Worst Reasons to Choose a Dog Food: Color
It has already been established that reading a dog food label can be confusing. Long lists of ingredients, obtuse or incomplete macronutrient (protein, fat, and carbs) information, and misleading “marketing speak”, can make it difficult to determine which are the best foods for your pet. Today we are starting a new series on reading pet food labels that will provide a running list of some of the worst reasons to choose a dog food. Today’s worst reason to choose a dog food is “because it is colorful and looks good”.
Why a Colorful Dog Food is Likely to be a Poor Dog Food Choice
Maybe all the foodie shows are making us focus too much on “presentation”. Or maybe we think that colors denote freshness or fruits and vegetables. Whatever the reason might be, serving your dog a multi-colored food is not a good strategy. Let’s take a look at an example from a well known dog food brand.
Above is a picture of this food, which was obtained directly from the brand’s website. This is what the brand wants you to see and is using, believe it or not, to entice a pet owner to purchase this food. Lots of colors and cool shapes. This must mean that it is a good food choice and contains a lot of healthy ingredients, right? Not so fast.
Besides the fact that three out of the first four ingredients are corn or wheat, and that there are no named meats until the seventh ingredient, this food contains not one, not two, but THREE artificial colorings: Red 40, Yellow 5, and Blue 2. No wonder why the picture of the food is so colorful!
As we wrote about in a prior post, artificial colorings add zero nutritional value and some artificial colorings are linked to cancer and other diseases. Even worse, your dog does not care what color their food is so why are these dyes included in the recipe at all? To make you, the pet owner, think that the food is a good choice. The fact of the matter is that healthy foods that include a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables simply won’t look as colorful as those foods using artificial colorings. So don’t let color influence your dog food choices.
What Color is Your Dog’s Food?
Do you see lots of bright and shiny colors in your dog’s food? If so, take a few minutes and look at the ingredients. You can do a search on our dog food data base right here. If possible, avoid foods containing artificial colorings like those mentioned above and other derivations of “red”, “yellow” and “blue” and stick to things like “blueberries”, “red peppers”, “cherries”, and other healthy and naturally colorful ingredients instead.
So, what color is your dog’s food?