Good Oils for dogs
There's no dog food that can't live without some form of oil. And there is a good reason for that. After all, fats are an indispensable nutrient that your dog's body also needs.
As with other ingredients in your dog's food, oil can vary greatly in terms of quality and possible effects on your dog's health.
For this reason, we would like to go into the subject in more detail in the following article. You will learn what makes good oils for dogs and which common vegetable oils you should better avoid.
Sunflower oil is not a good choice
Sunflower oil is used particularly frequently for dog food. For most dog owners this should not cause any doubts. After all, the oil from the sunflower seeds is generally considered healthy.
The reality, however, is a little different, so that regular consumption for humans and dogs alike brings with it some problems.
Unsaturated fatty acids: good or bad?
An important argument to underline the health benefits of sunflower oil is its high content of unsaturated fatty acids. For the average dog owner this sounds positive at first. After all, unsaturated fats are generally considered to be particularly healthy. However, with the exact type of fatty acids contained, an important aspect is disregarded. Sunflower oil primarily contains omega-6 fatty acids and very few omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-6 fatty acids are also essential and certainly not generally harmful. However, the ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 fats is crucial for health effects. If your dog regularly receives too many omega-6 fats and too few omega-3 fats in his diet from sunflower oil, this can damage him in the long run and lead to inflammation in his body.
Problems caused by processing
Another problem that makes sunflower oil a bad ingredient for dog food is the way it is made.
This is because high temperatures are usually used in the production process. In addition, chemicals, solvents and bleaching agents are used to give the oil the desired properties. Although there are certainly exceptions, you can assume that these are not used for dog food.
Trans fats harm health
As if the two points mentioned were not bad enough, there is another argument against sunflower oil in dog food.
If the sunflower oil is used in a hardened or partially hardened form, so-called trans fats are produced.
Trans fats can cause a whole range of health problems. These include, among other things, increasing cholesterol levels and possibly even promoting cancer.
There are good alternatives
It is important to us that our products provide your dog with exactly what his body needs. Sunflower oil is therefore out of the question for us. Instead, we have opted for a much better alternative and use linseed oil in both our dry and wet foods.
Why we prefer linseed oil
Compared to sunflower oil, linseed oil offers some decisive advantages. Of particular importance is its high content of omega-3 fatty acids. This ensures that the ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 fats does not get out of control and that the above-mentioned possible consequences for your dog's health do not occur.
On the contrary. The omega-3 fatty acids they contain fulfil a number of important functions in the animal's body and thus contribute directly to maintaining its well-being and health.
Among the positive effects of omega-3 fats are the following:
- Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduction of inflammatory processes
- Contribution to joint and cartilage health
- lowering blood pressure
- Increased insulin sensitivity
- Improving the health of the arteries
In addition, linseed oil does not contain trans fats, so its use is harmless with regard to your dog's cholesterol levels, among other things.
Even though the cost of linseed oil is much higher, we are convinced that we have made the right choice for the benefit of our four-legged customers.
Sunflower oil still enjoys a good reputation. On closer inspection, however, it has some disadvantages that should not be underestimated and can sooner or later have a very negative effect on your dog's health.
In fact, there is only one reason why sunflower oil is still a common ingredient in dog food. As is so often the case, it's all about money.
Compared to a high-quality linseed oil, as we use it in our Bellfor Dog Food, its price is just one seventh. For the manufacturers of dog food, this results in an enormous savings potential, which is ultimately achieved at the expense of the health of the animals.
We therefore recommend that you prefer dog food with linseed oil. Even if this may be a bit more expensive, it still pays off in the long run.