Which synthetic and natural dyes are considered safe for pets?

Which synthetic and natural dyes are considered safe for pets?

A good quality and nutritious diet is essential for the health and well-being of our pets. Today, most dogs and cats are fed dry or wet food, and synthetic additives are included in these foods to ensure effects such as reducing oxidative processes and microbiological growth and maintaining desirable characteristics of color, taste, texture, stability, resistance to deterioration, among others.

The consumption of food additives has increased considerably in recent decades by us humans and our pets. These additives are often suspected of causing health problems in pets, but there are few studies that support or refute these suspicions.

Synthetic dyes are an example of an additive used, mainly, in dry and wet feed (cans and sachets) of lower cost, such as food from the economic segment and part of the products premium, with the main function of attracting the tutor, since for the animals the use of dyes does not influence the acceptance of food. already in the category super premium most manufacturers choose not to use synthetic dyes, given the objective of providing superior quality products, in addition to the fact that they serve an audience of tutors that increasingly seek companies that minimize the use of additives and opt for natural versions, considered by them as safer and healthier.

Synthetic dyes have already been linked to some problems in humans, such as increased intestinal inflammation. For this reason, some of these additives have had their use restricted by the US FDA or the European Union. In animals, data are scarcer, with a report of an association between coloring agents and erythema multiforme in dogs and cats, although it has not been proven.

There are several synthetic and natural dyes, but so far only three are considered harmful to human or animal health with scientific evidence to support this risk. These are tartrazine, caramel colors and titanium dioxide.

To read the full article, access the September 2022 issue of 277.

Below are the references used by the authors.

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