What is Crude Fat in Dog Food?

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Have you ever looked at the nutrition label on your dog’s food and wondered what “crude fat” meant?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s a term that confuses people a lot, especially since it doesn’t mean “fat” in the way we typically think of it. 

So, what is crude fat in dog food? And is it something that we should be concerned about?

To find out more about it, including if it’s good or bad for dogs and what sources of crude fat are available, keep reading.

Dog sleeping next to dog food bowl

What is Crude Fat in Dog Food

Crude fat is a measure of the total amount of fat in your pet’s diet.

This includes both good and bad fats, so it can be a little misleading since some sources of fat are better than others.

It’s represented as a percentage and is a required part of the dog food label, which means it’s a legally required[1] measurement.

In general, though, most dogs need a diet rich in fat to keep them healthy. 

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Is Crude Fat Good for Dogs?

Is Crude Fat Good for Dogs?

Yes! Crude fat is one of the most important elements of your dog’s diet, and it should make up about 10% of their caloric intake[2].

But not just any kind of fat will do. You’ll want to look out for certain types of “good” fats like Omega-3 fatty acids.

These are important for maintaining healthy skin, coat, and joints and preventing diseases like cancer.

A diet that is too low in fat can be harmful to dogs. 

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Is Crude Fat Bad for Dogs?

No, crude fat is not bad for dogs.

However, too much of it can lead to obesity.

According to the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior[3], you should monitor how much fat your dog eats each day and make sure that it’s within a healthy range for your dog’s weight and activity level. 

Sources of Crude Fat in Dog Food

Crude fat comes from many different sources, including meat products (beef, chicken, etc.), fish products (salmon oil), vegetable oils (canola oil), and dairy products (milk). 

The most common source of crude fat found in dog food is chicken or beef tallow which comes from the animal’s organs such as kidneys or livers.

These are rendered into liquid form by heating them at high temperatures after being ground up. 

Another common source of crude fat found in dog food is fish oil. This is a type of animal-based fat that is obtained by pressing the flesh of oily fish.

Fish oil is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining your dog’s health. 

How Much Crude Fat Do Dogs Need?

Most dogs need a diet that is around 10% fat, but this can vary depending on your dog’s individual needs.

For example, puppies and very active dogs may need a high-fat diet to help them grow and maintain their energy levels. 

According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), the amount of crude fat your pup needs depends on various factors, including age, weight, activity level, and breed[4].

While too much fat can be harmful to dogs, too little can leave them feeling hungrier.

A healthy range of crude fat is between 5-8% for adult dogs and 8-12% for puppies.

Dog Foods with Optimal Levels of Crude Fat

Here are some examples of dog foods that contain crude fat: 

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula – Good for Puppies

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula 

This Taste of the Wild recipe contains 32% crude fat, making it a good choice for puppies who need a diet that is high in fat. 

Like Taste of the Wild? See how they compare to these popular brands:
Taste of the Wild vs Victor Dog Food
Taste of the Wild vs Merrick
Taste of the Wild vs Nutro
Taste of the Wild vs Fromm

Taste of the Wild vs Blue Buffalo

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Dog Food – Good for Adult Dogs

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Dog Food

The Wellness “Complete Health” dog food has a moderate fat content of 18%, making it a good option for adult dogs who need a little less fat in their diet. 

Orijen Six Fish Dog Food – Good for Joint Health

Orijen Six Fish Dog Food

Orijen’s Six Fish recipe is rich in fish oils, containing nearly 60% crude fat. This is a good choice for dogs who need a diet that is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. 

Like Orijen? See how they compare to these popular brands:
Orijen vs Merrick
Orijen vs Fromm
Orijen vs Acana
Orijen vs Taste of the Wild

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Good Low Fat Recipe

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 

Blue Buffalo’s high protein food is low in fat, with only 5% crude fat. It’s a good choice for adult dogs who need to watch their weight. 

Like Blue Buffalo? See how they compare to these popular brands:
Blue Buffalo vs 4Health
Blue Buffalo vs Pure Balance
Blue Buffalo vs Science Diet
Blue Buffalo vs Royal Canin
Blue Buffalo vs Purina Pro Plan
Blue Buffalo vs Fromm
Blue Buffalo vs Nutro
Blue Buffalo vs Merrick

Dog Foods with Low Crude Fat

Here are some examples of dog foods that contain low crude fat: 

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Light Dog Food – Good for Overweight Dogs

Hill's Science Diet Adult Light Dog Food

This Hill’s Science Diet recipe is very low in fat, with only 4% crude fat. It’s a good choice for dogs who are overweight or need to lose weight.  

Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Grain-Free Formula Dry Dog Food – Good for Dogs with Allergies

Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Grain-Free Formula Dry Dog Food 

The Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Formula is grain-free and has a moderate fat content of 6%.

It’s a good choice for adult dogs who have allergies or sensitivities to grains. 

Merrick Classic Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Good Low Carb Option

Merrick Classic Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

This Merrick recipe is also grain-free and has a fat content of 9%. It’s a good choice for adult dogs who need a diet that is low in carbohydrates. 

Final Thoughts

Crude fat is a measure of the total amount of fat in a given sample.

Fats are important for energy production, skin and coat health, and brain development.

It is measured as a percentage, so when a dog food manufacturer says their food contains 4% crude fat, they mean that 4% of their product is pure, unadulterated fat.

In dog food, fats provide essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6.

These fatty acids are necessary for your pup’s growth and development and are used by your dog’s body to produce hormones that control things like blood pressure and immune function.

They also help your dog absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K from their stomach into their bloodstream.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few other common questions people ask.

What Does Crude Fat Mean in Dog Food? 

Crude fat is a type of animal-based fat found in many different sources, including meat products, fish products, vegetable oils, and dairy products. 

What Crude Fat Should Be in Dog Food? 

Most dogs need a diet of around 10% fat, but this can vary depending on your dog’s individual needs. 

What is the Difference Between Fat and Crude Fat? 

Crude fat measures the amount of fat in a given sample of dry dog food. It includes good and bad fats, such as Omega-3 fatty acids and saturated fats.

What is A Good Level of Crude Fat in Dog Food? 

A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association[5] found that a healthy range of crude fat is between 5-8% for adult dogs and 8-12% for puppies. However, the amount of crude fat your pup needs depends on various factors, including age, weight, activity level, and breed. 

How to Calculate Crude Fat in Dog Food? 

To calculate crude fat in dog food, divide the total amount of fat by the total weight of the food. This will give you the percentage of fat in the food. 

Resources

  1. https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/pet-food-labels-general
  2. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/nutrition-general-feeding-guidelines-for-dogs
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2251326/
  4. https://petfood.aafco.org/nutritional-labeling
  5. https://avmajournals.avma.org/view/journals/javma/javma-overview.xml

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