Wondering if it’s okay for your dog to eat the cat’s food?
If so, you’re not alone.
When you live with cats and dogs in the same home, it’s only a matter of time before the dog gets curious about what the cat’s eating…
But should you really let them eat cat food?
And how can you stop it from happening?
In this guide, you’ll find the answers you need.
Let’s take a closer look.
Can Dogs Eat Cat Food?
While may dogs may love to steal food from the cat’s bowl… it isn’t a good idea to let it happen too often.
Even though the occasional piece of cat food isn’t going to harm your dog in the short term… it’s important to realize that cats and dogs have different nutritional requirements.
What’s the Difference Between Cat Food and Dog Food?
One of the key differences is that cat food has a higher percentage of meat-based content. In fact, this likely why dogs find it so tempting, thanks to the alluring meaty aroma.
However, it can also have a higher fat content (bad for dogs) as well as a caloric composition that isn’t ideal for your pooch.
But ultimately, cat food is formulated to cater to a cat’s nutritional needs, which aren’t the same as a dog.
For example, cats are considered ‘obligate carnivores’… which means they can survive best on a diet comprised mostly of meat proteins, whereas dogs do better with a diet of protein, grains, and veggies.
Can Dogs Eat Dry Cat Food Safely?
It’s unlikely to do any harm if it happens once or twice. But it shouldn’t become a habit, due to the different nutritional requirements, as explained earlier.
Can Dogs Eat Wet Cat Food?
If it happens rarely, then your dog will usually be fine. But if it happens consistently, it could eventually lead to digestive issues.
It has a higher fat content and more protein than a dog needs.
Why Is Cat Food Bad for Dogs?
The main reasons are due to the excess fat, too much protein, and the extra calories.
It’s particularly bad for dogs who are already prone to stomach sensitivity. For these dogs, it can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Cat Food?
If it’s just the occasional, one-off binge of cat food (when the cat’s not looking) then your dog will usually be fine.
Keep an eye on them afterward, and watch out for any signs of digestive discomfort. If your dog’s having problems, then contact a vet.
There’s a chance your dog may experience vomiting or diarrhea, and some dogs might have an allergic skin reaction to certain cat food ingredients.
Can Dogs Eat Cat Food in a Pinch?
It’s not a good idea to feed your dog cat food on purpose, even in a pinch.
Fiddling around with your dog’s diet too much can already trigger digestive issues, so it’s better to get some dog food and stick to a canine-friendly diet.
How Can I Keep Dog From Eating Cat Food?
When you have both cats and dogs in the house, it’s a good idea to take some measures that’ll stop your dog eating the cat’s food.
After all, cat food can still be very tempting for dogs, who are natural scavengers. So, when they smell the meaty aroma of cat food, they can’t help themselves.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do that’ll stop it happening:
- Try an automatic feeder: These devices can be programmed so they open when your cat is near, but not when your dog is around. Usually, they’ll operate by a collar tag that you’ll put on the cat.
- Use different rooms: A simple, low-tech solution is to feed your dog and cat separately, in different rooms. This takes the temptation and opportunity away from your dog.
- Pick an elevated location: Cats can happily eat on a raised spot in the home, such as a table or countertop. Your dog won’t have access to these places, so they won’t be able to steal the cat’s food.