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Fat in a Dog's Food
March 13, 2015
Fat in a Dog's Food
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Dietary Fat In The Wild
Wolves’ diet varies by location, season, etc. Being carnivores they eat large and small animals depending on availability.
One thing all of these animals have in common is skin, including a layer called subcutaneous tissue. It’s essentially a layer of fat with various functions that include regulating body temperature and padding muscles and bones from injury.
As you can probably guess, when wolves eat as much of the animal as possible, including the skin, the fat content of the meat they’re eating is drastically raised. Given how your dog’s body works, this is a very good thing!
Domestic dogs don’t have a biological need for carbohydrates; they use protein to rebuild muscle and use fat for energy. As a built-in safety mechanism, your dog’s body likes to store energy.
When a diet is deficient in fat but contains carbohydrates, the body will store carbohydrates for energy instead. To get the same energy result, your dog needs to store twice the amount of carbohydrates, in terms of weight, as he does fats.
Contrary to popular belief, fat does not make an animal fat. The recent rise in canine obesity has everything to do with the rise in carbohydrate-rich plant ingredients in modern pet foods and not the fat content.
Conversely, a lot of so-called prey model diets that rely on lean meats are deficient in both fat and carbohydrates, leading to something even more dangerous.
In this situation the body is forced to use protein for energy, which has the unfortunate side effect of creating extra nitrogen to be filtered by the kidneys, which is very taxing!
There have been enough homemade diets deficient in fat and carbohydrates to create a misinformed view that raw diets create extra burden for the kidneys.
If those diets had a sufficient amount of dietary fat to use for energy, the byproducts would have been carbon dioxide and water (instead of nitrogen), which are much easier for the body to remove.
In either case, keeping carbohydrates low and adding the correct amount of dietary fat will correct the imbalance.