Fats

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Dietary fats are required to:

  • supply energy: dietary fat provides the pet with 2.25 times more calories per weight unit than protein or carbohydrates
  • aid absorption of the fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A,D, E and K): dietary fat provides a physical environment in the gut that enhances the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Dogs and cats need at least 1-2% dietary fat in their food to absorb fat-soluble vitamins
  • supply essential fatty acids: Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • blood proteins (haemoglobin, transferrin, albumin and globulins)

The essential fatty acids are needed:

  • as constituents of cell membranes to maintain fluid membranes that allow passage of molecules
  • for the synthesis of diverse, active substances in the body, i.e., prostaglandins
  • to control water loss through the skin

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