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Is Guar Gum Bad for Dogs?

Ingredient

Guar Gum


What is Guar Gum in Dog Food?

Guar Gum, also known as guaran is, made from legumes called guar beans that is edible and often acts as a thickening agent and additive. 


What it does

Guar Gum is frequently used as a food additive in processed foods. Guar gum is a water-soluble gum that reduces fat migration in pet food and can also aid the digestion of amino acids (this is why some wet dog food brands look thick and gelatinous from the can).


Why you should be aware of it in your dog’s food

  • Some guar gum can contain traces of soy protein (up to 10%) and could be problematic for some pets
  • Included in dog food typically to ensure that ingredients remain intact
  • High doses of guar gum or not drinking enough fluids can cause blockages in the esophagus and intestines


As mentioned previously, guar gum is a common ingredient seen in wet dog food due to its thickening properties. Guar gum ensures that ingredients in the food stay intact and look as fresh as possible. 


While there are many sources that say guar gum is safe for dogs, it could be just as dangerous as carrageenan. They’re known to cause gastric distress and inflammation when ingesting an excessive amount and could cause blockages.

Guar Gum on spoon


Why we’re featuring it

 At Kabo, our mission is to educate, advocate, and elevate the experience of pet parents. There are many pet food companies that still use guar gum in their wet dog food as a thickening agent or as a stabilizer to extend the shelf life of the food. Although it is technically edible, we’d like pet parents to be mindful of the effects of having too much guar gum in your dog’s diet. 


We support the work that certain brands are actively working towards moving away from stabilizing agents in their products, but there is so much misleading information out there that it can be hard for some consumers to differentiate. The typical amount found in processed foods is likely not going to cause issues for your dog, however if you’re looking for a fresh dog food alternative with no guar gum, we’ve got the perfect dog food alternative for you!


At Kabo, we’re huge supporters of feeding fresh. All our fresh recipes contain human-grade ingredients, are formulated to AAFCO standards, and you guessed it! Our fresh dog food recipes are guar gum free! Still have questions about guar gum? Let us know and we’ll do our best to help!

Guar gum sitting on wooden spoon
Guar gum sitting on wooden spoon

View Sources

“Guar Gum.” Guar Gum - an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics, 2019, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/guar-gum#:~:text=Guar%20gum%20is%20a%20polymer,to%20every%20second%20mannose%20unit. 

Mudgil, Deepak, et al. “Guar Gum: Processing, Properties and Food Applications-A Review.” Journal of Food Science and Technology, Springer India, Mar. 2014, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931889/. 

Tobacman, J K. “Review of Harmful Gastrointestinal Effects of Carrageenan in Animal Experiments.” Environmental Health Perspectives, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2001, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1242073/.

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