Let’s talk about the F word, nope not that, it’s Fat of course. This article will talk about fats, how much should be in your dog’s diet, healthy sources of fat and some pretty high level nutrition info on fats which you most likely don’t need to read.
Fats are a dense source of energy for your dogs, in fact it’s the preferred energy source for this species as they have a long evolutionary history of consuming meat. Fats are the healthiest source of energy for dogs over carbs or sugars, and actually your dog’s more likely to get fat from consuming carbs (much like us!)
Think of the keto diet, low carb, high protein, medium fat…that’s the ideal canine diet.
Why dogs need fats in their diet
- Fat provides necessary energy as well as aid in supple skin and coat formation.
- Fats give dogs a feeling of fullness after meals.
- It is needed for other nutrients to be properly absorbed.
- Fat transports fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
- It aids in the digestion of vitamin D, which is needed to utilize calcium in the body.
- It keeps cells strong and supports a healthy nervous system, brain, liver, blood, skin, and hormone function.
- Fat protects vital organs from trauma and helps regulate body temperature
Total Fat In Your Dog’s Diet
Your dog’s diet should contain about 10-20% fat. This mimics the ratios of nutrients dogs would get in the wild. However, if your dog’s getting other energy sources, like carbs, or they aren’t exercising, aim for the lower end of the range.
Sources Of Healthy Fats For Dogs
Here are five ways to feed healthy fats to your dogs for a balanced diet. Both omega-3 and omega-6 are bountiful in the leafy plants consumed by roaming animals. When domestic animals are deprived of greens, their meat and eggs also become low in omega-3s.
- Meat Fat
Most dogs can absorb meat fat without any issue. Dogs don’t have cholesterol issues and can generally handle more animal fat than humans can. A small amount of steak fat and beef fat are suitable options for dogs. Because this sort of fat comes from a prey source, it is a good option for most canines. A controlled amount of meat fat leads to a healthier coat and skin.
Fats are made up of fatty acids, some of which are referred to as essential fatty acids (EFAs). You want to add healthy fats containing essential fatty acids. There are two types of essential fatty acids or EFAs – omega-3 and omega-6.
- MCT Oil
MCT oil, also called medium-chain triglycerides, brings energy to the dog’s body very quickly. It is produced using coconut or palm kernel oil. MCT oil helps dogs make ketones, an energy source for the brain. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce chronic inflammation. MCT oil lowers blood sugar levels in dogs and may reduce the number and severity of seizures.
- Fish Oils
For eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), nothing beats cold water fish and fish oil supplements. Proper kidney function can be also be supported by taking fish oils. EPAs both decrease pain and increase ease of movement.
- Pasture Raised Eggs
Egg yolks are a great source of healthy omega-3 fats for your dog. Pastured eggs have a much higher amount of omega-3 fats than conventional eggs. Eggs also provide protein and a wide range of other nutrients, especially if you feed the whole egg. If you can’t find organic, pasture-raised eggs, get omega-3 enriched ones for your dog. Omega-3 eggs have 5 times more omega-3 than conventional eggs.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. It improves joint mobility and blood vessel health in dogs. Extra virgin olive oil also reduces the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease in dogs. Olive oil gives a beautiful shine to your dog’s coat and keeps the skin cells supple and healthy.
The right fats can make your dog healthier and happier, reduce inflammation and create a soft, silky coat. They also provide energy, control hormones and help with cell growth.
Dogs don’t have to worry about things like high cholesterol, but too much fat can harm them none-the-less. Too much of fat leads to problems, such as pancreatitis and obesity. Too little fat results in dry, itchy skin, a dull coat and weak immune systems. The key is balance.
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https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/ahiflower-oil-dogs/ (Accessed 9 January 2022)
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