Can Cats Eat Dog Food
If you are a dog lover who also shares your home with cats, there is one more thing you need to know. Just as its 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.
Feeding an appropriate complete-and-balanced diet to your pet is one of the most important components of keeping him in good health. For more advice on feeding your dog, check out the video below.
Wet Vs Dry Cat Food: Which Is Better
If youve wondered which is better when it comes to wet vs. dry cat food, theyre both excellent choices. Just make sure the food you select is 100 percent complete and balanced for your cats age and life stage. While some cats prefer one over the other, the best option may be to feed your cat both.
Q: What Are The Dangers Of A Dog Eating Cat Food
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.
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There Are Many Factors To Consider When Choosing One Or The Other
Among the timeless questions debated endlessly from generation to generation, such as What is the meaning of life? and Does the refrigerator light go off when the door is closed?, is one veterinarians and cat owners are particularly familiar with: Is feeding canned or dry food better for cats? Cat loversand many veterinariansoften have strong and absolute opinions on this question, and disagreements on the subject tend to be about as amicable as those on politics and religion.
The most widely held belief seems to be that canned foods are healthier for cats than dry diets. This is predicated on two key arguments:
1) As obligate carnivores, cats cannot thrive on dietary carbohydrates, and canned diets are low-carb compared with kibble. Therefore, dry diets are more likely to lead to obesity and diabetes mellitus , two common and important feline health problems.15
2) Cats eating dry food dont drink enough water, and this increases the risk of chronic kidney disease and lower urinary tract diseases, such as feline interstitial cystitis and urolithiasis. Feeding canned foods maintains better hydration and promotes dilute urine, reducing the risk of these diseases.4,6,7
How To Keep Your Cats Food Dog
Keeping your dog out of your cats food requires some planning and training on your part, and it may also involve some minor home remodeling if your dog persists in snacking on cat food. Lets see what steps need to be taken to keep your dog away from your cats food.
First, put the dog and cat food bowls in different parts of your home, e.g., the dog in the kitchen and the cat in the laundry room. Separate the cats feeding area from the rest of the house with a gate that the dog cannot jump over or crawl under.
If that doesnt do the trick, feed the cat on a higher surface than you feed the dog, such as a laundry room counter or even the top of the dryer. If feeding the cat up high isnt successful, consider getting a cat-sized crate that the dog cannot fit into, and feed your cat in the crate.
Finally, if all else fails, install a cat door in the laundry room door thats either too small for your dog to use or thats activated by a remote on your cats collar. Close the door to deny your dog access to the cat food.
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Can Dogs Eat Canned Cat Food In A Pinch
In general, its best not to feed your dog cat food. But what if youre stuck in an emergency situation and have nothing else to feed your pet?
Feeding your dog a little canned cat food in a pinch is relatively safe, but its still not recommended. For one thing, switching your dogs food abruptly, even to cat food, can be hard on his stomach.
In an emergency, its best if you can feed your dog something that is as similar as possible to his regular dog food. If thats not an option, then the same bland, human foods you might feed him when hes sick are your best bet.
Boiled ground chicken and plain white rice makes a great substitute for your dogs regular food when necessary. Its also a good dish to make him if hes having an upset stomach or other gastrointestinal issues.
Cats And Dogs Have Different Nutritional Needs
While both dogs and cats share our hearts and homes, over time, nature has molded them into very different animals with very different nutritional needs.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they require a diet of meat-based proteins and animal fats in order for all of their body systems to function properly.
Dogs, on the other hand, are actually omnivores. An omnivore has a more flexible diet and can easily eat both meat and vegetables. A dog food diet does not meet the specific nutritional needs that cats require.
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Can Dogs Eat Cat Food What Happens If A Dog Eats Too Much
Their kibble may look similar, but there are differences between dog food and cat food. Thats because dogs and cats differ wildly. Sure, both animals are mammals and both eat meat, but thats about where their similarities stop.
Dogs evolved to take advantage of a variety of nutrients, including the fiber found in plants. Theyre scrappier they make do with what they come across. For this reason, dogs can fast for longer, too. This ability means they require less protein and fats, and more plant content than found in cat food.
Cat food not only lacks crucial nutrients dogs require, its also overabundant in nutrients they do need. You could think of cat food as a cheat meal or junk food for dogs. But while some turn to cat food as a treat in a pinch, dog specific treats are better for their health in the long run.
So, whats the worst that could happen if your dog gets into some cat chow? While many dogs can tolerate the occasional sneak meal, some dogs may overeat the already rich food and vomit or suffer diarrhea. If thats the case, the pooch will probably stabilize on its own, but be prepared for a visit to the vet if symptoms worsen.
In the long term, the high protein content of cat food can tax a dogs liver and kidneys. And the high fat content can lead to pancreatitis, which gives them digestion issues, among other dreadful symptoms like diarrhea.
When Cat Food Is Safe For Dogs
In fact, for some dogs, like those battling cancer and experiencing weight loss, muscle wasting, and a poor appetite, cat food may be an ideal alternative to many dog foods.
Cat food tends to be more palatable, provide more calories per serving, and offer a more nutrient-balanced option compared to many home-prepared diets in these cases.
Likewise, cat kibble can make for healthier, well-balanced treats or training rewards compared to some human foods commonly used, like cheese, chicken, or peanut butter, which provide a concentrated amount of primarily one nutrient.
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Top Best Answers To The Question Is Wet Cat Food Bad For Dogs
Even if your pup is one of those with an iron gut, long term it is not good for a dog to eat primarily cat food, Dr.
Crowell-Davis says. It’s not properly balanced for them in terms of the fiber and protein and certain nutrients.
Plus, it can be hard on their liver and their kidneys to have so much protein.
Cat food tends to be high in fat, calories and protein which means it’s not ideal for dogs. Dogs with sensitive stomachs may suffer gastrointestinal upset, sickness and diarrhoea after eating cat food.
Those who are looking for an answer to the question «Is wet cat food bad for dogs?» often ask the followingquestions:
Can Dogs Eat Cat Food Is Cat Food Bad For Dogs
If you have a dog, youve probably noticed that theyre crazy about cat food. But is eating cat food safe for dogs? While a little cat food occasionally is unlikely to cause your pup any harm, it should definitely not be offered on a regular basis. After all, theres a reason why dogs eat dog food and cats eat food specifically crafted for them.
Heres everything you need to know about the difference between dog and cat nutrition and whether it is safe for your canine companion to indulge in cat food.
Pro Tip: If your pup eats something they shouldnt, pet insurance helps ensure they get the professional help they need along with financial support for vet bills.
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What Food Should Dogs Eat
Most dogs thrive off of a of dry kibble that follows AAFCO guidelines but the growing number of specialty food options has drawn some dog owners away from the traditional dry dog food. Most pet stores now have freezers and refrigerators to provide the other options that aren’t found on the shelves in the pet food aisle. Most every dog food you see in a pet store will follow AAFCO guidelines so as long as you choose a food designed for a dog and their specific needs you will be providing proper nutrition unless they have a medical condition requiring supplements. The same goes for feeding cat food to cats, but that does not mean that they are interchangeable between species.
Will Canned Cat Food Hurt My Dog
A little cat food now and then isnt great for your dog, but depending on the type of cat food, it shouldnt cause too much of a problem, either.
If your cat is on any sort of prescription canned food, such as brands that treat kidney disease or other health problems, take extra care not to let your dog have any of it.
This would be similar to letting one of your children take the prescription medicine of the other its not only unhealthy, but dangerous.
In most cases, dogs who eat a little bit of canned cat food can experience no symptoms at all, or may display symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhea, gas or vomiting.
Unless there are other health issues at play, its highly unlikely that a few bites of cat food will kill a dog.
If dogs are fed cat food consistently over time, even just a little bit every day, they are at risk of becoming obese or developing pancreatitis, which is potentially life-threatening.
One of the reasons why cat food isnt good for dogs is because canine and feline digestive systems are so different.
Cats are carnivores, and wet cat food is almost exclusively meat. Dogs, on the other hand, are omnivores, and need more than just meat to have a balanced and healthy diet.
In fact, even if you have two of the same type of pet, such as two dogs, they may have different nutritional needs.
If dogs eat cat food regularly, their bodies cant process the overload of protein. Besides obesity, this can lead to serious liver and kidney problems.
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Can Dogs Eat Cat Food Can Cats Eat Dog Food
While there are a few canned formulas available that meet the needs of both species, most foods are designed specifically for cats or dogs.
Cats require a higher percentage of protein and fat than most dogs and they have specific requirements for additional taurine. Dogs that eat too much cat food are at risk of weight gain and even pancreatitis. Cats that eat dog food are at risk of weight gain when the food is high in carbohydrates, as well as more likely to develop deficiencies in important amino acids like taurine.
Protein And Fat Content
Dog food is not that different from your food. Its made with some of the same proteins, carbs, fruits, veggies, and supplements that comprise your daily diet. In fact, many typical homemade dog foods are quite similar to the chicken-and-rice dishes you may make for your family.
Cat foods, on the other hand, are more like Atkins-inspired recipes. Theyre primarily comprised of proteins and fats, and they typically lack the assortment of fruits and vegetables that are often found in dog foods.
The AAFCO guidelines call for 18% protein content for adult dog foods, while adult cat foods must contain 26% protein content .
Nevertheless, some authorities consider these figures too low for cats and recommend protein content in the 30% to 45% range.
The AAFCOs guidelines for fat content differ less, but they still recommend that cat foods contain 9% fat content, while dog foods only require 8.5%.
Keep in mind that these are minimum guidelines, and many cat foods have protein and fat content that exceed these recommendations sometimes significantly so. In fact, the high protein and fat content of cat foods is probably the reason dogs find cat foods so tasty.
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Why Cat Food Is Different Than Dog Food
Cat f ood and dog food have different formulations because cats and dogs have different nutritional requirements. Cats are obligate carnivoresthey must eat meat in order to maintain their healthwhile dogs are omnivores, which means they eat both meat-based foods and plant-based foods to fulfill their nutritional requirements.
In addition to the dietary meat requirements a cat has, she also needs certain B-complex vitamins and amino acids such as taurine that dog food doesnt contain. If a cat doesnt receive these vitamins and amino acids from her diet, she could develop serious heart problems such as cardiomyopathy, or she could become blind .
Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Food
While cats are obligate carnivores, meaning theyre obligated to eat meat and would in fact die without it, dogs are opportunistic omnivores meaning they can make use of many nutrient types found in their environment. Being relatives of wolves, people think of dogs as keen hunters, but ancient dogs began to rely on foraging scraps off nearby humans as they developed the bond we cherish today.
Being opportunistic, dogs will eat practically anything, which can certainly pose a problem at times. Its like their ancestral instincts have come up against a human-centered world. On par with sniffing something to see what it could be, dogs often try eating things simply out of curiosity. If you own a dog, you probably have more than one story of pet shenanigans.
Not only does cat food smell novel to the pet kibble theyre accustomed to, a dogs strong senses draw them to its high protein and fat content.
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Is Wet Or Dry Cat Food Worse For Dogs
While dogs will eat almost anything if the situation presents itself, their digestive system is as habitual as ours. If a dog eats wet or dry cat food for the first time, theres always the risk of digestive upset, either in the form of vomit or diarrhea. Whether its cat food or dog food, dry kibble tends to have a higher concentration of carbohydrates. The tendency for people to feed their pets dry food exclusively is one of the main reasons why so many dogs and cats are overweight. Neither wet nor dry cat food, if they consume it once, or only occasionally, poses any inherent danger for dogs. Should it become habitual, dry cat food is much worse for a dogs overall health and functioning.
Experiment With Other Cat Food Flavors
Although it wont work for all dogs, you may be able to dissuade your dog from eating your cats food by picking another recipe. For example, your dog may love your cats chicken-flavored food, but he may not find a salmon-based recipe so irresistible.
This is obviously a bit tricky for owners who have finicky cats, but it is worth trying. Additionally, if it works, itll prove to be the simplest solution of all.
And while were talking about dogs who like to eat cat food, it is important to note that some dogs show a predilection for eating, um, pre-eaten cat food that they collect from the cats litter box.
This is not only a revolting practice, but it can also make your dog sick, so youll want to put an end to it as soon as possible.
Theres really only one way weve found to tackle this problem: Use a dog-proof litter box. There are a number of these products on the market, and several of them are quite effective. Check out our comprehensive guide to dog-proof litter boxes if you need help dealing with this particular problem.
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