Fat – why dogs need it
Did you know the right oils and fats can improve a dog’s mood? Its easy to think of fats as just energy for dogs but actually they need essential fats for a number of functions from skin & coat, muscles, nerves and hormones as well as supporting optimum brain function. Dogs need different levels of fat throughout their life, as pups, dietary fat is used to fuel growth and also to play specific roles, for example, DHA will help build their neural system and is the major structural component of the developing brain. Whilst as adults, fat is often used as fuel for activity or stored and as seniors, more can be stored leading to problems with excessive weight gain and obesity.
Healthy fats can come from animal, plant & seed sources, and can have different benefits for example animal & plant fats are often rich in omega 6 whilst, fish oils and seeds are richer in omega 3.
Whilst many of us know the benefits of omega 3 on our own health, dogs can also benefit with their joints (helping to lubricate and ease inflammation), skin and coat (improving shine & condition and easing any skin irritations) and general health. Omega 6 is also needed, to support immune function, skin and coat and tissue and muscle growth and recovery.
Dietary fat is important for very active dogs, their energy requirements can be extreme and fat is the most efficient nutrient for them to use to fuel their performance and recovery.
At Gilbertson and Page, we can cater for most dogs’ requirements, all our diets contain good levels of dietary fat including essential fats, to optimise performance and support dogs throughout their lives.