum: safety evaluation by two-year feeding studies in rats and dogs and a three-generation reproduction study in rats. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol., 24, 30-36.
  • USDA (1964). Safety evaluation of polysaccharide B-1459 (xanthan gum) in laboratory animals - effects of feeding to dogs. Unpublished report from Western Regional Research Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture, Albany, CA, USA,
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