LUV My dogs: coloring

LUV My dogs

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Showing posts with label coloring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coloring. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Artificial Coloring in Dog Food

Artificial Coloring in Dog Food
  The pet food industry discovered long ago that consumers are instantly attracted… like flies to honey… to any product labeled “natural”.  They know that just adding the word “natural” to a product’s name can significantly boost sales.
And that makes unwary shoppers easy targets for profit-hungry dog food companies.
  Dog owners want to make sure that their dogs get the best food possible. Artificial colorings are used in many dog foods, and understanding more about them can help you make decisions on your dog's nutrition and health.
  Of course you want the best for your four-legged friend, but it can be hard to tell the good food from the bad. Generally speaking, dog food with artificial coloring is low quality. Most high-quality dog food manufacturer's don't feel the need to try and trick you with colorful gimmicks.




History of Color in Food Products
  According to a Forbes magazine article, adding color to food for humans and animals has been done for centuries. At the beginning of the 20th century, concern regarding the presence of toxic mercury, copper and arsenic in natural-based colorings prompted scientists to develop synthetic alternatives. By 1906, when the Pure Foods and Drug Act was passed, there were more than 80 different colorings being used in human and animal foods. The next three decades saw research into the effects of those colorings eliminating the ones deemed unsafe, thus narrowing the field to only 15 allowed colors by 1938. As of 2012 that list has been pared to only seven artificial colorings that many consumer advocates still lobby against. Forbes indicates that Yellow No. 5 - an approved yet controversial artificial coloring commonly used in dog foods - is being further tested for links to hyperactivity and cancer in human children.

Federal Veterinary Regulation of Food Color
According to the Veterinarian Newsletter produced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a series of federal agencies regulate the addition of artificial food coloring to animal foods, including products marketed for dogs. Any proposed additions of new colors must first be approved by the Labeling and Compounds Review Division housed with the Department of Agriculture. Although only seven colors are currently allowed, manufacturers regularly apply to increase that number in an effort to market different products. The FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition administers the 1960 Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act currently governing the use of artificial colorings in a variety of products, including dog food. Staff from this center for food safety work in conjunction with veterinarians and animal scientists with the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine to ensure the safety of animal food products and accurate labeling of ingredients contained.

Function
  Artificial coloring is meant to make dog food look more appealing to the human purchasing the food. Gray, dull food looks unappetizing to humans, and the use of artificial coloring is used to make dog food appear more attractive. While natural substances like caramel coloring are harmless, they are unnecessary and generally only serve to make a food look more appealing and uniform to the human eye by hiding the gray color of poor quality rendered products, concealing visible variations in ingredients, or attempting to make a food look like it contains more meat by adding red dye.

Types
  Several dyes are commonly used in dog food. Blue 1 is a synthetic that was originally derived from coal tar, while blue 2 is derived from heating indigo paste. Red 40 is similar to Blue 1 in that it was once derived from coal tar. Yellow 5 and yellow 6 are also commonly found in dog food. TiO2 is a non toxic white powder used as an opaque pigment and dough conditioner.
Basically, there are three kinds of artificial ingredients…
  • Artificial flavoring
  • Artificial coloring
  • Artificial preservatives
The first type, artificial flavoring, is rarely used to make dog food.  So, flavoring isn’t really an issue.
The second type, artificial color, is of absolutely no interest to a dog.  Do you really think a dog cares that his food is dark red… or forest green?
No… of course not.
Artificial colors are only added to a dog food for one sinister reason… to scam us humans into believing our dogs will be stupid enough to see the colored shapes as real pieces of meat… or fresh garden vegetables.
Hey, don’t fall for that trick.  Avoid buying multicolored kibble like the one you see in the photo.
And always remember… colors and shapes are never put there to satisfy your dog.  They’re added to deceive you… to mislead you into thinking you’re buying a higher quality product.
By now, I hope you’re beginning to see why you must be especially vigilant when considering the purchase of “natural” dog food.
We’ve talked about why so many companies use the word “natural” to market their products.  And we’ve covered two of the three kinds of artificial additives… flavorings and colorings.

What Colors are Allowed
  According to the FDA, seven artificial colorings are allowed in a category known as "Foods Generally," which does include dog food. The colors are: Blue No. 1, Blue No. 2, Green No. 3, Red No. 3, Red No. 40, Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6. The Dog Food Guide lists suspected health problems linked to four of these colors that scientists are still studying. Blue No. 2, for instance, may be connected with a dog experiencing increased sensitivity to various common viruses, while Yellow No. 5 could be the potential culprit for the onset of allergic reactions and Yellow No. 6 might be a contributor to increased risk of cancer in the kidneys and adrenal gland.

Safety
In humans, artificial colors have been linked to allergies, behavioral problems and even cancer. Over the years the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned the use of many different colors in human foods. Even though the most dangerous artificial colors can no longer be used, some of those still used in both human and pet food, like Red No. 40, have been linked to cancer. Others can make your dog more vulnerable to viral illness. It is not proven that feeding your dog a kibble with artificial dye will cause him problems, and these foods are generally considered safe. However, it's smart to compare the risk against the benefit, and artificial coloring offers no benefit to your dog.

Read the Labels
In an effort to inform consumers regarding the potential risks of a variety of ingredients - artificial food coloring included - that are used in the production of dog foods, the Dog Food Project maintains a lengthy online list detailing why each item on the list is potentially hazardous to your pup. It is recommended that human companions thoroughly scan the ingredients listed on their pup's food bag if they have concerns regarding its safety.

Considerations
The pet food industry is not regulated as much as the people food industry. Many things are added to dog food that would never be acceptable in human products. Labels like "natural" and "organic" are used rather loosely when it comes to dog food. Just because the package says it's natural doesn't mean that every ingredient is actually natural. When considering whether or not to give your dog a food that contains artificial coloring, consider the whole picture -- what else does the food contain? Consider the value of all the ingredients and choose the healthiest food you can afford.

Colors Perceived by Dogs
Dyes are an unnecessary ingredient in dog food, according to The Dog Food Project, since dogs do not care about the color of their food. While dogs are not truly colorblind, according to Dog Time, the spectrum of colors dogs see is limited, compared with that perceived by humans. Reds, greens, and oranges are not distinguishable to dogs.

Effects
While one of the most-tested and widely used food dyes, the key mouse tests on FD&C Red No. 40, were inconclusive.However, according to an FDA review committee, evidence of harm was not consistent or substantial.
The second most widely used coloring, FD&C Yellow No. 5, can cause mild allergic reactions.
FD&C Yellow No. 6, the third most widely used dye, causes tumors of the adrenal gland and kidney. In addition, small amounts of several carcinogens contaminate Yellow 6. Yellow 6 may also cause occasional allergic reactions.
The largest study suggested, but did not prove, that FD&C Blue No. 2 caused brain tumors in male mice. The FDA concluded that there is "reasonable certainty of no harm."

Alternatives
  Making your own dog food with lean cuts of meat and fresh vegetables is one way to avoid artificial coloring. But it's time-consuming and expensive. Many manufacturers of high-quality dog food don't add artificial dyes because of the risks they carry. The best dog food will usually be a natural brown or gray color, without anything added to appeal to the human eye. The focus instead is on nutrition. Many of these dog foods contain real meat and no byproducts or fillers. They are very healthy for your dog, but also expensive. There are also a number of manufacturers who have realized that consumers no longer want fake colors added to their dog's food. You can't always trust the advertising on the front of the bag, so check the ingredient list to find a food that doesn't contain artificial coloring.

Read: What Is The Best Dog Food?


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Monday, April 28, 2014

What Is The Best Dog Food?

What Is The Best Dog Food?
  Every day veterinarians are asked that question by dog owners. It's a sincere question because most dog owners want to feed the very best to their furry friends. Good health begins with proper nutrition, regardless of price or convenience of acquisition.
  Deciding on the type of dog food you provide is one of the most important decisions you will ever make for your puppy or older dog. Dog food nutrition directly influences every aspect of your dog's life. Things like how puppies grow, their behavior habits, health, overall well-being and appearance are all closely connected to the nutrition we provide - it's a big responsibility.
  With all the recent publicity and concern with the dog food recall of 2008 the spotlight has been aimed fairly and squarely at the big commercial dog food companies. Us dog lovers are finally becoming more aware and educated about providing wholesome, nutritionally balanced meals for our dogs. So where do we start in our search to find the best dog food? What are our options, and who can we trust or even believe?
  Choosing the best dog food can be an overwhelming decision - but why does it have to be so hard? I know from personal experience it can be difficult to see through all of the conflicting views, hype, marketing tactics and secrecy surrounding the dog food industry. After years of experimenting with different dog foods and lots of research I have reached an unfortunate conclusion. I feel that the vast majority of the big commercial dog food companies are far more focussed on extracting the money from our pockets rather than the health and wellbeing of our precious dogs.
  So when I set out to determine the best dog food available my main focus was always the health, vitality and longevity of my dogs - I want my dogs to thrive. I hope this article will help you to determine the very best puppy food for your dogs and make your feeding decision clearer.
  A wholesome well balanced dog food diet promotes: Healthy skin and coat, strong well developed bones, bright clear eyes, firmer stools (and less of them), well defined muscle tone, quality of life and longevity, healthy teeth and gums, fewer trips to your Vet, no bad odor, fewer digestive problems, energy, vitality, fewer behavior problems and over-all health.

What Are The Choices - What Should We Feed Our Dogs?
1. Commercial Dog Food: This includes the packaged foods you find at your local supermarket, pet store or veterinarian. Commercial dog food is available in dry, semi dry and wet (canned).
  • Royal Canin offers dry foods formulated for specific dog breeds. This can be helpful if your breed has unique health problems. For boxers, Royal Canin includes ingredients to protect heart function. 
  • Eukanuba offers a meals with added nutrients, such as glucosamine and Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, to protect larger dogs' joints. 
  • Avoderm Natural- This oven-baked food is formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs. 
  • Pinnacle Holistic- This dry food is made with trout and sweet potatoes, eliminating common allergens such as corn, wheat and soy. 
  • Innova- With ingredients such as herring oil, pumpkin and carrots, Innova embraces the concept of holistic food for pets.
  • Solid Gold has been manufacturing holistic pet food for more than 30 years. Bison and salmon are the main ingredients in this food for large-breed puppies. 
  • Wellness - This dry food is made with ingredients fit for human consumption and additives to help avoid common health problems among dogs. Probiotics also are added to aid in digestion. 
  • Blue Buffalo - This premium food for dogs includes Omega 6 fatty acids and glucosamine for joint health. 
  • Science Diet offers dogs meals with real meat instead of relying on byproducts as its main ingredient. This food is available in chicken and brown rice and lamb and brown rice. 
  • Canidae includes human-grade meats and reduces fillers to help your dog shed unnecessary pounds. 
2. Raw Dog Food
  The raw dog food diet is the growth sector within the dog food marketplace. This category includes the raw food you source and prepare yourself or the pre-made and packaged products.


  Raw dog food is a fairly broad term as there are many variations on this feeding method. The common thread with raw food enthusiasts is that they believe feeding raw is the most natural way to feed a dog. Raw foodies believe that this is the way dogs have successfully evolved and that eating a raw diet is the way nature intended dogs to get their nutrition. The raw food diet is said to replicate how a dog would eat in the wild. 

  Some raw food proponents love to give big meaty bones and others won't. The same applies with fruit and vegetables - some people say that vegetable matter is a natural part of a wild dogs diet, gathered from the stomach of their prey.
   Another benefit of feeding raw is healthy teeth and gums and well developed jaws, neck and shoulder muscles (from all the chewing).
  On the other hand detractors of feeding raw focus on the danger of foodborne illness through the threat of bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. Some also say that it is difficult to feed a nutritionally balanced meal the raw way.

3. Homemade Dog Food
  With all the recent news about the dog food recall and associated concerns with commercial dog foods, the homemade dog food option has really come to the fore.
 Preparing your dog's meals from scratch has many benefits, including the complete control of all meals served. You know exactly what goes into every meal (and where it was sourced) and you also know that it has been prepared in a clean environment.
  The homemade dog food option also comes with the added responsibility of formulating nutritionally balanced meals (proteins, vitamins etc.) and meeting the calorie requirements for your individual dog. If you arm yourself with some good dog food recipes and get into a routine this process is not all that difficult to maintain.
  Typical homemade dog meals include big meaty stews, healthy soups, pies, vegetables and maybe some raw bones every now and then.

In conclusion...  look at the ingredient list and a meat such as chicken should be listed as the first ingredient. Look at the guaranteed analysis to see that the protein level is at 30 percent or more. The fat content should be at 18 percent or more. And if there is a rather wide spectrum of ingredients such as omega fatty acids and vitamin E, that's good, too. There should be NO FOOD COLORING!



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