The Healthiest Fats For Dogs

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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.

Final thoughts 

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.

 

References:

Daley CA et al., ‘A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef’, Nutr J. 2010, 10(9).

Sofia Schauf et al., ‘Effect of dietary fat to starch content on fecal microbiota composition and activity in dogs’, Journal of Animal Science, 2018, 96(9), pp. 3684–3698.

Astrup, A., et al. ‘The role of reducing intakes of saturated fat in the prevention of cardiovascular disease: where does the evidence stand in 2010?’ Am J Clin Nutr, 2011, 93(4), pp. 684-688.

‘Types of Fats, The Nutrition Source’, Harvard, Available at https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/ (Accessed 9 January 2022)

PetMD Editorial. (2011), ‘Fats and Oils: Good for Your Dog’s Health?’, PetMD, 21 October, Available at https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_fats_and_oils_good_for_your_dogs_health (Accessed 9 January 2022)

Under, Julie. (2021), ‘Ahiflower Oil: Why Your Dog Needs It’, DogsNaturallyMagazine, 11 December, Available at

https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/ahiflower-oil-dogs/ (Accessed 9 January 2022)

‘Essential Fats for my Dog’s Diet: The Ultimate Guide’, MyPetNutritionist, 24 March, Available at https://www.mypetnutritionist.com/post/essential-fats-for-my-dogs-diet-the-ultimate-guide (Accessed 9 January 2022)

Henriques, Julia. (2021), ‘Balancing Fats For A Healthier Dog’, DogsNaturallyMagazine, 11 December, Available at

https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/balancing-fats-for-a-healthier-dog/ (Accessed 9 January 2022)

Jones, Jason. (2021), ‘MCT Oil for Dogs’, Relievet, 28 October, https://www.relievet.com/blogs/tips/mct-oil-for-dogs-benefits-dosages (Accessed 14 January 2022)

 

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the superdog supplement

The Superdog supplement is a natural dog supplement and meal topper that contains functional mushrooms, herbs and naturally occurring fruit based digestive enzymes, to support healthy digestion and optimal immune function. The ingredients have been chosen in line with the latest research in canine nutrition, designed to help your dog live its best life. It all starts with what you put in their bowl.

the superdog supplement

70c8958a2ac64a3a202d8d7e3617e2ba scaled
The Superdog supplement is a natural dog supplement and meal topper that contains functional mushrooms, herbs and naturally occurring fruit based digestive enzymes, to support healthy digestion and optimal immune function. The ingredients have been chosen in line with the latest research in canine nutrition, designed to help your dog live its best life. It all starts with what you put in their bowl.
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