Can dogs eat cat food? It’s not recommended for dogs to regularly eat cat food, as cat food does not have the right balance of nutrients for canines. However, in certain situations, feeding cat food to dogs can come in handy.
The Danger of Feeding Cat Food to Dogs
The main issue about dogs consuming cat food is improper nutrient intake. Dogs and cats are two different animals with different types of diets and nutritional needs.
Dogs are omnivores, so their diet primarily consists of meat and vegetables. On the other hand, cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they solely consume animal protein.
If we take a look at the nutritional requirements of felines, they need 11 essential amino acids. Their diets should also contain another amino acid called taurine. In contrast, canines only need 10 amino acids.
Because of these factors, commercial cat food offers more fat, protein, and taurine than commercial dog food. Feeding your dog cat food all the time would give them too much of these nutrients and could lead to health problems.
Conversely, letting cats eat dog food often is a bad idea. It does not contain enough amino acids and taurine, so it fails to meet the nutritional needs of cats and may cause nutrient deficiency.
Undesirable Results of Feeding Cat Food to Dogs
There are several consequences of letting your dog eat cat food over time, including:
The high fat and protein content of cat food makes it too rich for dogs. Their stomach will be unable to digest it properly, resulting in gastric troubles. In minor cases, dogs might vomit and have diarrhea after eating cat food.
Your dog’s pancreas could get overworked when breaking down large amounts of proteins and fats from cat food. As a result, the organ becomes inflamed and causes abdominal pains.
You may wonder, “Is cat food bad for dogs with sensitive stomachs?” Yes, the high-fat content of cat food makes it bad for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Consuming cat food in excessive quantities will likely lead them to experience the stomach problems we have mentioned before.
Cat food is high in fats as well as calories. Eating Inordinate amounts of it can lead your furry pal to pack extra pounds.
Inappropriate weight gain is a big issue in canines since it may develop secondary health problems.
Canine obesity is linked to several debilitating ailments, including heart disease, diabetes, joint degeneration, and cancer.
Liver and Kidney Issues
Why is cat food bad for dogs’ kidneys and liver, you ask? The high concentrations of proteins in cat food increase the workload of dogs’ kidneys and liver. Over time, it hinders both organs from functioning properly.
People also ask: “Why can’t dogs eat cat food if they got liver or kidney trouble?”
Eating cat food weakens the liver and kidney function further in dogs with these types of health issues. Consequently, filtration of their body waste is poor, which can lead to toxin build-up.
Worried dog owners ask: “Can a dog die from eating cat food” No, a dog won’t likely die from eating cat food. But it can make their health issues worse, which shortens their life.
When is it Okay to Feed a Dog Cat Food?
Is it OK to give a dog cat food? Cat food ain’t always harmful to dogs if used at the right time. In some situations, it can be good for your pup, like:
Weight Loss Due to Illness
The high protein and fat content of cat food can help combat muscle wasting and excessive weight loss in canines with health issues like cancer or malnutrition. However, always consult the vet first before changing the diet of any dog with health issues.
Dog Training Treat Alternative
Some wonder, “Can dogs eat cat food as a treat during training?” Cat food, particularly kibble, is a good substitute for some human foods commonly used as dog training treats, like peanut butter and cheese.
It yields higher levels of nutrients compared to these food options. However, as with any dog treat, cat food should only be given to dogs in small amounts.
No Dog Food Available
Can dogs eat cat food in an emergency? Yes. If a natural disaster or emergency cuts off access to dog food, cat food might be your only option. It’s okay to use it as a temporary replacement.
What to Do If Your Dog Ate Cat Food
Cat food is not toxic to dogs, so poisoning is the least of your worries. What you should be looking out for are symptoms of gastrointestinal distress like:
- Stomach pain
These clinical signs tend to go away after a few hours. If they continue to persist for more than one day, reach out to the vet and get your dog’s condition checked.
A dog eating cat food in excessive quantities is at risk of bloat. Monitor your dog closely for symptoms like a distended abdomen, straining to vomit, and excessive drooling. Take him to the vet immediately if he begins to exhibit these signs.
How to Stop Your Dog from Stealing Your Cat’s Food
Many dog owners are curious as to why their pup loves cat food so much. “Why does my dog prefer cat food?” It could be the strong, meaty scent or the stronger flavor compared to regular dog food.
Some dogs crave cat food so much that they would swipe it from a cat’s bowl. You can prevent this from happening by following these tips:
- Avoid free-feeding your pets. Leaving a bowl of cat food in your home all day gives your dog the opportunity to snack on it.
Take this chance away by setting proper mealtime schedules. Be sure to remove the food bowls after all your pets have eaten.
- Feed your cat in a separate room. Think about installing a cat flap, so she can easily get in and out after mealtime. If you do not have extra rooms available, separate your pets using a sturdy playpen or a baby gate.
- Let cats eat out of a dog’s reach. Place your feline friend’s food bowl on a highly elevated surface, such as a bookshelf, a cat tree, or a spacious windowsill.
- Keep dogs from eating cat food from the package by storing it in a secure place and out of reach from your dog. Don’t leave the food bag on the counter where your furry pal can easily get his paws on it.