Nutrition – The Importance Of Fats In Your Dog’s Diet

An important nutrient that all dogs need and one that is responsible for furnishing energy in their body are fats. Fats supply energy for the body to use. It also has a small role in building strong cells and promoting the absorption of nutrients. However, similar to the essential amino acids, a dog’s body isn’t able to produce these essential fatty acids, and therefore has to come from an outside source, from the food they eat.

Dogs do not usually develop a deficiency in fatty acids because their basic diet normally provides them with sufficient amount of energy from fat. In fact, a small amount of extra fats benefit their body in several ways. It protects them from the cold; it provides cushion to their body; and it serves as a protective layer of covering around different organs in their body. Actually, dogs are very efficient in using their stored fats because their bodies have the ability to easily turn these fats into energy when needed.

Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing

Fats are very beneficial, but it can become a concern when the dog eats too much of it. Too much fuel in the dog’s body, regardless of where it came from, is converted into body fat, which is then stored in the body. Too much fat in the body results in obesity and other conditions that are related to obesity such as diabetes, canine osteoarthritis, and heart disease.

There is only a limited amount of fat that is used for protection against cold, cushion, covering, and extra energy. But when the maximum amount of stored fat is reached and applied for these purposes, the dog still continues to stock up fat and does so to the same degree that is equivalent to the excess energy that it consumes. For instance, every 3,500 calories that a dog eats in excess to what his body requires will be turned into 1 pound of body fat.

It is important for all dog owners to know that the only way for their dogs to get fat is if they take in more calories than their bodies use.  Similarly, the only way for the dog to lose weight and get rid of the excess fat is by taking in less calories than what their body requires.