What is agar?
This is a jelly-like substance that comes from red seaweeds and contains gelatin.
It is used as a thickener when making stews by humans. It can also be used to grow various types of bacteria in the lab.
So can dogs eat agar? Is it safe for them or does it serve as a toxic substance in their bodies? In recent studies, it has been proved that agar is safe for use in food and is usually an ingredient in some canned dog foods. This is indicated, of course, if the owner of the dog does not want their dog eating agar especially for dogs that may have an allergic reaction to agar.
Below is all you need to know about agar and how safe it is for your dog. This may not apply to dog breeds that may have allergies to the constituents of agar.
Is agar healthy?
Agar is considered healthy for both dogs and humans.
This is because, unlike other carbohydrates which take a lot of time passing through the digestive tract, agar passes through the digestive system very fast thus not even giving the digestive system time to store agar as fat.
This reduces the amount of fat that would be stored in the body.
Is agar safe for dogs?
Yes. Dogs can eat agar. Agar has undergone several tests that have passed it as safe for dogs’ consumption.
Of course, everything has to be consumed in moderation so if your dog consumes the agar in moderation, there is nothing to worry about.
What is agar made of?
This is a substance that is made from either red or purple seaweed. It has very remarkable gelling and thickening properties.
It is usually used as a substitute for gelatin.
This means it is preferred by people who would rather have plant-based food such as vegetarians rather than animal-based food.
One of the other reasons why agar is preferred to gelatin is because of what gelatin is made of.
Gelatin is an animal-based product but once you dig deeper, it is made from animal by-products.
This technically means the products that remain after other products are manufactured in the factory.
Whereas agar is manufactured from seaweed making it safer than gelatin.
Apart from gelatin being an animal by-product and agar being plant-based, another difference between the two food constituents would be; when agar I used in recipes, it sets a bit more firmly making recipes less shaky and more firm as compared to if gelatin was used for the same recipe.
How is it made?
As mentioned above, the agar is made from red or purple seaweed.
It is a mixture of carbohydrates from the red seaweed.
Processed agar is supposed to be odorless, colorless, and without flavor.
It is found in three types of physical forms.
It could either be sold or used in either powder form, flakes, or bars.
The powder is the most common of there to use agar while bars require a bit more effort than both flakes and powder.
When using the powder form of agar, it is important to note that powder dissolves very fast into the mixture being cooked.
When it comes to the bars; they are a bit difficult to work with them at this time.
They are usually put in a food processor, then blended into the necessary size where they could be used as flakes.
Flakes are also common and slightly easier to use than bars.
When using the agar in flake form, it is advisable to leave it in some water for it to dissolve to be able to use it similar to the way we use powder.
What are its main constituents?
it is mainly plant-based and is processed from red seaweed.
It is important to note that it has no calories, no sugar, no carbs, and no fat at all.
Agar usually has little to no preservatives. In most cases, it usually also has no additives such as; corn, soy milk, eggs, yeast, gluten, and starch.
What are the other uses of agar apart from being an ingredient in dog food?
Agar has a couple of more used other uses other than being dog food.
Agar is especially used in cooking and cutlery but can be found in many places and is normally sold in the majority of the markets nowadays.
Apart from being dog food, agar:
- It is normally used in the hospitality sectors as a substitute for gelatin because of its many positive and beneficiary factors as compared to gelatin.
Why is agar preferred to gelatin?
- Agar is preferred because it is organic and plant-based, unlike gelatin which comes from animal by-products.
- Agar is also a healthier option; this is because it has more health benefits as compared to gelatin.
- Agar is usually also referred to as gelatin because it has close to no additives in it thus helps people who react to most of the additives in gelatin switch to agar.
- It is used when making soups to thicken them.
- Agar is also used to make most types of desserts such as ice cream.
What are the health benefits of agar?
Agar has quite several health benefits that benefit both human beings and your dog as well.
Here are some of them discussed below:
1. Agar is a very good source of fiber in your body and also your dog’s body as well.
It helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract while preventing constipation and other health-related problems which are caused by the lack of fiber in the body.
2. Agar is also known to help with digestion.
3. It helps in detoxifying the body while being a mild laxative.
4. Agar helps the body to absorb bile which in turn helps the body to dissolve more molecules needed by the body.
5. helps improve respiration in the body which in turn ensures all parts of the body get the right energy they require.
6. Agar also helps reduce inflammation in the body.
7. Agar also inhibits the body from storing unnecessary fat.
This is because when consumed, it goes through the body’s digestive system very fast to prevent it from being stored as fat in the body.
Agar is safe for you and your dog to consume.
All you have to ensure is that it is regulated and your dog does not have or develop allergies to the agar.