Do you keep both cat and dog as pets? If so, you might come across situations where your dog tends to eat your cat food. Even if such a situation do not arise, there may come instances where you may think, can dogs eat cat food?
The short answer is no. But are there any exceptions, any caveats attached to this ‘no’? That is what we are exploring below.
But first, let’s discuss some basics.
Why Does Your Dog Like Cat Food?
The simple logic is that cats are carnivores, meaning they can’t eat food that has veggies or plants. They can only eat foods containing animal protein—meat. On the other hand, dogs are omnivores. Their food contains a mix of plant-based and animal-based ingredients. That doesn’t mean that your dog won’t be inclined to eating meat. Instead, they would literally run towards anything that contains meat. You might have seen this kind of scene at your home too.
Generally, the cat food bought from the market contains a much higher amount of meat-based ingredients. Due to their biological necessity, cat foods are enriched with proteins that make them tasty and tempting. This is why your dogs can’t resist themselves and would readily munch on your cat’s food.
Which Kind of Cat Food Is Dangerous For Dogs?
All kinds of cat foods are dangerous for dogs.
Most dog owners are confounded by the questions such as can dogs eat cat treats?
Can dogs eat wet cat food? Can dogs eat dry cat food? So and so forth.
The answer to all these questions is: No, they can’t.
Cat treats, dry cat foods, and wet cat foods contain ingredients that match the needs of a carnivorous animal. Vets strictly forbid dog owners to feed canines with such excessive nutrient feeds.
Why Is Cat Food Dangerous For Dogs?
Cat foods contain high meat content, vitamin A, arachidonic acid, and taurine. Under AAFCO guidelines, adult dog foods should contain 18% protein and 8.5% fat, whereas cat foods should comprise 26% protein and 9% fat. Since cat food has a fairly high amount of fats and protein, they become “too much” for a dog stomach. This makes cat foods dangerous for dogs. For the same reasons, as we said above, Vets strictly forbid dog owners to feed dog foods above the recommended percentages.
What Happens if a Dog Eats Cat Food?
Though consuming cat food once or twice won’t create severe problems for your dog, long-term reliance on cat foods can make your dog really sick.
Following are some of the problems you may notice after your dog eats cat food.
- Nutritional Deficiencies
- Inflammation of Pancreas (Pancreatitis)
- Mild to Moderate Intestinal Issues
Other than eating cat foods, dogs can also catch allergies from eating in the cat bowl.
What To Do if a Dog Eats Cat Food?
If your dog eats cat food, there may not be any issues if it the first time or if your dog’s stomach isn’t extra sensitive. It is quite possible that you wouldn’t know if your dog has eaten cat food. But if something odd happens, such as vomiting or diarrhea, contact your vet as soon as possible. Don’t try to use home remedies whatsoever. Responsible pet parents don’t compromise over the health of their dogs.
How To Keep Your Dog Away From Cat Food?
Prevention is better than cure! It is as simple as that.
Instead of your dog getting sick because of eating cat food, try to keep him away from cat food in the first place. Your dog is a kind of explorer, a sniffer. He’d try to eat whatever that comes in front of him. If it is the cat food, you bet they would leave their own food to eat cat food.
Here are some handy tips offered by dog owners and vets to prevent your dog from reaching cat food.
- Put your dog and cat in different rooms while feeding them
- Change feeding times of your dog and cat
- Get your cat a high perch to feed on
- Create a feeding chamber for your cat
- Teach your dog “Leave it” or “No” command
- Use an Automated Feeder: Such a feeder allows only those pets to eat from it, which it recognizes. Pet owners would store the picture of pets in the feeder and using that, it releases the food in the plate.
- Try out other cat food flavors, especially those that your dog wouldn’t like. For example, your dog may like the meat-protein cat food but it might not find the salmon-protein cat foods appetizing. This technique usually helps dog owners.
- Install a door too small to be used by a dog and feed your cat there
Usually, pet parents use cat food to feed their dogs in an emergency situation. But even that should be avoided. Instead, feed them human foods that match the nutrients level of dogs.
Can dogs eat cat foods? We hope you found your answer.