Fats come in all shapes and sizes and have a whole host of functions within the body. The most common form of dietary fats are triglycerides which are the bodys’ primary form of stored energy. Fat is found deposited in various locations in the pets’ body, surrounding vital organs, under the skin and surrounding the intestines. These deposits have extensive nerve and blood supply which is essential to be able to provide energy when required and store energy when intake is surplus.
Not only do fats provide energy, but they also have metabolic and structural functions, serving as insulators against heat loss and as a protective layer for the vital organs. When it comes to carbohydrates as an energy source, animals have limited capacity to store energy in this form, they do however, have a limitless capacity to store that extra intake of energy in the form of fat.
Dietary fat provides the pets’ body with the most concentrated form of energy out of all the nutrients they intake alongside this, the digestibility of fat is typically higher than that of proteins and carbohydrates. Dietary fat also provides pets’ with sources of (EFAs) essential fatty acids, these nutrients are called essential as the body has a physiological requirement for them. The body requires two distinct types of EFAS, omega 3 and omega 6. Omega 3 and 6 are essential for normal physiological functioning of the body, cells and cell structure.
Fat within pet food also contributes significantly to the palatability and texture of the kibble - its doesn't matter well formulated our recipes are, it cannot be nutritious if it cannot be eaten! Although a higher fat content (25-40% fat) may be preferred over lower fat diets it’s important to realise that an increased fat level also increases the energy density of the kibble.Higher density kibbles with an increased energy density are required to be fed at a lower level, however it is important to note that this increased density teamed up with increased palatability of foods can encourage pets to over-consume which can very rapidly lead to over eating. For this reason, we ensure that your recipes are formulated to meet the individual needs of pets’ and are perfectly balanced with moderate fat levels that are still highly palatable! When it comes to senior and light diets, they are formulated to have at least 15% less fat content than the average product.
Oils and fats (sometimes referred to as lipids) come under the same category and are required to be listed as ‘Crude Oils & Fats’ under Analytical Constituents in accordance with the ‘Code of Good Labelling Practice for Pet Food (FEDIAF, 2011).
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