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Agree or not, but dogs are one of the best things on Earth. With their adorable looks and matchless loyalty, they have earned this title.
No matter how much you train a dog in the end, they are still dependent on you. Be it feeding them, bathing, or taking care of their needs. They’ll do every possible thing for you, but these day-to-day activities make him depend on you.
Nowadays, the dog foods available in the market come in very fresh and bright colors. Have you ever wondered if these common items are safe for your friend? Scroll down the article and get your curiosity resolved.
What are food colorants?
Colorants or dyes are those pigments that are added to processed foods to make them more attractive and appealing. With the increase in food technology, food colors are getting incorporated into almost every food item. Bit safe or not, the food colors are present in almost every packaged food.
These pigments are so common that we don’t even consider them as a major ingredient. It is as if we are purposefully ignoring something that needs are our attention.
Usually, you’ll come across two different types of food dyes- artificial colorings and natural colorings.
What’s the difference between them both?
The difference is easy to spot. Let me explain it to you.
- Natural Food Colorings
The artificial is always a sample created by keeping the natural one in mind. But remember that the natural ones are always light and mild- in looks as well as in consumption. Hence, they don’t pose any threat or danger to you or your pet’s life.
Nature never goes out of style. With more than 1000 natural food products around the globe, you get access to these tummy-friendly dyes. The carotenoids and anthocyanins are amongst the most common ones.
Chlorophyll obtained from the leaves of plants is used to give items shades of green and yellows. Certain dark-colored plants like berries and grapes give rise to purple and blue-colored anthocyanins.
Often a special type of safe insect is crushed to get a specific color. And of course, it’s safe. It’s in your lipstick as well. So, your dog won’t face any problems.
- Artificial Food Colorings
As we all are a bit more inclined towards unhealthy items, the same is the case for the commercial markets and industries. Artificial are prioritized over the natural ones as they are light on the pocket and give some crazy results with just a small dose.
These dyes give fresher and brighter colors to the food items, making them look appealing and different. With the first dye being made from coal tar, the majority following dyes were found to be toxic and extremely harmful for consumption.
Safety is a must, and it’s hard to ensure. For this, the Food and Drug Administration and the European Food Safety Authority do all the testing and experiments in their domains.
Artificial dyes being safe or not is a controversial topic, so I’ll get back on it. Meanwhile, go through this list of petroleum-based artificial food colorings that are deemed safe by the FDA and the EFSA.
- Red No. 3 (Erythrosine
- Red No. 40 (Allura Red)
- Yellow No. 5 (Tartrazine)
- Yellow No. 6 (Sunset Yellow
- Blue No. 1 (Brilliant Blue)
- Blue No. 2 (Indigo Carmine)
Artificial Dyes in Dog Foods
There is no such thing as a separate dog food color. Our little pets use the same coloring items as we do. Though they might be safe for using it, that’s not entirely the case for dogs. Depending upon how you feed and take care of the tour dog, its immunity levels vary. What goes well for another dog might not be the case for your little ones.
Hence, it’s better to avoid them in the first place.
- Yellow No.5
So, what this particular dye does is that though your product gets yellowish, it also leads to hyperactivity and insomnia. It can affect your dog’s breathing channel, trigger some neural and asthma issues. Allergic reactions are a given.
- Yellow No.6
With the major symptoms the same as the above one, it can also lead to kidney disorders and hormonal issues. Skin issues are also observed in dogs affected by this dye.
- Blue No.2
This color starts its work with allergic reactions and goes on, causing abnormal development of the brain cells and tissues. Instead of using something neutral, you are giving it toxic things. Next time before you buy your dog a treat, check if it is a treat or a stab at your back.
Can dogs eat food coloring?
Even after knowing everything, we can’t come up with a definite answer and say NO.
These food colorants are approved by the FDA and drug authorities. That’s why the industries are using it and hence will ultimately reach your doggie. The colorings make dog treats look more superior than they are.
With over 3 to 4% of the American dogs experiencing allergen reactions, we can not close this case as it’s a myth. We need more factual evidence for that.
The Ultimate Solution
We don’t know if the yellow color is as dangerous as blue. But what we do know is that nothing beats the natural stuff. Therefore, switch to natural and organic diets. When humans are doing it, why can’t the dogs? Why bother using colored treats when those adorable little ones can’t even distinguish them.
- Switch to natural colorings
Look for natural fruits and vegetable-based products. In this way, you can add that extra punch to the dog treat and make them safe as well. If not available, then you can use the standard human colors and make them their treats. A dog will always love the food you make him.
DIY is a new trend all around the globe. You can watch YouTube tutorials and read blogs and books on this very topic and switch to non-commercial dyes. I recommend you give it a try.
You could use strawberry for red and pink colors, turmeric for orange and yellow, veggies for the green color, and berries for blue and purple shades.
- Look for fortified food.
Make sure that the food you are creating is fresh and holds enough nutrients to energize him. This energy will come in handy as it will improve his immunity and complete its required vitamins and minerals content.
Though such items may be pricey, investing in such items is necessary as your dog’s life depends on it.
With this, my take on this dog topic has ended. I can’t say for sure if dyes are harmful or not because I have no prominent facts or figures to back my statement.
Hence, I would suggest you all minimize the use of artificially colored dog treats. Switch to natural options and feed him healthily. That seems the only possible way to naturally improve your dog’s strength and immunity.
What’s banned in one region is loved by the other. Hence, we’re stuck in the between. In the end, it all depends on your dog, whether the food items suit his palate or not. If your fellow encounters any danger, be sure to take him to the vet ASAP.
I’ve tried to express all my opinions and solution in this article entitled, “Will food coloring hurt my dog?” Do let me if your pet experienced any such issues.
Till then, Happy Pet Life!