Dogs, like all animals, need fats to survive and as carnivores, they are best suited to animal fats.
In general, animal fats are produced as a by-product of meat meal production. When the meat is heated and ground, the fats melt and are drained away. The resulting dry meat meal powder is therefore relatively low in fat so most dog foods that use meat meal have added fat to bring the levels back up.
Dogs also really like the taste of fat so it is tempting for manufacturers to add a little more than is strictly needed to make their foods that little bit more appealing. Unfortunately, as we all know, too much fat can cause all sorts of problems so if you notice your dog is starting to put on a little too much weight, you may want to consider a food with a lower fat content.
The problem with ambiguous terms like 'animal fats' or 'animal oils' is that they could refer to literally any fat of any quality from any animal. This allows the manufacturer to alter the recipe between batches depending on what fats are cheaper at the time. As always, we recommend looking for foods where the sources of the fats and oils are clearly stated.
Find foods containing Unspecified Animal Fats and Oils See the full Ingredient Glossary