Can Dogs Eat Cat Food Safely
On the one hand, cat food is not dangerous for our dogs to eat in general. However, like we already mentioned, it is not the same level of nutrition they need.
In fact, according to the Chewy Blog,
there are important differences between the dietary needs and tolerances of dogs and cats. Feline foods often are higher in protein and fat, while canine cuisines typically contain more fiber and carbohydrates.
Adverse reactions to a dog eating cat food include weight gain and obesity, vomiting and diarrhea. Other issues can stem from deficiencies or excesses of important vitamins and minerals.
So if you have ever noticed your pup randomly getting sick and were worried about it, this could in fact be the problem. And if you have noticed this problem popping up in the past, it is definitely something to be careful of.
Knowing that cat food doesnt give our dogs the same level of nutrition they need, we definitely think it is better to keep the cats meal away from the dog, whether that means feeding the cat in a separate room or even making sure their food is in an elevated spot the dog cant reach.
Whatever we need to do to keep the dog away from their siblings food, that may just be our latest resolution.
What do you think of dogs eating cat food? Do you try to keep it away from your dog? Has your pup ever had an issue with eating kitty food? We want to know.
What Happens If Dogs Eats Cat Food
Some dogs wont show symptoms. They will be unfazed by the change in diet, especially those with stomachs that can handle it explains, Sharon Crowell-Davis, DVM, DACVB, professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia says. Others however may exhibit gastrointestinal discomfort like vomiting, flatulence, or diarrhea. Even more serious is pancreatitis.
Obesity is another way in which cat food impacts your dog. Dogs who eat cat food tend to be obese. Dogs generally eat more than cats, so aside from the recurrent feedings of high proteins, think about how much more cat food you will be giving your dog in order to satisfy his appetite.
Besides an over dosage of proteins, there are also ingredients in cat foods that can be very harmful to your dog. Vitamin A, Taurine or Arachidonic acid are ingredients that are supplied in cat foods that are vital to a cat’s overall health. Dogs however produce these naturally. An over abundance can have adverse effects.
Just to make it clearer here is a brief review of how the three ingredients can individually impact your dog health
Is Dog Food Okay
When thinking about the question of will stray cats eat dog food, it is worth remembering that stray cats are almost always extremely hungry. They usually scavenge for food and will therefore eat almost anything they can just to survive. So, if you have a dog and have put its food outside, do not be surprised to see a stray cat trying to eat anything that your dog might leave behind. Whether or not to intentionally give a stray cat dog food though is another matter altogether.
Although occasionally eating dog food should not cause any major harm to a stray cat, this type of food should not be given regularly and definitely not exclusively. There are a number of reasons for this. The first being that cats require vitamin A, which tends not to be present in dog food this is because dogs can make their own. While some dog food will have additional Vitamin A, there will not be enough of it to sustain a healthy cat.
Dogs also make another essential amino acid that cats require taurine. Without adequate taurine, a cat can suffer hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a specific type of heart disease.
Cat and dog foods are created specifically to suit the needs of the intended species of animal. So as each have such different requirements in terms of protein and essential minerals and vitamins, it is inadvisable to feed a stray cat dog food, especially on a regular basis.
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Dog food isn’t dangerous to cats, but it shouldn’t be eaten in place of cat food on a regular basis. A cat can eat some dog food without illness even though it’s not the best nutrition for them But cats cannot survive on dog food alone for their long term diet.
Just as it’s dangerous to feed only cat food to dogs, cats cannot survive on dog food alone.
dog food lacks sufficient vitamin A and taurine, two nutrients cats need to live healthy lives.
dog food is also deficient in arachidonic acid and lacks the adequate meat-protein levels that cats need.
Can Dogs Eat Short Rib Bones? Short rib bones can be fed to your dog if they are uncooked. If they are cooked, do not feed them to your dog.
Problems With Pets Sharing Foods
It may seem easy to simply fill a big bowl with one food and let all your pets munch and crunch as they desire throughout the day, but there are several reasons why this isn’t recommended. For starters, you have no idea how much food each pet is consuming. Are they overeating? Not eating enough?
Let’s say you do feed each pet individually, but you have a sneaky pup who likes to eat the cat’s dinner for dessert. Your dog may be ingesting too many calories for the day, which could lead to obesity and other related health issues. Also, when a dog eats cat food, they’re not getting the proper ratio of protein, fiber and other nutrients needed to maintain their healthy lifestyle. This can lead to gastrointestinal problems, strain on the liver and kidneys, pancreatitis, or a number of other issues. The same can be true if your cat is sneaking your dog’s food. Not to mention, cats require a few nutrients, like taurine and arachidonic acid that are not required by dogs, and therefore, not always monitored in dog food. In the long run, a cat eating dog food may experience nutrient deficiencies whereas a dog eating cat food is more likely to experience problems associated with excess energy or nutrients.
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Complications Of Feeding Cat Food To Dogs
If your dog eats a lot of cat food on a regular basis, or if you are feeding your dog a diet of cat food instead of dog food, complications may arise, as it does not have the correct balance of protein, fiber, and all of the nutrients dogs need to stay healthy.
Dogs can certainly survive on cat food in a tough spot, but the nutrient imbalance can lead to gastrointestinal upset, obesity, and pancreatitis. Pancreatitis requires immediate veterinary care. Symptoms include abdominal pain and a hunched back, lethargy and weakness, appetite loss, vomiting and diarrhea, a distended abdomen, and fever. Even if your dog eats cat food and suffers no obvious ill effects, the high protein levels can be hard on his liver and kidney.
Can Cats Eat Raw Fish
Cats should always be provided with cooked fish to minimise the risk of salmonella poisoning. Cooked fish is a great source of protein for cats, as it contains a vital source of amino acids which helps to maintain a healthy coat.
Cats can also eat other variants of seafood, such as cooked prawns. As with all pets, they require a balanced diet. Its best to give your pet a range of foods to prevent them from becoming nutrient deficient, as different types of foods offer a variety of nutrients that other food groups dont contain.
Is Ash Content Important In Cat Food
Concern about ash content in pet foods came about as veterinarians and cat guardians were looking for the cause of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease .
In the 70’s & 80’s, veterinarians thought ash was a factor in causing crystals in urine. There are, however, a variety of causes and ash is no longer considered a factor in causing FLUTD. The main problem was the formulation of commercial pet foods: most pet foods were creating a more alkaline urine which leads to an increase in struvite crystals.
Most commercial dry kibble diets are formulated with a high vegetable and grain content which creates a more alkaline urine. An all meat diet such as a cat would eat in nature creates a more acidic urine.
A high protein diet is the best way to maintain a low urinary pH naturally. Cats eating canned diets have fewer problems with FLUTD than those eating primarily dry kibble diets. This is due both to the higher meat content of canned diets as well as the higher moisture content increased hydration also prevents crystal formation.
A frozen raw food diet is ideal for maintaining a lower urinary pH and providing proper hydration. Focusing on low-ash foods will not solve FLUTD problems, but a healthier diet and proper hydration will.
A more effective means of preventing FLUTD than stressing about the amount of ash in your companion’s food is focusing on stress reduction for your pet and you. Stress is an often overlooked contributing factor to FLUTD, along with lack of exercise.
What Happens If A Cat Eats Dog Food
Now that weve answered the question, Can cats eat dog food? we must look at what will happen to your cat if you feed them dog food. Your cat should be fine if they have to eat dog food for a meal in an emergency, but they shouldnt eat dog food all the time.
As previously discussed, dog food lacks many of the nutrients cats need to remain healthy. Dog food doesnt contain taurine, for instance.
So, a cat fed dog food on a regular basis is likely to become taurine deficient. A taurine deficient cat may develop the heart condition dilated cardiomyopathy, which can be fatal if not treated.
Dog food doesnt contain the vitamin A a cat needs in their diet, and, as a result, a cat who eats dog food regularly will develop a vitamin A deficiency.
Vitamin A deficient cats possess poor skin and coat may develop night blindness and will suffer muscle deterioration and weakness.
Dog food is also lacking in other nutrients cats need to stay healthy, such as protein thiamine and arachidonic acid. A lack of these nutrients can lead to other significant health issues for cats.
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What Food Can You Give
If you dont have cat food to hand , then dont worry. Stray cats are not particularly fussy and there is likely to be something in your home that is suitable to give them.
Lean meat is always an excellent choice for a stray cat, so if you have ham, chicken, or turkey in your fridge, you could cut up some small pieces and give it to the cat. You might also be surprised to find out that cats will also eat things such as rice and couscous. However, if you are going to give grains to a stray cat, make sure it is fully cooked to make it easier to digest.
Tinned fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel can also be given, but it is not a good idea to exclusively feed fish to a cat as it can lead to the above-mentioned taurine deficiency.
You might also be unaware that eggs are also suitable for stray cats. As long as the eggs are cooked, they offer a fantastic source of protein for the feline.
As you can see, many foods found in the home are suitable for stray cats. Conversely though, it is important to be aware that there are some foods that should be avoided as these can be toxic to a cat. These foods include, raisins, grapes, garlic, onion, chocolate, and macadamia nuts.
As well as this, milk should really not be given to cats, contrary to popular belief. In fact, while stray cats may eagerly lap up a saucer of milk, it is better to avoid it. Cats do not have the necessary enzymes required to process cows milk. It is therefore much better to offer water instead.
Can You Rustle Up A Meal For Your Cat Or Dog Using Ordinary Pantry Items
Chiquita Minshull, a doctor of veterinary medicine at the Broome Veterinary Hospital, says you can but only for short periods of time.
“It is actually really hard to formulate a homemade meal that is fully balanced for our pet cats and dogs,” she says.
“Obviously if you’re caught out for a few days, trying to find something that you have around the house for your pet cat or dog is completely normal and completely fine to do.
“But I would advise not to be doing it for weeks on end because can’t be completely balanced.”
Dr Nicole Laing is a senior veterinarian and lecturer at Murdoch University. She agrees that simple pantry ingredients can cover a pet’s basic caloric requirements for up to a few weeks.
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Can Cats Eat Dog Food Is It Safe: 1 As A Main Diet 2 Occasionally
February 7, 2018 –
If youve ever wondered to yourself whether cats can eat dog food youre certainly not alone!
I feel like this has to be a common curiosity whether or not you own a dog, or even a cat for that matter! I know the question has crossed my mind before, and Ive never actually owned a dog in my life .
The question, however, needs to be broken down into two parts to be properly discussed, as Can cats eat dog food? can either be taken to mean: Is it dangerous for cats to eat dog food daily, as their main diet? or Is it dangerous for cats to eat dog food every once in a while, as a snack? Of course it can also be meant as both simultaneously as well, as a general, How much dog food can cats eat safely ? but that all comes down to how you meant the question when you first thought it up in your head!
To my knowledge, the vast majority of those who will have looked up an answer to this question will have initially wondered it because they fit into one of two categories:
Either way, regardless of which angle of the question youre here to learn about, Ive written up an answer for you broken down into two sections in case you wanted to learn about just one angle or the other.
Lets unpack this!
Ii: Can Cats Safely Eat Dog Food Occasionally As A Snack
If theres nothing in the commercial dog food your cat reacts badly to, a cat can safely eat dog food occasionally, as a snack.
Is started that statement with a qualifier because some cats apparently react poorly to PG/propylene glycol, which exists in some commercial dog foods. So please be aware of this issue.
If youve got a cat who grazes on a bite or two out of the dogs food dish every so often, or even every day, that should be okay.
An issue only arises when the grazing comes to a point where too much dog food is ingested, just the same as an issue would arise if a cat started to eat too many unhealthy cat snacks.
Though nobody knows exactly how much unhealthy snacking is too much, the rule of thumb floating around seems to be if your cats diet consists of at least 90% high quality cat food, and thus less than 10% low-quality snacks , your cats health should be perfectly fine.
But its agreed that too much snacking on commercial cat treats or dog foods is not a good thing for your cats overall well-being. Having a lot of commercial cat treats and dog food is the equivalent of going to MacDonalds for a cat fine every once in a while, but considering theyre not the ideal diet from a cat, ultimately harmful if too much is eaten.
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What Happens If A Dog Eats Cat Food
Its much safer for dogs to eat cat food than the other way around, and theres nothing toxic in cat food that could cause problems to your dog. However, its not necessarily good for them. Cat food is much higher in protein and fat than most dogs are used to this can cause pancreatitis, gut upset, and put them at risk for obesity.
Its best not to feed cat food to your dog, and take steps to avoid your dog eating cat food whenever possible. However, if your dog manages to get hold of some cat food dont panic! Watch out for signs of gut problems, and take them to the vet if they seem unwell.
What Is Cat Food Made Of
According to Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM, a small animal and exotic veterinarian in east Texas and a veterinary consultant for doglab.com, cats absolutely need food with taurine in it. Taurine is an amino acid that is important for normal heart function, vision and reproduction. Since taurine is found only in animal-based protein, all cats need meat-based diets to meet their nutritional requirements.
Cat foods are very high protein, calories, fat, and contain the necessary amount of taurine. More specifically, Patrick Mahaney, DVM explains on PetSafe that healthy cat food looks like:
- Natural, whole-food ingredients
- Essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids
- No by-products, fillers, or artificial additives
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