Essential Fatty Acids for Dogs

Good fats and oils are vital to a healthy balanced diet for your dog. Not enough good fats is as big a problem as too much. Aim for a fat percentage of 12 to 16 percent—even for dogs that need to lose weight (unless otherwise advised by your vet). Why? Good fats, knows as essential fatty acids, are necessary for normal development and function of body cells, nerves, muscles, and tissues. They help the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Too low fat levels, by contrast, can result in dry skin, dull coat, an impaired immune system, even heart disease.

Check out the ingredient list of your dog’s food for good sources of essential fats. For example fish, chicken or beef fat, flaxseed oil, canola oil, etc. For thorough information about all dog food and nutrition, check out The Whole Dog Journal (