Fat in Dog Food.
Fat in Dog Food
Fats are lipids that are solid at room temperature and are composed mainly of triglycerides. Dietary fats are the most concentrated form of energy in pet foods (2.25 times more calories than proteins or carbohydrates).
Fat has many roles in the body, such as providing energy and helping with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. One of the most important roles is providing essential fatty acids (EFAs). EFAs help with inflammation at the cellular level and help dogs maintain healthy skin and coat quality. There are two important polyunsaturated fatty acids—omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Deficiencies in fatty acids can decrease wound healing and create a dull and dry hair coat, and they may increase certain dermatological conditions. High-fat diets can increase the risk of obesity and also require an increase in vitamin E supplementation since it is involved in antioxidant protection.
The requirement of fat for absorption of fat-soluble vitamins is 1% to 2% of the food.
Sources of Fat in Dog Food
There are quite a few sources of essential fatty acids that support a dog’s health.
Linoleic acid (LA) is the precursor of arachidonic acid, (AA) which is an essential omega-6 fatty acid. Good sources of linoleic acid are vegetable oils, chicken, and pork fat.
Omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), may or may not be essential in a dog’s daily diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids may be recommended by your veterinarian to help reduce inflammation caused from conditions like arthritis, certain cancers, burns, dermatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and kidney disease. Omega-3 is also is a major player in keeping cartilage healthy and functional.
Flaxseed, canola, and marine fish oils are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.