SERIES: What's Really in Your Dog's Treats: Artificial Food Dyes


Welcome to Our New Series: What’s Really in Your Dog’s Treats

In our last post, we revealed the secrets behind some of the "Made in the USA" treats for your family K9.

 Beginning with the new post below, we're going to pull back the curtain on many of the common ingredients found in commercial dog treats (and food); including:



Sugar, Wheat & Corn



Bulk Fillers

Food Stabilizers



Individual ingredients (whether in our own food or the food and treats our pets enjoy) can either support good health or take a negative toll when consumed, especially over the long-term. Typically, our pets are usually fed the same food/treats day after day contributing to a cumulative exposure to potentially unsafe ingredients.

What you also may not realize is that some common ingredients in commercial dog’s treats can:

  • Exacerbate existing health issues;
  • Create new health challenges like allergies; and
  • Be deadly in smaller dogs where even minute amounts of questionable ingredients can cause greater harm in a shorter amount of time.

Keep reading to learn more about the dyes commonly added to your dog's food and treats.


While the FDA has outlawed many artificial colors in human foods, many can still be used in pet products and are considered “safe” for them to consume. Yet many of these controversial food dyes (originally manufactured from coal tar and now from petroleum) have been linked to allergies, behavioral problems and even cancer in humans and lab animals. If these artificial colors are capable of creating such havoc on our bodies, imagine what they can do to our canine and feline friends.


Common Food Dyes in Dog Products


Potential Side Effects/Health Issues

Red #40 (the most widely used dye)

Red #3



  • Food allergies
  • Carcinogen (a cancer-causing substance/agent)
  • Chronic ear problems
  • Licking feet and constant itching




Blue #2


  • Allergic reactions
  • Potential increased sensitivity to viruses
  • Carcinogen (a cancer-causing substance/agent) 





Yellow #5 and #6



  • Allergic Reactions
  • Possible contamination with carcinogens (cancer-causing substances/agents)


Click here to read the detailed report on Food Dyes from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)


Food coloring is added for one simple reason, to make the product look more appealing and even “wholesome” to you, the consumer, motivating you to purchase the product. In other words, these dyes are primarily used as a marketing tool to substantiate any claims of “meat” or “vegetables” in the food and treats you buy for your beloved pet.

Artificial colorings (versus natural colorings) are preferred by manufacturers because they are cheaper, more stable and more vibrant.

Click here to watch: What's in Your Pet's Food? Paint or Meat?


While there is not a lot of extensive, long-term research on the exact effects of artificial dyes and colorings on our pets, these food dyes have already been proven to cause negative health issues to both humans and lab animals without offering any nutritional or health value.

Learn more about the dangerous impact of food coloring in this detailed infographic.




  • Read all labels thoroughly and carefully. Unsavory details are often buried in the fine print. 
  • Use products containing limited, human-grade ingredients you recognize.
  • Learn and follow independent, non-biased experts including:


Remember, your pet is relying upon you to protect him and give him the best quality of life!


Our Dogs Love Kale treats are made in the USA with 100% all-natural, USA-sourced ingredients and absolutely no artificial coloring. 

Dogs Love Kale treats are made with limited ingredients

The Dogs Love Kale Treats

(Check out all the healthy Dogs Love Kale products at

 Dogs Lvoe Kale cannot guarantee any health benefits

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Dangerous Dog Treats to Avoid

New Report Exposes Dangerous/Unhealthy Pet Food

Artificial Coloring in Dog Food

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Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks
Artificial Food Dyes and Pet Food
Artificial Food Dyes in Dog and Cat Food
Artificial Coloring in Dog Food