Everything in moderation can never cause any harm. So, including a small amount of fats in your dog’s food is necessary as it is an essential part of a balanced meal. A healthy adult dog must have atleast 10 to 15 percent of fats in their meal. Fats become problematic to your pet only if you overindulge them with too many calorie laden foods and fats and if they do not burn it by exercising regularly.
What are fats?
Fats provide energy to the body and promote cell growth. In fact, they give the body twice the amount of energy than carbohydrates and protein. Fats that are commonly found in dog food are easily digestible as they are the first set of nutrients to be absorbed by the body to provide instant energy even before the body digests the protein and carbohydrates.
Fats are made up of fatty acids. There are quite a few fatty acids that can be synthesized by the body but the rest need to be consumed in the form of food. These are called essential fatty acids which are divided into two groups; the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These two groups need to be given to your pet in adequate ratios as a part of their daily diet plan.
The benefits of fats for dogs
As stated earlier, fats provide energy to the body and support the growth and development of body cells, tissues, nerves and muscles. They are vital for the production of hormone like substances in the body called prostaglandins. The prostaglandins help to reduce inflammation and perform other functions in the body.
The presence of fats in the food makes it more aromatic and fragrant. It tickles your pet’s taste buds. Apart from this, fats and oils also help to absorb a group of vitamins known as the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K). The inclusion of fats and oils in your pet’s daily diet helps to keep your pet’s coat lustrous and healthy.
Unfortunately not all fats are good for your pet. The source, quality and its quantity need to be carefully examined and chosen before serving it to your pet.
Common source of fats and oils for dogs
While choosing a particular dog food for your pet you must check the label to find out the source of fats and oils in the meal. Fats in dog foods are derived both form animal fat and plant sources. So, a good quality dog food will ensure a proper balance between the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fish oils, flaxseed oil and canola oil. Sources of omega-6 fatty acids are pork fat, chicken fat, safflower and sunflower oils, corn, soybean or any other vegetable oils.
So, a proper blend of the two groups of fatty acids is necessary for your pet’s daily diet. Your vet will be able to help you figure the right ratio for your pet breed and type.