A vet is urging the public to check the labels of the dog food they use for a chemical no longer considered safe to be injested by pets.
Dr Karen Becker, who describes herself as The Common Sense Vet, has shared her concerns on social media, warning families about products she says they should avoid.
Titanium dioxide has been used for years in the pet food industry. It has no benefit to dogs and is used instead to turn pet food white in order to create a uniform base for added colour, ensuring a more palatable and consistent look for the human doling out the dog food.
But now it is feared it may potentially affect the DNA of the animals who consume it, causing chromosomal damage.
The chemical is used to disguise the undesirable color of proteins, grains, and vegetables in pet food bases. But a recent assessment by the European Food Safety Authority has raised a red flag over titanium dioxide, stating it should not be consumed by pets.
Vet Karen said: “A chemical, Titanium Dioxide, used in top-selling pet foods, treats, and supplements should no longer be considered safe for consumption due to concerns over its ability to damage DNA, according to a new animal-model study.
“A scientific panel created by the European Food Safety Authority determined, “Taking into account all available scientific studies and data, the Panel concluded that titanium dioxide can no longer be considered safe as a food additive.
“A critical element in reaching this conclusion is that we could not exclude genotoxicity concerns after consumption of titanium dioxide particles.
“After oral ingestion, the absorption of titanium dioxide particles is low, however they can accumulate in the body.
“The panel concluded that titanium dioxide has the potential to damage DNA and cause chromosomal damage. The Environmental Working Group called on the Food and Drug Administration to consider quickly whether to ban titanium dioxide from use in food.”
The vet added that a chemical that could damage your pet’s DNA should not be fed to them and she urged families to check their pet food labels before using or buying.
Other artificial colors pet owners have been previously warned about including: Blue 2, Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40.