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Fats & Carbohydrates For Dogs

Fats and Carbohydrates For Dogs

Animal Fats: While most animal fats contain just as many calories as vegetable oils, only two contain essential fatty acids in amounts sufficient to supply a dog's needs. These are the fat of the pig, commonly called lard, and horse fat. The tallow of beef and mutton should never be used as the sole source of energy for a dog because of their low content of essential fatty acids. Animal fats contain about 126 calories in every tablespoonful.

Cereal grains: One of the major sources of carbohydrates, both for dogs and man, is the cereal grains. The useful carbohydrate in these grains is predominantly starch. Starch can also be purchased in pure form, and contains about 29 calories per tablespoon, or about 464 calories per cup. Other sources of carbohydrate energy from cereal grains can be obtained from dry and cooked breakfast cereals, boiled rice, hominy grits, corn meal, and in the milled form, such as flour. Cereal grain products should never constitute more than about 50 percent of the dry matter of a dog's diet.

Potatoes: Except for the fact that potatoes have more water in them, the amount of carbohydrates in potatoes is almost the same as in the cereal grains. Potatoes can be used interchangeably with those cereals that are fed in the boiled state. Like cereals, potatoes should never constitute more than 50 percent of the dry matter of the diet.

Bread: As a source of carbohydrates in a diet, white or whole wheat bread ranks among the better ''natural'' foods available to a dog feeder. It usually is fortified with vitamins and minerals, is palatable to most dogs, and is always available and inexpensive. Some dog owners who feed their pets natural ingredients insist that bread should be toasted before being fed to a dog. While such a practice makes the slices easier to crumble and mix with the rest of the diet, the starches in bread have already been subjected to cooking and about all toasting does is to enhance the texture of the bread.

Specialty flour products: A carbohydrate source frequently overlooked by a dog owner is the specialty product made from flour noodles, macaroni, and spaghetti. These have an energy content comparable to other cereal grain products. And, like rice and hot cereals, they have the advantage of being able to be added dry to a food, then being cooked after the water has been added. This gives the capability of mixing a large amount of dry food at one time, then adding water and cooking small amounts as it is needed.

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