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Fat in Dog's Diet

Discover the facts on Dietary Fat and your Dog or Puppy

Fat in the Diet for Puppies and Dogs
By: Jane Bicks, D.V.M.

Fats are the most concentrated source of your dog's dietary energy.
Fat contains approximately twice the calories of carbohydrates or
protein. Oils are the liquid form of fat.

Fats are composed of fatty acids. Those of prime importance
for your dog are linoleic, linolenic, and arachidonic. Fortunately dogs
can synthesize the latter two, provided there is enough linoleic acid
in the diet.

Vegetable oils (corn, soy, peanut, safflower) are rich in linoleic acid;
meat fats (tallow and lard) contain small amounts of linoleic acid and
more arachidonic acid. Fish oil is rich in linolenic and arachidonic acids.

Fats from vitamins F. A, D, E, and K (fat soluble vitamins) in the body
and enable them to be utilized properly. They serve as building blocks for
hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Fats are
important for a healthy nervous system, and are classified into the types
omega-3,-6, or -9. Omega -3 fats are involved with the body's response
to inflammation, swelling, redness, and itching.

Fat in Dog Food

In order to evaluate dog food, you need to know the two types of
fat are used; soft and hard. Because soft fat melts easily, it is readily
digested and extremely beneficial to your dog. Lard and chicken fat are
soft. These are listed on the dog food label. If animal fat is listed on the
label, the food probably contains a hard fat, such as tallow.

While the addition of a little chicken fat never hurt any dog, too much
of a good thing can be bad. Large amounts of fat or oil of any type will
make your dog sick, fat, and probably very oily. If you want your dog's
coat to shine, add a balanced fatty acid supplement. It will contain support
nutrients to make sure the fatty acids are used properly.

If fats are to be stored, preservative (natural or chemical) must be added
to them. Natural foods can contain chemical preservatives within the
fat that you don't know about. The label regulations allow the manufacturere
to state that it's food is natural as long as it isn't the one putting
preservatives into the food. When a label reads "fortified with vitmains
and minerals," it is likely there are chemical preservatives in the food.

Benefits of Fat in Dog Food

* Makes dog food more palatable
* Fat supplies needed energy, especially during growth or stress
* Fat in dog food promotes healthy skin and coat
* Fat is essential for healthy nervous and immune systems
* Fat in dog food assists in temperature regulation, especially during winter.
* Omega -3 type fats, in combination with other nutrients, can help decrease
inflammation in various parts of the body.

Percent Fat in Dog Food

A balanced maintenance dry dog food should contain between 5% and
13% fat, while one for performance, gestation, or lactation can contain
as much as 25% fat in the dog food.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Canine
Nutrient Profile recommends a minimum of 1% linoleic acid and 5%
total fat for maintenance, and 8% for growth and reproduction, for
dry food. This does not take into consideration the different types of
fat or the individual requirements of the dog.

Find out if your dog is overweight
     Easy to Read online chart here

Also Check Out Dr. Jane's Healthy Hearts Treats
A Natural, Low Fat Treat with a Scrumptious Taste Dogs Love

Low Fat Treats online Here

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