A balanced diet is essential to provide your growing puppy with everything he needs. Unlike your diet, his diet mostly consists of protein and fat. He doesn’t have to worry about high cholesterol like you do. Providing oil supplements to his food ensures he gets those essential fats.
Low Fat Diet Problems
If your puppy’s diet does not provide enough fat, he may develop dry and itchy skin, hair loss and a dull coat. Over the long-term, a diet low in fat can lead to a weakened immune system, heart disease and diabetes. Fats are essential for the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K.
Common Oils For Dogs
Fish oil, such as salmon oil, and flaxseed oil provides omega-3 while corn, soy and canola oils provide both omega-3 and omega-6. Safflower and sunflower oils are good sources for omega-6. When looking for puppy foods with oils, you are looking for those with omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. Ideally, you want a puppy food that provides a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 that is between 5 to 1 and 10 to 1. The lower the ratio, the more beneficial it is for your dog. You may want to add oil to your puppy's food if it doesn't provide enough omega-6 or omega-3.
Other Reasons to Add Oils
Puppy constipation is a common problem. It can be the result of anxiety, diet changes, or dehydration. Adding a little bit of oil to his food helps get things moving and allows your puppy to pass a stool.
Before Adding Oils
Before adding any oil to your puppy’s diet, consult a veterinarian or a canine nutritionist. They will help you determine how much you need to add to your puppy’s food and how often based on size, weight and any medical concerns. In general, the amount of oil added is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per serving. Mix this in with your dog's dry or moist dog food.
Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.