What is a Low Fat Diet for Dogs?

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What Is A Low Fat Diet For DogsThere have been a lot of changes to dog food in recent years. Grain free dog food, limited ingredient diets, organic dog food, human-grade dog food, raw dog food, freeze-dried dog food… it seems like there’s something new being advertised all the time, and it’s really hard to keep up. In fact, it almost seems like there are more canine diet trends than there are diet trends for humans!

Recently, low fat diets seem to have become extremely popular. In fact, you may have heard or seen some of the most popular dog food brands advertising new formulas, or you might have heard fellow pet parents talking about it at the dog park. But what is a low fat diet and is it healthy for canines? Keep on reading to learn more.

What is a Low Fat Diet for Canines?

A low fat diet is exactly what it sounds like: it has lower amounts of fat than traditional recipes. The average fat content of standard wet dog food is 23 percent, while low fat formulas have a fat content of 16 percent or lower. The average fat content of dry dog food formulas is 16 percent, while a low fat recipe will have a fat content that is 10 percent or less. Typically, a low fat dog food recipe will be made with high quality protein sources, such as lamb, duck, venison, or fish. They also contain a blend of fruits and veggies, and some formulas are also grain-free and have a reduced fiber content.

There are several highly regarded pet food manufacturers that offer low fat formulas, including:

When to Feed Your Dog a Low Fat Diet

Many advertisers market their low fat formulas to all dogs, stating that it’s a healthier option than traditional recipes; however, in reality, most dogs don’t need lower fat levels. This type of diet should really only be offered to canines that suffer from certain health conditions, for example:

  • Dogs that have been diagnosed with pancreatitis or whose pancreas tends to become inflamed
  • Canines that are suffering from conditions that could lead to the development of pancreatitis, such as hypertriglyceridemia
  • Dogs that suffer from exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) as a result of pancreas damage
  • Canines that are afflicted with inflammatory bowel disease
  • Dogs that simply cannot tolerate high amounts of fat because their bodies do not absorb it properly

If you are thinking about switching your pet to a low fat diet, make sure you consult with your veterinarian first. Your vet will determine whether or not this type of diet is the right option for your furry friend. If it is deemed appropriate for your pooch, make sure you read the ingredient list before purchasing, as unfortunately (and like with all recipes), some manufacturers claim their food is healthy, but in reality, it’s made with sub-par ingredients and will not meet your pup’s nutritional needs.

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