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What Is Crude Fat in Dog Food? How Much Should There Be?

Black Dachshund dog guarding and eating food

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Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

Vet, MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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When it comes to feeding your furry canine companion, you want only the best high-quality food containing the best ingredients.

When researching the best food, you’ll often run across crude fat in the ingredients and probably wonder just what it is or even how much should be in your dog’s food. Should it be there at all?

Crude fat is a part of dog food sourced from animals or vegetables, and there should be at least 5% to 18% crude fat in the food you give your pup. We’ll talk more about what crude fat is and how much you should look for in your pet’s dog food.

divider-pawWhat Is Dog Food Crude Fat?

The idea of crude fat in your pet’s food isn’t very appetizing, but it is necessary to keep them healthy and happy. In fact, it’s an essential macronutrient. However, alongside the fat in the dog food, your canine needs protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to round out a healthy diet.

Crude fat is the amount of fat present in the diet before it is metabolized by the dog.  The term “crude” refers to the method of measurement and not the quality of the fat. Crude fat is a percentage by weight of the food.

That’s why dog food makers carefully measure every nutrient, including the crude fat, so that you know how much fat your dog is eating, as too much can be bad for your pup.

Fat is needed for energy and absorption of  several essential vitamins that your dog needs to be healthy, and they include vitamins A, D, E, and K.

labrador retriever dogs eating raw foods
Image Credit: manushot, Shutterstock

Dangers of Too Much Crude Fat

While fat is an essential part of your dog’s diet, too much can be dangerous for canines. High levels of crude fat in dog food can lead to obesity, which is a condition many dog breeds are prone to already.

Too much fat can also lead to pancreatitis, which is painful and can lead to death if not treated in time.

Diet Tips for Obese Dogs

Sometimes no matter how much you check the crude fat and other contents in your dog’s food, they still end up being overweight. We’ll give you a few tips to combat weight gain below.

First, you should know what your dog’s healthy weight is. The best way to find out this information is by visiting your vet.

Try to keep your dog as active as possible without overworking it, as that can cause health problems also. Keeping their minds active with training and games also helps to combat weight gain.

We all want to share our food and treats with our beloved dogs, but sometimes it hurts them more than it helps them. So, limit the number of table scraps and dog treats you give your pal to be on the safe side.

divider-pawFinal Thoughts

Fat is essential for your dog’s health and happiness, but there are limits to this and the crude fat should only make up from 8% to 18% of the food itself. Make sure that you check the ingredients carefully to determine if it’s the right choice for your pet.

If you’re ever unsure which food to feed your canine, make an appointment with your vet for a checkup, and they’ll give you the best recommendations for your pet.


Featured Image Credit: dogboxstudio, Shutterstock

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