Dogs,more than cats, are naturally attracted to foods rich in lipids, but they must be limited when the animal does not get a lot of physical exercise. In the absence of very strict rationing the excess of lipids leads to obesity, but animals cannot do without them, as they provide energy and essential fatty acids.
Lipids constitute a family of organic substances more commonly known as fats. Fatty acids and glycerol, which together form the triglycerides, are the main elements. Lipids may be simple (triglycerides, waxes) or complex (containing many other elements). Cell membranes for example are composed of phospholipids.
Fats are the benchmark energy source for dogs and cats, which oxidise them to extract the energy they need.A gram of lipids represents approximately 9 kcal of metabolisable energy, two and a half times more than what a gram of carbohydrates or proteins provides.
Some fatty acids – termed essential – also have structural roles for the cell or act as precursors to specific hormones.Dietary lipid sources are all foods rich in animal fats (butter, tallow, lard, eggs, fowl fat, fish oil) and vegetable fats (oils, oilseeds).