Nutritional Facts

FATTY ACIDS AND WHY THEY ARE ESSENTIAL

April 21, 2020   |   Categories: Nutrition

We all now know consuming too much fat is not good for us. However, we humans and our beloved pets require fats within our diet for healthy physical development and to provide the energy we need to live and thrive.

The energy content of a diet is mainly derived from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, each contributing a proportion of the calories to the total metabolizable energy (ME) that our pets use in daily life. Fat is the most concentrated contributor of energy in a diet, having about 8.5 times more kilocalories (kcal) of energy than protein or carbohydrates on a per-unit basis.

Therefore, dietary fats play a key role in our pet’s metabolic vitality and adds palatability to a diet. Nevertheless, excess fat in a diet can lead to obesity. It is important to know approximately how much energy is required and how much your pet is consuming. Be sure to consult your pet’s Feeding Guidelines and adjust according to body condition and level of activity.

Certain fats and oils are indispensable for the daily health and welfare of your pet, due to their influence on important biological functions and processes within the body. These necessary fats can only be obtained through diet. These are known as essential fatty acids (EFA), and there are minimum recommended requirements in a pet’s diet. These include omega-3’s: Alpha-linolenic (AL), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Also critical are polyunsaturated omega-6 fats such as linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA).

These essential fatty acids contribute to the health of your pet in many ways. They act as an agent that provides for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E. They also aid in improving skin and coat condition, kidney function, and reproduction. Studies have now reported the omega-3’s containing DHA and EPA have improved brain function in the pre-natal and young growing pet.

I formulated D.O.G. Pet Food to ensure the correct balance of these essential fatty acids. Ingredients such as flaxseed, chia seed, as well as vegetable and fish oils provide your pet with optimal nutrition for their overall health and longevity. As always, if you have any further questions about essential fatty acids or your pet’s diet, please feel free to contact me via the ‘Ask Dr. Johnson’ link on the D.O.G. website.

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