Low Fat Dog Food
All dogs need to eat a nutritious, balanced diet that is good for their health. Every dog is unique and many have specific health issues or life styles that require a different balance of nutrients to other dogs. For some dogs a low fat diet is best and there are several commercial low fat dog foods available to meet this need.
Why do some dogs need a low fat diet?
All dogs do need a certain amount of fat in their diet to stay healthy and avoid becoming deficient in fat soluble vitamins. Eating too little fat can cause skin and coat issues and lethargy. Dogs also have different nutritional needs at different life stages, so a puppy will need a different dog food to adult dog. For this reason it is important to speak with a vet before switching a dog to a low fat diet.
If a dog is overweight or becoming obese a vet might recommend a low fat diet containing fewer calories to help the dog lose weight. Older dogs or those with a sedentary lifestyle will need fewer calories than active dogs that get a lot of exercise, and may benefit from a low fat diet on the advice of a vet.
There are also certain medical conditions for which a low fat dog food might be recommended. For example, dogs with pancreatitis may have issues digesting fat. Other medical conditions that might improve with a low fat diet include hyperlipidemia (high levels of triglycerides), digestive problems, IBS, acid reflux, diabetes, sensitive stomachs, liver and gall bladder disease. It is important for dog owners to discuss all their dog’s medical issues with a vet before changing to a low fat dog food.
What to look for when choosing a low fat dog food
Low fat dry and canned dog foods are available, but owners should always read the label to check the quality of the ingredients as well as the fat content. It is important that dogs eat enough meat protein. Good low fat sources of protein include lean meats such as turkey, chicken breast, venison and rabbit, as opposed to red meats like beef that are generally high in fat.
As well as checking for good quality protein, owners should look for kibble and canned food that doesn’t contain cheap fillers like cornstarch or animal by-products that provide little nutritional value. Artificial additives such as colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners are best avoided.
Natural, whole food ingredients are as a rule good, but dog owners should be wary of food that is very high in carbohydrates, particularly if their dog needs to lose weight. Grain free dog food is worth checking out, such as Wellness CORE Reduced Fat Dry Formula and Annamaet Grain-Free Lean Low Fat Formula.
If there is a medical reason for a dog to follow a low fat diet, a vet will be able to advise owners about the exact percentage of fat they should be looking for in their pet’s food and perhaps recommend a particular brand.