Is Vegetable Oil Good for Dogs?
Moving on to the letter “V” in our dog food ingredient series. Today we are writing about vegetable oil.
What is Vegetable Oil?
According to Wikipedia, A vegetable oil is a triglyceride extracted from a plant. The AAFCO definition of vegetable oil is: the product of vegetable origin obtained by extracting the oil from seeds or fruits which are processed for edible purposes.
Common names for Vegetable Oil
Besides the generic “vegetable oil”, other plant based oils that are used in dog food include canola oil, soybean oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil.
Why is Vegetable Oil in Dog Food?
Is Vegetable Oil Commonly Used in Dog Food?
Vegetable oil is in about 5% of all dog foods. While used in both dry and we foods, it is much more prevalent in the dry varieties.
Common Benefits or Risks of Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil is used as a source of fat and a dog’s bodies are meant to process fats and need proper amounts to function properly. Fats are an important source of energy and necessary for the normal development and function of body cells, nerves, muscles, and body tissues. Fats ensure that the body can absorb certain vitamins called the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K).
The problem with vegetable oil as an ingredient is that there is no way to know its actual source and therefore its nutritional profile and fatty acid makeup.
Unsaturated vegetable oils can be transformed through partial or complete “hydrogenation” into oils of higher melting point. Partially hydrogenated oils and their trans fats have been linked to an increased risk of mortality from coronary heart disease and other increased health risks.
Depending on the source of the oil, (e.g. canola, corn and soy), vegetable oils can distort the important omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.
We did a scan of dog foods that contain vegetable oil in their ingredients and have determined that it is used mostly in lower quality foods. Below is a sample ingredient list that is representative of the type of food that contains vegetable oil:
Ground Whole Corn;Meat And Bone Meal;Ground Whole Wheat;Corn Gluten Meal;Animal Fat (Preserved With Bha And Citric Acid);Wheat Mill Run;Chicken By-Product Meal;Natural Flavor;Salt;Rice;Potassium Chloride;Vegetable Oil (Source Of Linoleic Acid);Vitamins (Dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate [Source Of Vitamin E];Choline Chloride;L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate [Source Of Vitamin C*];Vitamin A Supplement;Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1];Biotin;D-Calcium Pantothenate;Riboflavin Supplement [Vitamin B2];Vitamin D3 Supplement;Vitamin B12 Supplement);Dried Vegetables (Peas;Carrots);Minerals (Zinc Sulfate;Zinc Proteinate;Copper Sulfate;Copper Proteinate;Manganese Proteinate;Potassium Iodide);Added Fd&C Colors (Red 40;Blue 2;Yellow 6;Yellow 5)
Slimdoggy Ingredient Comfort Level
Due to the fact that the specific source of vegetable oil is unknown, it gets the SlimDoggy Sad Face.
Miscellaneous facts about Vegetable Oil
Olive oil and other pressed oils have been used for centuries but it was ‘innovation’ by Procter & Gamble that extended the use of vegetable oil. P&G started selling cottonseed oil as a creamed shortening, in 1911.
Sources and further reading
Editor’s note: to view all of the dog food ingredients we have covered, search on the tag “ingredients” or click here:
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