Can Artificial Coloring in Dog Food Affect the Color of Fur?

Artificial dyes offer no nutritional value to food, it just adds appeal to the consumer.

Artificial dyes offer no nutritional value to food, it just adds appeal to the consumer.

Artificial dyes are not known to cause drastic changes in the skin and coat color of dogs. If it triggers an allergic reaction, the skin could become inflamed and it could temporarily change color. While they may not dye the skin or coat, artificial dyes still offer no nutritional value to food and should be avoided by the discerning pet owner striving for quality food for their dog.

Allergic Reactions to Dyes

It is estimated that about 3 percent of dogs who eat food with an artificial dye will have an allergic reaction. Though this might not turn your dog's coat an unnatural color, it might cause inflammation, which can discolor the skin. In breeds with thin coats, it might appear that your dog's fur has turned colors when in fact it was just the skin underneath. Pink or red are normal colors for skin inflamed due to an allergic reaction, or a bluish tint is possible if your dog has been bruised.

Other Causes for Changes in Coat and Skin Color

Almost always, drastic changes to a dog's skin or fur color are due to an illness or condition. If you notice excess itching, scratching or redness try using a soothing shampoo and conditioner and look into any recent changes in your dog's diet, medication or grooming habits. An allergic reaction to anything from an ingredient in a new food to shampoo can cause excessive itching and irritation. If the problem continues, call your vet.

Why Artificial Coloring in Food?

Is it not uncommon for cheap dog foods to use dyes in their products, but in fact while many brands use them, they offer no nutritional value or benefit to the dog. In fact, their only purpose is to making the food more appealing to the consumers who buy them. Their only job is to give highly processed foods a more rich and meaty appearance, or add fun eye-catching colors to make you feel like your dog is getting a healthier product. If a product looks like bits and pieces of meat and delicious whole vegetables consumers are more likely to purchase a lower quality dog food.

The Dangers of Artificial Dyes in Foods

Although the dyes that are used in consumable products have been approved by the FDA, some scientists are calling into question the safety of even the most commonly used dyes, including Yellow No. 5. In humans, it could be linked to ADHD and other health conditions; its long-term effects on animals could be an issue as well. In the past, there were more than 80 dyes deemed safe for use in food products, now only seven remain. In the interest of keeping your pet safe, try to avoid foods that include artificial dyes. These foods are often higher quality and provide better nutrition.

 

About the Author

Based in Lexington, Ky., Christina Root has worked as a blogger, writer and freelance consultant since 2009. As a mother, animal lover, natural alternative medicine enthusiast and a student of all things, she loves learning and sharing with others.

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