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Good Oils & Fats in Dogs Diets - what are they & why are the important?

Today I had the Pleasure of meeting Winston, a 7 month old Cavoodle who's furmum was very worried about his weight. In an unusual way, he was far too skinny! 'He's stopped eating his food and I don't know why, could it be his teeth? I think he needs to put on weight! Is he okay?'

After braving a loss of a finger (two actually - he was a chomper), and with a bribe of some Chicken Lickin', I ascertained his adult teeth were all through and not causing him pain.

So, my obvious questions were about his food. He was entirely fed on commercial food with the majority being kibble and furmum was happy to stay that way, but wanted to know what she could quickly add to his everyday meals to help him gain some weight.

Two things to note here about puppies when choosing good oils & fats

1. Puppies going off their food is perfectly normal.

Puppies usually are ravenous and will literally inhale their food. They hit critical mass at around 6 months of age, and often they slow their food down and seem to go off eating. They have reached their adult size usually and do not need to inhale their food. Giant Breeds continue to grow and mature at around 12 months and continue to need a larger amount of food.

Take the lead from your dog, big or small and adjust accordingly.

2. Fuel in must equal energy output.

Second thing of note is their energy output. Sure enough Wnston is a super energetic bouncy dog. Dog's get their energy generally from fats. Fats (the good ones). Basically he was running off all his energy reserves and yet he still came back for more games of catch.

Puppies sometimes do no have an off switch!

This meant he was eating into his reserves. Now, I am old(ish!) and my caloric intake is too high for my energy output. Simply put, I am a tad 'cuddly' because I eat too much for my activity levels. Weight Watchers 101!

Winston is so excited with life that his off switch does not work. Caloric intake = not enough to maintain his weight.

So what are the good fats to fuel this little fluffy powerhouse?

Good oils are found in many sources, both plant and animal based.

Good Oils & Fats in Dogs diets from Proteins like Meats & Seafoods

So, how do you make healthy choices about good oils & fats to include in your dogs diet? Obviously a great source of fats come from the proteins your dogs eat. Some meats contain a higher fat content than others, some cuts of the same types of Proteins, like Pork for example, are fattier than others. We use Pork Loin as it is very low in fat, lower than Chicken Breasts even in our Pork Tenderlion Jerky, but if you go for a different cut like Pork Belly for example (even with the visible fat layer and skin removed) the meat is higher in fat.

Fat does not need to be visible to be in the fibres of the meat. Beef Chuck Steak with the visible bits of white fat removed almost killed my Mum's dog Maggie the Schnauzer from a chronic Pancreatic attack.

Seafood is an excellent source of good quality fats & oils, and I love it in it's many forms. Sardines fed fresh are my favourite, if you can't get any from your local Fishmonger try a tin of Sardines in Spring water as a great second choice.

Coconut Oil

Plant based oils that are great are Coconut Oil - make sure it is Extra Virgin and Organic. Most supermarkets carry this as an everyday pantry staple. Coconut Oil is not only an excellent fat to provide the fuel Winson needs, it is great for gut, skin and coat health. I use it both internally and externally to help with all sorts of skin rashes and abrasions. It is a natural antibacterial and antimicrobial powerhouse. Our Islander neighbours have used it for millenia.

The oil is not only found in the semi-solid oil, but also in Coconut Cream and to a lesser degree Coconut Milk.

Generally a half a teaspoon a day for dogs up to 5kg.

One teaspoon for dogs 5kg to 8kg.

8kg to 15kg 2 one Tablespoon.

15kg to 30 kg two Tablespoons.

NOTE: This is a loading dose to put weight on. A daily dose guide is half this amount.

I love to activate Chica Seeds in Coconut Cream. Our 3 girls get a teaspoon a day and they weigh 5kg each.

Avocado Oil

As with Coconut Oil make sure it is Extra Virgin and Organic. Most supermarkets carry this as an everyday pantry staple. Avocado Oil is not only an excellent fat to provide the fuel Winson needs, it is great for gut, skin and coat health. It is more expensive than Coconut Oil. Same feeding guide as above.

You can also add raw Avocados to their bowl as well - just make sure they never get the big seeds as they are toxic.

Eggs - a hidden Protein and Fat Powerhouse

Eggs are a simple and cheap and excellent addition to dogs' diets. You can feed FRESH whole eggs raw - including the shells for an added boost of calcium - please see our Meal Topper Range here:

You can also cook them. My dogs love a 'crunchy omelette'. Super easy to do and great to freeze.

6 Eggs (or 12 it's easier to do a bulk batch)

Crack into a bowl, whisk and then crumble or crush the shells into the egg mix. The finer the better here, try a mortar and pestle. Cook in a non-stick pan. Cool, and slice into small cubes. These can be individually frozen and added to their daily meals. Most dogs love it. Quality protein and fats as well as an eggcellent way to up their calcium intake.

So, easy right? Add some good fats and your skinny pooch will benefit!

As always I will underline this point - QUALITY foods that contain Proteins, Fats, Vitamins, and Minerals will build and maintain happy and healthy dog.

Cheap Kibble without anything 'value-added' will sustain life, but not promote longevity or disease- free animals.

I hope this helps and I hope to see you Winston again very soon!

Healthy Fats & Oils are vital in your dogs diet

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