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Feeding Your Dog Fats: Do’s and Don’ts

May 1, 2021
Does your canine companion love fatty treats like bacon and sausage? Chances are, he probably does. These snacks are okay on occasion, but you shouldn’t go overboard with them. While it’s important for Fido to have some fat in his diet, too much fat and/or the wrong type of fat isn’t good for him. A Ellicott City, MD vet offers some advice on this below.

Good Fats

Fats give Fido energy, make his food taste good, and fuel his cell function and development. Good fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, also help lubricate your furry buddy’s bones, keep his skin and coat healthy, and help his body absorb vitamins. Quality dog foods will contain these beneficial fats, which are found in things like fish oil, flaxseed oil, and canola oil. Your pup’s food may also contain things like pork, chicken, or beef fat, corn oil, soybean oil, or sunflower oil. Ask your vet for specific advice on the type and amount of fat your pooch needs.

Bad Fats

This is where it gets tricky. Things like tallow, lard, and fat trimmings don’t provide the benefits that healthier fats do. As with people, these unhealthy fats can contribute to obesity. In dogs, they can also lead to a condition called pancreatitis. As the name suggests, this is a problem with the pancreas. Pancreatitis can be life-threatening, so it’s important to know what to look for. Some common signs include vomiting, diarrhea, a ‘hunched’ posture, swollen/distended belly, listlessness, and fever. Call your vet immediately if you see any of these warning signs.

Rancid Fat

Freshness is another thing to consider. Fat goes bad pretty quickly. This probably won’t stop Fido from eating it, but it could make him sick. In the short term, he may throw up, and he could get diarrhea. Over time, too much rancid fat can cause serious health issues, such as liver and heart trouble, cancer, and even arthritis. This is also something to keep in mind when choosing kibble. Kibbles with high fat content will soon spoil. In fact, they start going bad as soon as you open the bag. If Fido’s dry food has a lot of added fat, don’t buy it in bulk. Ask your vet for more information. Do you have questions about your pup’s diet? Contact us, your Ellicott City, MD veterinary clinic, today!

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