Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Is Dog Food Bad For Cats

Q: What Are The Dangers Of A Dog Eating Cat Food

Toxic foods to Dogs and Cats

Dr. Leslie: Cats have a much higher safety tolerance than dogs to some nutrients. Cats appear to have evolved pathways that allow them to tolerate levels of Vitamin D that could make dogs very sick and even die. Fish- or marine-based cat foods should not be fed to dogs for this reason.

It’s not difficult to convince dogs to eat, well, anything. But cat foods are made with a bit more fat than dog foods. Dogs prone to fat intolerance should also not be allowed to eat cat foods, as this is a common cause of pancreatitis and digestive upset.

Canned cat foods tend to be higher in animal protein sources, which, in excess, can be tough on a dog’s system.

If Your Cat Eats What It Shouldn’t

No matter how cautious you are, it’s possible your cat can find and swallow what it shouldn’t. It’s a smart idea to always keep the numbers of your local vet, the closest emergency clinic, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center — 426-4435 — where you know you can find them in an emergency. And if you think your cat has consumed something that’s toxic, call for emergency help at once.

Merrick Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe

If you are specifically looking for grain-free canine formula, then you can’t go wrong with this Merrick recipe.

It’s perfect for all breeds, ages, and sizes and is available in a variety of different flavors. We recommend the beef and sweet potato recipe as it is poultry-free .

Containing a whopping 38% protein and 15% fat, Merrick’s philosophy is that these two properties in combination with a host of vitamins and minerals will do wonders for promoting the overall dog’s health.

They are extremely transparent with regards to the ingredient composition, choosing only the best available products and containing no corn, wheat, soy or gluten ingredients.

This helps give us tremendous confidence in recommending the brand. At $60 for a 25-lb bag, this does fall into the premium category.

Whether the exceptional nutritional content is worth the increased price is up to you.

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What Do Cats Need For A Proper Nutrition

To answer the question, Can cats eat dog food? we must have a basic understanding of what cats need in their diet. A cats diet must address their unique nutritional needs.

Cats are obligate carnivores. This means that they must eat meat to survive. Dogs, on the other hand, are omnivores.

Cats require taurine in their diet since their bodies cannot produce enough of the amino acid on their own. Without sufficient taurine in their diet, cats can develop dilated cardiomyopathy , suffer from retinal degeneration, or become infertile.

A cats diet must also contain arginine. A cats body can only use arginine to make ornithine, an amino acid that binds ammonia, which is created by the body when it breaks down protein. Ammonia is toxic, and an excess amount of it in the body can lead to death. Dogs have alternative ways of making ornithine.

A cats body is also unable to make the active form of vitamin A. Not only does this vitamin support healthy eyes and skin, but its also necessary for turning fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into energy. As opposed to cats, a dogs body can turn beta carotene into vitamin A.

Food Poisonous For Cats: Canned Tuna

The World

Few cats will refuse canned tuna. But anything more than a little nibble here and there can be highly dangerous. If canned tuna makes up less than 10 percent of your total food intake, thats fine, says Dr. Burch. But more than that, she explains, there could actually be a nutritional deficiency due to the need for vital vitamins and minerals, especially calcium, that are not found in tuna.

In addition, tuna meat, especially bluefin tuna, can cause thiamine deficiency, leading to neurological symptoms such as mental dullness, incoordination, blindness, head tilt, abnormal eye movements, and seizures. If a cat is not examined and treated right away, says Dr. Burch, a thiamine deficiency can lead to death.

Still not convinced? Dr. Burch adds that feeding cats large amounts of tuna can greatly increase their risk of pancreatitis, bleeding disorders, and lower urinary tract disorders that can lead to bladder and urethral infections, cramps, and possibly urinary blockages. Symptoms of lower urinary tract disease include blood in the urine, frequent peeing, straining to urinate, and abdominal pain. If your cat isnt eating, a diet-related illness could be the cause.

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Catnip: Toys And Training

Because cats do respond to catnip again and again, the herb can be a powerful training aid.

Want to keep kitty from clawing furniture? Rub a scratching post with catnip to make it more appealing. Bought a new cat bed? Sprinkle a little of the herb on kitty’s cushion to make it more attractive to your feline friend.

You can also provide enrichment for an indoor kitty by creating catnip toys. Sprinkle a bit of the herb into an old sock, then knot the top. Or put a big pinch of catnip in a small paper bag and crush the bag into a tight ball.


The intensity of kitty’s response to toys and training will be affected by the type of catnip you use. While most cats enjoy the herb dried or fresh, they’re usually less interested in catnip sprays, which generally don’t contain enough nepetalactone to appeal to most felines.

Fortunately for kitty, catnip — which is non-addictive and safe to eat — is easy to grow in a sunny window. You can even go so far as to create your own kitty garden with one pot of catnip and one of wheat, oat, rye, or barley grass. Not only will kitty enjoy both, but having its own house plants may keep kitty out of yours. If you plant catnip directly in the garden, remember that, like most mints, it’s a vigorous, sometimes invasive, grower.

Catnip’s potency doesn’t last forever the essential oils quickly dissipate. So if you buy dried catnip for your feline friend, store what you don’t use in the freezer.

Q: What’s The Basic Difference Between Dog Food And Cat Food

Dr. Leslie: Cats have higher needs for many essential nutrients, whereas dogs can adapt to life on very little. Cat food, as a result, tends to be higher in protein, fat, minerals and vitamins. Cat food is also smaller for their smaller mouths, and is higher in calories.

Many ingredients used in dog and cat foods are similar, if not the same it’s the amounts used to balance the food that vary. For example, cats are obligate carnivores and have a higher need for protein, essential amino acids, fatty acids and many vitamins. Their bodies can’t manufacture the essential nutrients at all or fast enough to meet their metabolic needs. So arguably, dogs could eat most cat foods, but cats should not eat dog foods. However, some cat food nutrients are dangerous to dogs too.

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Can Cats Eat Dog Food Because Its Cheaper

Comparing the prices of cat and dog food is dispiriting for the cat owner. Cat food is much more expensivebut there are good reasons for this.

Cats can safely pinch the odd dry dog food kibble or eat the odd emergency ration, but dogs and cats have very different nutritional needs. If a cat is fed on dog food regularly, they do not receive all the nutrients they need to stay healthy and will soon become unwell.

The Pet Food Manufacturers Association state that cats require 41 essential nutrients compared to 37 in the dog. They are also less able to digest plant material because of their shorter intestine. The length of the intestine determines the surface area for absorption of nutrients.

How And Why Is Dog Food Bad For Cats

Bad foods for cats – Pet safety with Dr. Jyl

For starters, the ingredients found in dog food arent in any way dangerous or unhealthy for your feline furball. On the contrary they offer just as much nourishment and nutrition as any food should offer. Unfortunately, the amounts of nutrition in dog food do not meet a cats essential need of proper nourishment.

Cats rely on Vitamin B, A, C, taurine, healthy acids and fats, and lots of proteins in order to survive.

Since their little bodies cannot produce these ingredients on its own, their food must offer plenty of of said ingredients/supplements, otherwise theyll remain malnourished and underdeveloped.

Sometimes cats need additional vitamins and supplements even if their diet is made out of well-balanced meals.

Of all vitamins and acids found in cat food, the most essential ones are Vitamin A and the amino acid taurine. Canines can produce them on their own, but cats need them as additional supplements to their diet. They are vital to a feline and without them your cat may develop various heart diseases.

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What Is ‘normal’ For A Cat

Sleeping all day, chasing shadows all night, getting high on mysterious herbs — that may be delinquent behavior for a teenager, but it’s run of the mill for a cat. Learn more about the peculiarities of feline protocol so you can sort harmless kitty quirks from cat behaviors that could spell trouble.

Why Is Cat Food Bad For Dogs

Cat food is bad for dogs because it lacks the proper nutrients that canines need to thrive. Feline ingredients are high in protein, fat, and caloric density. It is okay if your dog got into the cat food once or twice, although there may be some mild side effects.

It really depends on the strength of your dogs stomach, however, your dogs gastrointestinal tract is not built to deal with processing high-fat diets. After a prolonged diet of cat food, your dog may develop a number of ailments including obesity and pancreatitis.

Some dogs will get an upset stomach, vomiting, or get diarrhea from eating cat food, while some other dogs with a tougher stomach can handle cat food, says Sharon Crowell-Davis, DVM, DACVB, a professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. If your dog breaks into the bag of cat food, is it going to kill the dog? Absolutely not. But if your dog does vomit or has diarrhea, make sure the dog cant get the cat food again, because its obviously one of those dogs whose GI system reacts badly to cat food.

If you continuously feed your dog cat food, this is where issues come into play. High protein levels in feline ingredients are very difficult for your dogs liver and kidney to process. Pancreatitis, which can be deadly for your dog, can occur from eating too much cat food. Symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs include:

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Muenster Natural Adult Dog Food

This dog food formula is natural, but that doesn’t mean that its necessarily good. The main protein source is chicken meal rather than wholesome chicken.

There’s also ground corn, wheat, corn gluten meal, brown rice, and grain sorghum. It also contains sugary beet pulp and citric acid. In all, the formula can cause weight gain, digestive issues, and more.

Can Cats Eat Dog Food Or Is It Bad For Them

Best Cat Food For Older Cats With Bad Teeth

What will happen if a cat eats dog food? Is dog food safe for cats to eat? Can dog food replace cat food?

Before we start with the details, heres a quick fact most cats wont even be tempted to taste dog food, let alone munch on it on a regular basis.

Dog food is very different from cat food.

But as for your questions

NO! Cats should not be eating dog food. Regular feeding can be fatal.

Cats and dogs have VERY different nutritional needs. Dogs are omnivorous, while cats are carnivorous. Thus, canines and felines need different types of nourishment in order to grow and thrive.

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A Balanced Diet For Your Dog

So, weve discussed what is bad for your dog but lets talk about what is good for their diet. First, owners must know how to read labels on food. Product labels will always list the ingredients in order, from the largest quantity to the smallest. Processed foods are just as harmful to your dog as they are to humans. Heavily processed dog foods can cause health issues down the line.

Owners should spring for a dog food that has a protein as the first ingredient. Stay away from dog food that lists a grain as the first ingredient. Chicken, lamb, and salmon are the most common proteins labeled on dog food.

There are many rumors and rumblings in the animal community that dogs should avoid grains altogether. That is up to the owner. Grains do provide carbohydrates that provide much-needed energy, especially for large or more active dog breeds.

There are many pet owners who also say to stay away from kibble, or dry dog food. This is a blanket statement, and like most blanket statements, it isnt completely honest. Kibble is typically packed with preservatives to keep it from spoiling. That is why you can leave kibble in your dogs bowl for days if necessary.

Kibble also usually has less animal-based protein, something that is lost in processing. Admittedly, wet dog food will normally have more animal-based proteins and fewer preservatives, which is good for your pet. Still, there are many reputable dry food brands that make sure to provide your dog with a nutritious diet.

When Cat Food Is Harmful For Dogs

For other dogs, consuming cat food, even as an occasional treat, could become problematic if there are underlying reasons for why excess protein or fat is not ideal.


  • A dog with a sensitive gastrointestinal tract may vomit or have diarrhea after eating cat food because the food is simply too rich.

  • A dog with kidney or liver disease needs to consume moderate amounts of protein, not excess, to promote optimal functioning of those organs.

  • An obese dog, or one with a predisposition for developing pancreatitis , must consume a lower-fat diet to promote weight loss or limit pancreatic inflammation.

For all of these dogs, feeding any amount of commercial cat food, whether its infrequent or on a long-term basis, could exacerbate health issues.

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Why Is Dog Food Bad For Cats In The Long Term

Even though at times it may seem theyre related, cats and dogs come from distinct parts of the animal kingdom and have different dietary requirements. Cats are obligate carnivores which means their diets consist mostly of meat protein, while dogs are considered omnivore and therefore can enjoy a much larger variety in their menu, including meat, grains and vegetables. Even though a cat will dabble in grains and vegetables too, dog food isnt the best way to get them as it wont provide enough protein to match a cats nutritional needs.

What Happens If My Dog Eats Cat Food

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If you find your dog licking up the leftovers of your cats food, there is no need to panic. An isolated incident where your dog has gotten into a little bit of cat food is not an emergency. In a healthy dog, the high fat and protein content may cause some gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Dogs that consume cat food regularly are at risk of developing more severe health conditions. The high protein level in cat food is particularly hard on the liver and kidneys and can cause damage to these organs over time. Dogs who already suffer from diseases that affect these organs may have more adverse reactions to cat food consumption.

The high-fat content of cat food is also a concern when consumed in large quantities or consumed over a long period of time. The consumption of too much fat can cause pancreatitis and obesity. Dog owners should take extra precautions to keep cat food away from dogs with a history of pancreatitis or who are overweight. In these dogs, even small amounts of cat food can be harmful and should be avoided.

These health conditions are why sticking to the nutritional guidelines set by FEDIAF or AAFCO is so essential for your pets health. If you have any concerns about how cat food has affected your dogs health, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to have them fully evaluated.

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Raw Eggs Raw Meat & Bones

Just like humans, consumption of raw eggs or raw meat can lead to salmonella or E. coli poisoning in cats. Symptoms of the illness vary but can include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Salmonella and E. coli can also be transmitted to humans, so be careful to properly wash your hands after cooking and keep your cat away from these raw foods. Raw eggs also contain an enzyme that can lead to skin and coat problems. Keep your cat from eating raw bones as wellshe could choke on them, injure her digestive tract, or damage her teeth.

Can Cats Eat Dog Food In An Emergency

In an emergency, we make do with what we have. Sometimes that means feeding dog food to our cats. Its not ideal, but its better than letting them go hungry. In the short term, dog food is a safe alternative for cat owners with no other options. Its designed for an omnivorous animal, and cats are strict carnivores, but it will be okay for 3-4 meals.

Cats can have dog food in emergencies because it has calories and is non-toxic. Starvation will harm a cat far more severely than dog food ever could. However, its not nutritionally balanced and shouldnt be fed long-term. In fact, it lacks taurine, Vitamin A and only contains half of the daily protein that a cat requires.

These result in weakening muscles, blindness, heart problems, and fatigue. Of course, the symptoms wont crop up until several days of feeding. When picking your options, wet dog food in large chunks should be diced into a finer mix. Dry dog food kibble that is large enough to choke on should be crushed into smaller pieces. Dog treats should also be safe for cats to eat, but dental treats must be avoided.

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