What is Guar Gum in Dog Food?

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If you have dogs, you probably feed them the dog food they prefer. You might even be looking at the labels to see what’s inside.

One of the ingredients you come across is guar gum and you might be curious as to what it is.

In this quick write-up, you’ll find out what it is and whether or not it’s good for dogs.

You may come across ingredients you might not even have heard of and always question if it’s healthy for dogs.

We don’t blame you for being the least bit concerned about your dog’s health. Or whatever they might be eating. 

If you want to know the details about guar gum and whether it’s necessary in dog foods, keep reading. Let’s get started.

What is Guar Gum?

Guar gum comes from legumes

Guar gum is defined as a food additive. It’s known to be found not only in dog food but also in foods consumed by humans.

It’s derived from legumes (also known as guar beans). You will usually find guar gum in many processed foods.

You’ll also be thinking to yourself that processed foods are usually a bad thing (and we won’t judge if you intend to steer clear of them).

Why is it in Dog Food?

Why is guar gum in Dog Food?

Guar gum is typically found in dog foods that are considered healthier than most.

Nine times out of ten, you can expect to find it in wet dog food as opposed to the dry version.

Typically, guar gum will be more of a minor ingredient. So small amounts of it are added to your dog’s food. It is believed to be added to preserve taste.

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Without guar gum, there’s a good chance that your dogs won’t be able to enjoy wet dog food.

In fact, they might find the food not so good in taste without it. If they enjoy eating the dog food you choose, chances are guar gum might be in it.

Related: Is Alfalfa Meal a Good Protein in Dog Food?

Is Guar Gum Good for Dogs?

Because it is water-soluble, guar gum[1] is usually good for dogs[2], especially if it’s used to improve the dog’s digestion of their food.

Due to the chemical makeup, it’s a necessary additive for many dog foods.

Guar gum, for the most part, can be suitable for dogs. However, there may be conflicting reports that say otherwise.

Let’s go further and answer the question of whether it’s actually bad for dogs.

Is Guar Gum Bad for Dogs?

Is Guar Gum Bad for Dogs?

Even though there are some potential side effects to guar gum, it is usually safe to consume.

Therefore, it’s not necessarily bad[3] for dogs (unless they have an adverse effect such as an allergic reaction or something similar).

Side effects will usually include nausea, diarrhea, and stomach pain.

While it sounds like all the side effects are gastrointestinal related, they won’t affect any other areas of your dog’s health.

But, at the end of the day, it’s important to use your better judgment.

If you are unsure about whether to feed your dog food that contains guar gum, no one will give you a better answer like your veterinarian.

Related: What is Crude Ash in Dog Food?

Sources of Guar Gum in Dog Food

As mentioned, guar gum is derived from legumes (or guar beans). There are no more additional sources other than that.

It is produced in the same way other natural gums are created and eventually added to different foods.

How Much Guar Gum Do Dogs Need?

How Much Guar Gum Do Dogs Need?

It’s unclear as to how much guar gum your dog may need. Keep in mind that there’s a small amount of it contained in dog food.

Therefore, whenever you are feeding your dog food that contains guar gum, it won’t be much.

The only time you might be giving your dog too much guar gum is if you are overfeeding your dog on a regular basis.

Be sure to stick to the usual once or twice daily schedule for your dog (or as directed by your vet if they are on a special diet for weight control).

Dog foods with Guar Gum

Believe it or not, more dog food brands seem to be shifting away from guar gum as of late.

Because of this, the question that needs to be asked is: are there any dog foods left that contain guar gum?

Let’s take a look at the following list:

  • Hill’s Science Diet: This is perhaps one of the brands recommended by vets (also check out these alternatives), especially if you are aiming for a much healthier lifestyle for your dog.
  • Blue Buffalo: Being one of the brands that use natural ingredients, they use small amounts of guar gum in their foods.
  • Rachel Ray Nutrish: A brand similar to Blue Buffalo that tends to use natural ingredients in their foods as well.

These three listed above are known to use trace amounts of guar gum even if they may not be listed in the ingredients themselves.

Dog Foods without Guar Gum

Next, let’s take a look at the foods that do not contain guar gum. Here’s a sample of what brands to consider:

Dog Foods without Guar Gum

Final Thoughts

We hope that you found this guide on guar gum in dog food to be really helpful.

Below, we’ll answer some of your frequently asked questions about guar gum and dog food.

Keep reading below to find out about our answers to these common questions.

FAQs

Here are a few other common questions people ask.

Is Guar Gum Safe for Dogs?

It is, for the most part. However, it does trigger minor side effects at times.

What are The Side Effects of Guar Gum?

The common side effects of guar gum include but are not limited to stomach pain and loose stools. Nausea may also occur as well.

Is Guar Gum A Natural Ingredient?

Since it is made from legumes, it is considered to be a natural ingredient.

What’s The Difference Between Guar Gum and Xanthan Gum?

One major difference is their origin. While guar gum comes from a native seed, xanthan gum is derived from Xanthomonas campestris. 

Resources 

  1. https://www.ramagum.com/why-guar-gum-is-most-superior-ingredient-in-dog-cat-cattle-and-other-pet-foods-rama-gum-industries-i-ltd/#:~:text=Guar%20gum%20powder%20has%20become,because%20of%20its%20chemical%20makeup.
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0034528898900017
  3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1439-0396.1997.tb00873.x

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