Good Fats and Oils

Have you ever wondered what the statement “complete and balanced” on your dog’s food label actually means? Many pet owners don’t realize that in order for your pet’s food to get this certification, the food must meet a very specific criteria to ensure your dog is getting everything they need to thrive.  This does not just come from the proteins, vitamins and minerals, but the fats and oils that are very beneficial to your dog’s overall health.

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FATS AND OILS IN YOUR DOG’S DIET

Just like in humans, certain fats and oils are very important for canine body cells, nerves, tissues, and muscles.  However, the key to fats and oils in any diet is moderation. Fats and oils can provide necessary energy for your dog, but without proper exercise and balance in feeding amounts, fats and oils can be harmful to your pet.  According to PetMD, in order to properly maintain overall health and balance for an adult dog, diet should consist of 10-15 percent fats and oils, depending on the activity level of the pet.


TYPES OF GOOD FATS AND OILS

Experts agree that the two most important sources of good fat and oils come from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.  These are found in a combination of animal and plant based sources. Omega-3 fatty acids are largely found in fish sources, such as herring and salmon, whilst omega-6 fatty acids can be supplied from pork and chicken fat, vegetable and safflower oils.  Since the body cannot naturally produce these fatty acids, it is important to find what is best for your particular dog’s diet.

No matter what type of diet your dog is on, it is imperative to closely monitor the labels on your pet’s food to ensure they are getting all of the necessary components for a well balanced healthy life.  Not all dog food is created equal, and it's up to the pet owner to stay educated and up to date with what is best for their best friend. Understanding what is in your pet’s food can mean the difference between a good and long quality of life, or preventable issues and diseases.

Valarie Kamdar