What is Crude Fat in Dog Food?

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Don’t be offended, the term ‘crude fat’ in dog food is misleading

Understandably, dog parents might shy away from dog food with ‘crude’ ingredients. However, crude fat is not rude or lewd. Instead, it refers to the amount of fat in your dog’s food. But it is a bit more complicated than that. It is the measurement of fat that goes into Doggo’s mouth before it is digested and metabolized. So, looking at the measure of crude fat on the dog food label could be confusing. It does not indicate the quality of the fat, nor does it show how it would metabolize.

Not only does the word crude seem coarse, but fat is also a word that has negative connotations for many people. However, a bit of fat is essential in your pup’s diet. It carries vitamins that are fat-soluble, and it provides energy.  

The importance of fat in your pup’s diet

If you think fat is bad, read this. Fat is a nutrient that plays multiple significant roles in Fido’s body. Along with energy, fat also provides cushioning and insulation. An important fact to note is that both too much and too little can adversely affect your pup’s health.

How much crude fat is necessary for a healthy dog?

Let’s look at the standards prescribed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. This organization establishes standards for the nutritional completeness of pet food. What does it mean to say the term ‘crude’ refers to the amount of crude fat that goes into Doggo’s mouth? The key to its value in his diet is how much is left to benefit his health after it is metabolized. That is why the AAFCO says what really matters is the type of crude fat in the dog food. 

What to look for on dog food labels?

Firstly, look for the metabolizable energy amount on a dog food label. When you compare dog foods, the highest metabolizable energy amount will be the most nutrient-dense food. However, follow the portion sizes carefully because the higher the nutrition content, the lower should be the portion size. 

Study the label for good fats

Don’t stare yourself blind on the crude fat percentages. Instead, study the ingredients. Quality dog food is one containing balanced amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Chicken fat, pork fat, soybean, corn, sunflower and safflower oil are all sources of Omega-6 fatty acids. For Omega-3 fatty acids, look for fish, canola oil and flaxseed oil. Avoid those containing low-quality fats like lard and tallow.

In a nutshell

This is a complicated ingredient to understand. However, forget about the term crude and regardless of how you feel about fat, look for the mentioned good fats and follow portion directions carefully. Add to that generous portions of love and Doggo will be just fine!

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Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.