Dogs and cats both require moderate amounts of healthy fats in their diet. Much like protein, fats are a crucial part of a pet’s diet. Some of the key benefits of fat include:
1. Fat provides essential nutrients such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are vital to keeping your pet’s skin and coat healthy. Restricting fat or providing low quality fat sources can often lead to a coarse, dull coat and dry, itchy skin, among other things. 2. Fat is important for reproductive efficiency, kidney function and the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K. 3. Fat helps with overall immune regulation, which helps your pet fight off disease and infections. 4. Fat is normally a flavor enhancer.
Most people are not aware that unlike humans, whose bodies look first to carbohydrates to supply energy, dog and cat bodies will first look to fat (not carbs) as the first source of energy. No carb loading for our pets!
Also like protein, all fats are not created equal. When it comes to your dog or cat, high quality sources of fat can make all the difference in your pet’s overall health. Look for real, named, fat sources including fish like salmon and whitefish, fish oil, and chicken, pork, or duck fat. Fish oil, rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, is also known to be anti-inflammatory and can help a pet naturally deal with inflammatory diseases like osteoarthritis.
Avoid low quality fats like animal fat, poultry fat, vegetable or mineral oils, and tallow.
Remember, in the wild, dogs and cats would get 70-85% of their nutrition from animal and fish based protein and fats. Foods with ample protein and fat, at least 2/3 of the macro nutrient profile in total, are appropriate for these species.
Dogs and Cats use Fat as their Primary Source of Energy. They are well suited to digest and utilize dietary fats.
Benefits of Fats Essential nutrients like Omegas for healthy skin and coat Support healthy immune system Needed to absorb fat soluble Vitamins: A, D, E Taste great (BACON).
Want: Salmon, fish oil, pork fat, olive oil Don’t want: Lard, tallow, animal fat, mineral oil
Fats are more ~ 2 1/.4 more calorie dense then pro and carb