Fatty acids belong to the group of lipids and are basically divided into saturated and unsaturated ones. The former are only a carrier of energy for the dog. When carbohydrates and saturated fatty acids are fed at the same time, the energy from the more quickly digestible carbohydrate is consumed first. If the dog’s body does not require any further calorie intake, fat deposits are created.
A healthy nutrition of your quadruped should therefore consist only of a certain proportion of saturated fatty acids. This varies from animal to animal and breed to breed. A Husky that is used in dog sports naturally has a higher energy requirement than a pug that does not take more than three short walks a day.
Unsaturated Fatty Acids: Importance of Omega-3 and Omega-6
Unsaturated fatty acids are essential for a healthy diet as they fulfil important metabolic functions. Two subgroups of these lipids are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These should be fed at a ratio of 1:5 (omega-3 to omega-6). Omega-6 is naturally found in the meat used for feeding dogs and therefore does not usually need to be fed separately. A good source of healthy omega-3 is fish oil and some vegetable oils.
You can add them to your food several times a week according to the guideline value of 0.3 grams of oil per kilogram body weight if you prepare the food for your four-legged friend yourself.
If you take care of a balanced and healthy diet for your dog, the risk of problems with the metabolism, coat or skin is minimized. Your pet will thank you for it.