New dog owners and cat owners who think of getting a dog always tend to ask can dogs eat cat food?
Well, the answer to this question is very clear and needs not much guessing. No, dogs cannot eat cat food, but there is more to it than a plain no.
Cat food and dog food are different for a reason. The dog family and the cat family are different from each other and have different preference of food. Also some dogs can be intolerant to cat food and it can be harmful for them.
However, cat food is not dangerous or fatal for dogs to consume. Dogs that eat cat food are attracted to cat food considering the meat quantity in cat food. Cat food contains high amount of meaty properties in it which attracts dogs the most.
A simple logic that dogs and cats are different animals and have different size of bodies makes cat food a big NO for dogs to eat. Their bodies have different needs and demand different types of food for nutrition.
Dogs drool over meat and chicken even if it is far away from them. Cat food contains more amount of meat than in dog food and that justifies their temptation to eat cat food.
Continue reading and find out about dogs eating cat food and can dogs eat cat food in small quantities and much more.
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Is Cat Food Bad for Dogs?
The second most important question after can dogs eat cat food is- is cat food bad for dogs? The answer is Yes! Cat food is bad for a dog’s health.
Veterinarians are asked these questions a lot. Especially people who own both cats and dogs ask these questions. Dogs that eat cat food should be trained to not eat cat food and also cat food should be far from their reach.
All cat food contains meat and it is so because cats need to consume meat as their main food. Whereas, dogs have a digestive system that requires a mixed diet rich in fiber and all nutrients.
Cats are carnivores who need a meat diet on a daily basis. Dogs are omnivores and they need a mixed diet of meat and veggies and fruits. Cat food is very high in fats and proteins which is why dogs are attracted to cat food.
If you happen to own a cat and a dog you must have noticed how your dog drools over the cat food. The meaty cat food is very tempting for dogs. The meat in cat food is probably the only reason why dogs eat cat food.
Cat food is bad for dogs because they tend to eat it in more quantities and that much meat is not good for dogs. Dogs that eat cat food once in a while are not at any serious risk of falling sick but overeating cat food is definitely bad for dogs.
Why Can’t Dogs Eat Cat Food?
Meat! Meat! And Meat! It is the only reason why dogs cannot eat cat food. Dogs are omnivores which means they are animals that need both plant-based and animal-based food to survive.
Dogs can digest both meat and plant-based foods. The high amount of meat in cat food can upset their digestive and cause many health problems. Omnivores are capable of digesting carbohydrates, fats, and proteins but food high in fats and proteins like cat food is hard to digest.
Dogs eating cat food and being attracted to it are not a rare issue that pet owners have to face. Dog food and cat food look strikingly similar on the outside but vary a lot on the inside. Similar looks can sometimes make dogs mistakenly eat cat food but it is your responsibility to make sure your dog is not eating your cat’s food.
Dogs eating cat food can cause a nutrient imbalance in them leading to upset stomach and obesity. Further, it can cause Pancreatitis which needs immediate medical assistance.
What Happens If Dogs Eat Cat Food?
Many pet owners consider feeding cat food to dogs as a treat. If you give cat food to your dog as a treat for his/her good behavior you should feed it in moderation. Avoid using cat food as treats for dogs here are some of the best dog treats you can opt for instead of cat food.
Dogs that eat cat food in moderation are not at any health risk but frequently eating cat food can cause health issues. What exactly happens if dogs eat cat food? Dogs face side effects of eating cat food.
The side effects of cat food on dogs that eat cat food on a regular basis are quite serious. Cat food is protein-dense and too much protein can lead to an upset stomach in dogs.
Even if your dog is not sensitive or allergic to certain food cat food can still cause an upset stomach in dogs. Consuming cat food for a long time or on a regular basis will lead to digestive problems. Dogs cannot properly balance the protein-rich cat food.
A dog’s digestive system needs a proper balance in fiber, fat, and protein. Dogs that eat cat food develop gastrointestinal problems. Vomiting and diarrhea are very common symptoms to detect an upset stomach if your dog eats too much cat food.
The high amount of meat with fats and proteins are also very harsh on the dog’s kidney and liver. It can also cause obesity in them and obesity will further lead to more problems.
Can Dogs Eat Dry Cat Food?
The biggest advantage of dry cat food is for pet owners. Dry cat food is cheap and convenient to buy and has many benefits for the cat. However, this cheap and convenient dry food for a cat is also convenient for the dog to consume.
Your dog will probably love its feline friend’s dry food but this dry cat food has no benefits for the dog. When cat and dog owners set out to buy the food they sort food as cat food and dog food.
If the food itself is sorted for a particular animal there is no point in feeding this dry cat food to a dog. Dogs love anything and everything that they can possibly eat but dry cat food is not what they should be eating.
Dry cat food has dental benefits for dogs and the reverse will apply if dogs eat their food. The food that helps cats to maintain good teeth strength can be harmful to a dog’s teeth.
Dog teeth are bigger and stronger while cats have smaller teeth. Dry cat food helps cats in building tooth strength but the chemicals used for that can affect a dog’s teeth and digestion.
Also, dry cat food is convenient for owners because it has less moisture content and that increases the shelf life of dry cat food. Even after opening it, there is a very low risk of the food to start bacterial growth.
This often makes cat owners leave the dry cat food in the bowl for the cats while they are away. But this can cause temptation for the dog in the house and the dry cat food is more likely to end up in the dog’s stomach.
Can Dogs Eat Wet Cat Food?
Wet cat food has many health benefits for cats. Wet cat food is considered healthier for cats than dry cat food but can dog eat wet cat food?
Dogs that eat cat food will love both wet and dry cat foods as well. Wet cat food has about 65% of moisture content in it and is good to keep cats hydrated. Dogs have visibly no benefit from any type of cat food.
Pet owners bombard veterinarians with questions about feeding dry cat food and wet cat food to their dogs. Wet cat food has more quantity of protein and zinc which is not good for a dog’s overall health.
Food that has more benefits for the cat will not have the benefits for a dog. Wet cat food will also cause an upset stomach, gastrointestinal ailments, and pancreatitis. It can be surely said that dogs that cat foods will fall sick.
Feeding them dry or wet cat food as treats are can be good for their taste buds but they are a living nightmare for their digestive systems. Both cats and dogs have different gut strengths and cat food for dogs and dog food for cats cannot be interchanged and used.
Wet cat food is has nothing different than dry cat food except the moisture content both foods are equally harsh on a dog’s stomach. Dogs eating cat food cannot digest such fibrous food.
Can Dogs Eat Cat Food Occasionally?
This can be an exception. Dogs that eat cat food can rejoice (if only they could read this). You can feed cat food to dogs occasionally. Having two pets, that to a dog and a cat can be messy when it comes to food.
Both the canine and the feline will want to eat each other’s food and that will happen almost every day. You need to supervise the cat and dog while they have their meals but you can occasionally feed them each other’s food.
Dogs that eat cat food occasionally will not result in severe consequences. However, they must not be made used to getting cat food as treats from you.
Some vets use cat food as treats for dogs as a reward for their good behavior. Some doctors believe that giving cat food to dogs occasionally as long as their stomachs are capable to handle it, is not harmful.
Cat food to dogs is like cake to humans we don’t necessarily need it but they are good as treats. So feeding cat food to dogs occasionally doesn’t sound like a terrible idea.
How to Keep a Dog from Eating Cat Food?
Dogs eating cat food is not a good habit and once a dog has eaten cat food he/she will want more and more cat food treats. Cat food tastes good and dogs love the meat in it but things that taste good aren’t necessarily good for the dog’s health.
Dogs are not meant to consume food that is protein-dense. Vomiting, diarrhea, and more are the results of letting your dog enjoy cat food even as a rare delicacy. You must make sure that your cat does not eat too much of the cat food.
To keep dogs away from cat food:
- Place your cat’s food bowl on a higher surface which is not reachable for the dog.
- You can separate the cat and dog’s feeding area. Use a gate that the dog can’t jump over to cross or can crawl under.
- Dogs love chicken and meat and that’s why they are attracted to cat food. To avoid this you can make chicken dishes for dogs at home and keep your dog from eating cat food. Here are some delicious dog food recipes with chicken.
- You can use a crate for your dog that is small and will only fit a cat to have its meal.
- If you own a huge dog get a pet gate with a smaller opening for a cat so that dog doesn’t have any access to the cat food.
To sum up, dogs that eat cat food a lot are always at risk of having health issues. Cats are obligate carnivores and dogs are perceived as carnivores but they are actually an omnivore. The omnivore traits in a dog make them immune to both plant-based food and food with animal matter.
Dogs need a diet which comprises of veggies, fruits, meat, and chicken. Whereas a cat’s diet should be high in fats and proteins and mainly consisting of meat. Dogs that eat cat food may love the taste of cat food but cat food is not ideal for their bodies.
Dogs eating cat food occasionally is not a bad idea or habit but the treats should be strictly occasional. If the dog won’t stop eating cat food find ways to make homemade food to distract the dog from eating all the cat food.
We hope we answered your questions about dogs and cat food.
Dogs eating cat food cannot be a good sign and we hope that this article will help you keep your dogs from eating cat food.
Let us know your queries and reviews on can dogs eat cat food.