Giving Your Dog Fats

Proper nutrition is just as important for your dog’s health and well-being as it is for ours. Fat is an important part of any good doggy diet. However, it’s important to make sure your canine buddy is getting the right type and amount of fat. Too much or too little could lead to some pretty serious health issues! A Lexington, KY vet offers the ‘skinny’ on fats below.

Fat Functions

Fat plays some very important roles in keeping your four-legged buddy healthy. It’s great for his skin and coat, helps lubricate his bones and joints, and provides fuel for running after all those tennis balls. Fat also helps Fido’s body absorb vitamins, and provides energy and support for cell growth. (It also gets that cute tail wagging, but that’s another topic.)

Good Fats

You’ve likely heard of omega-3 and omega-6 oils. These are commonly found in fish, such as salmon, sardines, and herring, but they’re also present in things like eggs; vegetable oils, such as olive, sunflower, safflower, walnut, and soybean oils; and even meat and poultry. Other healthy sources of fat include flaxseed, chia seeds, and hempseed. Different types of fats provide different benefits. For example, coconut oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral, while fish oils help protect Fido from things like arthritis and heart disease.


All fats are definitely not created equal. Some kinds do more harm than good. These include things like beef tallow, lard, and fat trimmings. Too much fat can also cause a condition called pancreatitis, which, as the name suggests, is an issue with the pancreas. Pancreatitis can be treated, but you’d need to get your canine pal to the vet right away. Severe cases can, unfortunately, be fatal. This is one reason it’s important to avoid overindulging your pooch with things like bacon and sausage. (Sorry, Fido: it’s for your own good.)  It’s important for you to know the warning signs of pancreatitis, which include vomiting, lack of appetite, fever, and lethargy. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these red flags.

Feeding Fido

So how much fat does Fido need? And how much is too much? Ultimately, you’ll want to get with your vet on that one, as every dog is different.

Please contact us, your Lexington, KY pet clinic, with any questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care. We’re here to help!

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