Why Do Dogs Need Fats In Their Diet?
Dogs need fat in their diet as it is the best source of energy, and it helps to keep the skin and pads supple, keeps the coat shiny and carries fat-soluble vitamins into the body from the intestine.
Fatty acids are chains of carbon molecules linked with single or double bonds. The location of the double bond determines whether it’s called an Omega 3 or an Omega 6 fatty acid.
Both Omega 3 fatty acids and Omega 6 fatty acids are essential for health. Dogs cannot produce these fatty acids, so need them provided in their diet.
Omega 3 fatty acids might help to suppress cancer cells and prevent them from spreading. They also limit the increase in hormones that cause muscle loss when dogs are in heart failure. Omega 3 helps to control inflammation, ease arthritic pain, benefits the heart and kidneys and improves the mood. Dogs with allergies, auto-immune conditions or inflammatory conditions need more Omega 3 fatty acids. Too much Omega 3 can lead to a vitamin E deficiency,
Omega 6 fatty acids help to fight infections and promote a healthy skin and a shiny coat. Dogs that have chronic illness (e.g. cancer) need more Omega 6 fatty acids. However, Omega 6 is inflammatory.
Giving excess fatty acids may cause diarrhoea.
Research has shown that the optimum ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 balance falls in the range of 1:3 to 1:6 (Omega 3:Omega 6) for optimum pet health. (Many generic pet foods contain a much higher ratio of Omega 6.)