For example, some dogs may be allergic or sensitive to the coloring agents. We know that the use of these additives can cause excitability since coloring agents have also been linked to hyperactivity in children.
Food colors are chemicals – they are just chemicals that have been tested by the FDA to ensure they are ‘safe’ for human consumption. Colors are added to make food more appealing and marketable.
Since our dogs have limited color vision and lack photoreceptors in their eyes to ascertain shades of red and green, the color added to dog treats is to appeal to the dog owner and not the dog. Dogs will decide if something tastes good!
How about some natural alternatives? Here’s a photo of my Chicken & Cranberry Holiday Crunch (a special for the holiday season). The red color is totally natural and comes from the whole cranberries that are part of the recipe.
I recommend that you feed natural products whenever possible and avoid highly colored dog treats.
And remember that no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake should come from treats!
Kathleen Crisley, dog masseuse and nutrition adviser, Canine Catering Ltd