Little is known about the effects of gelling agents in canned dog food on nutrient digestibilities and fecal characteristics. Dogs were fed canned diets with either no gelling agent (control) or one of three gelling agents, wheat starch, a guar gum/carrageenan mixture (50:50), and a locust bean meal (LBM)/carrageenan mixture (50:50) incorporated at two levels (0.2 and 0.5% of the diet on a wet weight basis). Six dogs were fed each diet in a 6 × 7 Youden square design. Dogs fed diets containing gelling agents had higher ileal digestibilities of OM (P = 0.05), fat (P < 0.01), GE (P = 0.02), and total amino acids (P = 0.04) and lower (P < 0.01) total tract DM digestibilities when compared to dogs fed the control diet. Fecal output by dogs fed the control diet, expressed on both an as-is (73.4 g/d) and DM (45.6 g/d) basis, was lower (P < 0.01) than for dogs fed gelling agent-containing diets (mean 102.3 g/d as-is and 57.6 g/d DM). Dogs fed the control diet also had lower (P < 0.01) fecal DM percentages and higher (P = 0.02) fecal scores than dogs fed gelling agent-containing diets. © 2002 Taylor & Francis Ltd.