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Just like healthy fats and oils are good for humans, this is also the case with dogs. Their bodies need 3 main macronutrients to function. These nutrients are fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. That makes oils and fats a necessity in a dog’s diet.
Although fats and oils are good, they are only good in moderation. Obesity and overeating can be a big problem in the dog community as well. The key is to keep your dog on a balanced diet and provide him with an adequate amount of exercise in order to balance his food intake and calories burnt. In order to know whether fats are good for your dog, it is important to know what fats are.
FATS – What Are They?
Fats are nutrients that give energy to your dog. They give your dog twice as much energy as proteins and carbohydrates. Fats are an important part of a dog’s diet. The first nutrients to be used by his body as energy, are fats. Fats are made up of fatty acids (named because of their chemical structure and how they’re bound). There are healthy fatty acids that a dog requires because his body cannot make them. These are known as the essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are divided into 2 groups. Namely, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are to be provided in a balanced ratio with every meal.
The Functions Of Fats
They are essential for the proper function of muscles, nerves, body cells, and body tissues. They are important for the production of hormone-like substances in a dog’s body called prostaglandins. These substances are necessary for decreasing inflammation and performing many other important bodily functions.
Oils and fats make food taste and smell better to your dogs. It gives structure to dog foods. Vitamins such as A, D, K, and E are better absorbed in the body with the help of fats and oils. Fatty acids help to maintain the shine in your dog’s coat. They are also important for reproduction.
Remember to choose healthy fats for your dog, as not all types of fats are beneficial. You can find fats in:
- Animal fats (Pork, chicken etc.)
- Oils from Plants (sunflower oils, safflower oils, corn, and soybean oils etc.)
- Canola Oil
There are 4 types of oils that are especially healthy for our dogs. These are:
- Krill Oil
Comes from organisms like shrimp and lobsters. These oils decrease inflammation in the body.
- Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a healthier alternative to processed saturated and trans fats. The oil helps improve bad breath, alleviate effects of dry skin, provide more energy, and aids in weight loss.
- Flax-seed Oil
High in omega-3, this oil boosts your dog’s heart health. It also helps with mobility and aids in kidney function.
- Fish Oil
It has anti-cancer effects, contains DHA, EPA, and Omega-3 which helps arthritis, and improves memory. To top it all off, it also has an anti-inflammatory effect for dogs.