Introducing Healthy Fats into Your Puppy’s Diet

A balanced and nutritious meal should be fed to your favorite pet (or pets!) everyday! With the trend of trying to eat healthy, you may end up trying to avoid food with fats in them. However, there is a big difference between healthy fats and bad fats! They affect your pup the same way they affect you, so you should be on the lookout for the difference. Consider giving your puppy healthy fats to keep them healthy!

What Is A Healthy Fat?

Humans are supposed to have fats called polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. We’re supposed to avoid foods that are saturated, as our bodies end up storing these fats. For humans, foods with good fats are avocados, fatty fish such as tuna and salmon, and nuts. However, dogs aren’t supposed to have the same food as humans.

For dogs, healthy fats include Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats. These fats are able to help maintain your pup’s body, especially their skin and coats. These fats also supply your dog with the energy they need to stay active throughout the day! Fats that dogs need can be found in the meats they eat.

For both humans and dogs, fats are a source of energy that gives both of you energy throughout the day. These fats are also able to carry fat-soluble vitamins throughout your body! Overall, these fats are able to maintain your body and your pup’s body and keep them in a healthy state.

How Much Fat Should My Dog Have?

An adult dog should have around 5.5% of fat, while a puppy should have around 10-25% fat content. Since puppies need more energy than an adult dog, they tend to need food with a higher fat content. 

However, too much fat can cause an imbalance in your pup’s health. In fact, too much of anything will lead to problems you don’t want your pup to have! Some effects can lead to problems such as diabetes, high blood-pressure, obesity, and even heart disease.

The most noticeable trait that your pup is missing healthy fats is itchy skin, dry and dull coat, and inflammations. Without these healthy fats, your pup may be very uncomfortable! 

What Should I Give My Puppy To Supply Them With Healthy Fats?

Dogs are unable to create essential fats, which are fats that your pup needs to obtain by eating. These fats, along with Omega-6 and Omega-3, need to be given to your pup through their meals! While some meals may already include these ingredients in their food, you may need to add more so that your pup can have the correct nutrition.

The first thing you should take notice of is the type of meat you’re giving your pup. When feeding your pup, it’s best to pick products that are in the lean meat category, such as beef, or poultry, such as chicken. Meats tend to provide your pup with Omega-6.

In order to give your pup other healthy fats, you may need to add more than just meat to their diet. Omega-3 can be found in foods like coconut oil, fish, and flaxseeds.

Typically, your pup shouldn’t have a hard time adjusting to these new ingredients as long as you don’t suddenly introduce new food. Always remember to carefully wean your pup off of their old food and into their new one!

A Raw/Natural Meat Diet?

One of the best ways to introduce your pup to healthy fats is actually giving your pup a raw food diet! This diet allows for you to easily control what your pup can and can’t eat, and actually help maintain their health through food. Consider cooking your pup’s food instead of giving them commercially made food!

One of the best meats to give your pup while on a raw or natural food diet is lean meats, such as 80% lean beef or higher. Leans meats naturally have healthy fats for your pup! Chicken and turkey is also readily available to your pup! Make sure to double check how much your pup should eat depending on their weight. Typically speaking, you should only feed your pup around 2-3% of their current body weight in lean meats. Serve with sweet potatoes or other green vegetables to give them a balanced diet!

In order for your pup to get omega-3 fats, you may want to consider halving the amount of meat your pup gets and replace it with fatty fish like salmon! Or, you could add chia seeds and flax seeds to your pup’s diet. Both are safe for your pup! If your pup isn’t fond of the taste, consider using supplements that have fish oil or flaxseed oil as well! 

Always consider giving your puppy healthy fats! In the long run, these fats can help keep them healthy, and even keep them in shape. Never be afraid of the word fats!

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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