If you have a pet dog and a pet cat, it might be tempting to get the same food for them to eat. Is this something you can do? Something you should do?
While cat food won’t hurt a dog who sneaks a few bites every so often, it should not be an everyday thing. Dogs and cats have completely different dietary requirements and so their foods are concocted to serve those requirements.
Cats are considered obligate carnivores because some of the nutrients they require are exclusively found in animal based ingredients., Dogs are carnivores too but not obligate and can get most of their nutrients in a diet comprised of both meat and vegetables.
Why Dogs Like Eating Cat Food
Cat food has higher levels of protein and fat than dog food, and a strong scent and flavor which could be why dogs are so drawn to it.
There’s another more likely component at play here — many dogs are opportunistic, indiscriminate eaters and will generally consume most foods they come across, anywhere, anytime. Simply put, dogs eat cat food because it’s there.
Finally, dogs have amazing senses of smell and taste, and many are interested in eating new things, food or otherwise. You’ve may have seen your dog scarf down random things they find on the floor and ground, so if they come across cat food, they won’t hesitate to lap it up.
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Why Dogs Shouldn’t Eat Cat Food
If your pup turns up their snout at their normal food but drools even more than usual for cat food, you might think it’s an acceptable alternative. However, don’t let your dog’s enthusiasm for cat food fool you.
Because of the high protein, calorie, and fat levels this can in turn lead to gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea or pancreatitis. It can even result in weight gain because of the extra calories.
Obesity is the most likely outcome if your dog regularly eats cat food, because, the calorie count is higher than most formulas made for adult and senior dogs. Kitten food, which typically has more calories and fat in it than adult cat food, is even more calories for dogs.
Pancreatitis, meanwhile, is much more severe, with symptoms like abdominal pain, appetite loss, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, a hunched back, and vomiting. If your dog exhibits any of these, call your vet to schedule a visit right away.
I It’s not the end of the world if your dog manages to eat a little cat food, but you should definitely try to keep them from doing so.
How To Keep Your Dog From Eating Cat Food
Keeping dogs away from cat food can be difficult, considering their excellent sniffers. Here are a few ways to stop your dog from munching on your cat’s dinner:
• Keep your cat’s food box or bag somewhere where your dog can’t reach, like on top of the refrigerator or in a cabinet above the counter or stove.
• If you store your cat’s food in a floor cabinet, put a child safety lock on it so your pup can’t nose or paw open the door.
• Feed your cat in a separate room with the door closed so your dog can’t eat out of their bowl.
One thing to keep in mind is that a craving for cat food could mean your dog isn’t enjoying their own food. A personalized nutrition plan like the ones offered by Puppo to make sure your pooch is getting exactly the right amount of nutrients they require in a food they will enjoy.
Can Cats Eat Dog Food?
While eating cat food may upset your dog’s digestive system, you cat eating dog food can cause serious nutritional issues. Cats have very different nutritional requirements than dogs and these requirements are not met by the majority of dog foods. Some of the different nutritional requirements include a higher level of protein, the fatty acid arachidonic acid, preformed vitamin A and taurine, all of which dog food doesn’t provide enough of.
From a nutrition standpoint, a small amount of cat food or a cat treat every so often won’t hurt your dog, but it may upset their digestive system or contribute to weight gain so it’s best to keep your pup from eating it whenever possible.