Dietary fat has long been associated with weight gain and other health issues in humans.
More recently, and probably as a result of the increasing pet obesity epidemic, it has become trendy to view dietary fat as a problem for companion animals as well.
The fact is fat is a vital part of a nutritionally balanced diet for your dog or cat. It is carbohydrate intake and lack of exercise, not dietary fat that accounts for the vast majority of overweight pets.
According to Suite101.com, dietary fat contributes to the health and well-being of companion animals in many ways, including:
- Fat is a concentrated energy source for dogs and cats.
- Fat makes up part of the membrane of cells and also helps transport nutrients and other substances across the cell membrane.
- Fats produce metabolites that help control inflammation.
- Fats contribute to the formation of some hormones, such as estrogen, testosterone and progesterone.
- Fats contribute to the formation of bile acids, which aid in digestion and absorption of nutrients.
- Fat acts as a mechanical barrier, insulating the body against heat loss, protecting internal organs and preventing excess water loss.