Feeding Fats

He does. And the older he gets he may need more fat than he did as a younger dog. The body needs fats for a healthy digestive system, skin, brain health, etc.

For some dogs where we are trying to get more fat into them without a lot of added volume — a pat of butter is sometimes used!

If you begin making home cooked meals — choosing skinless chicken is not going to be the best option. We tend to think about feeding our dogs lean meat, in the same way you want to eat lean meat. That’s not the right answer for most dogs.

Hamburger — 80/20 is what’s recommended for most dogs with Volhard, with an occasional rotation (1 day a week) unless we have a specific health issues you’re working on. Most people don’t even consider hamburger in the home prepped meals!

If you are feeding chicken, keep the skin on! But remember chicken is a common allergen and often not antibiotic free. It’s also a ” Hot / Warming ” protein according to chinese medicine. So for some dogs, that protein source is going to add gas to the fire on them internally — which affects behavior (to the point of aggression), skin conditions, ability to learn, comfort, etc.

If you’re feeding turkey — you may have to find a source of fat to add to the diet since it’s so lean to start. But you also need to remember, if you have a performance dog, feeding turkey might make them feel like a big ol nap is needed after Thanksgiving lunch.


You gotta read labels if you’re feeding kibble. We’re started to see a lot of plant based fat or nut fats, and not as much animal fat. That could be a problem.

A yucky tidbit of information for you — when cooking kibble,the animal fat is rendered out. And most manufacturers spray back on rendered fat after the kibble is processed to add flavor and fat back to the food. Some companies are using used restaurant grease — gross.

How much — it’s possible that as much as 30% of your dog’s diet can be fat. Now we don’t want to jump from low fat to high fat or really unhealthy fats as that could create issues with the pancreas if we get into junk foods, fast foods, or create an unhealthy increase in fat. The point is — don’t shy away from fats in the diet.

Note -- I didn't say your dog needs to BE fat!  Leaner dogs tend to live longer and healthier.

Dana Brigman