Can dogs eat cat food? Having one or more than one pet is an obsession of many people. Most of us love to have numerous cats, dogs, and other beautiful animals in our homes.
Taking good care of pets in all senses is more critical. As it not only necessary for their health and wellbeing but also for the life and health of the people who own them.
This fact might be entirely true that you as an owner will do all you can to keep your animals healthy and well.
But you will also agree that sometimes, unconsciously you do not pay attention to little details. However, that is pertinent to your pets overall development and growth.
Most of the times, people have one or more cats as well as dogs in their house at the same time.
While the most common problem faced by such people is about keeping the two rivals away and tame them to settle in an environment in which the two different species can live in harmony.
There are some other sensitive issues that do not usually take care of because paying attention to them is difficult.
Sometimes, such issues are not talked about because there is no proper awareness of them. One such problem is about either dog being fed with cat food or vice versa.
Owners can either do it unintentionally or deliberately without even considering the pros and cons of it and its long-term effects.
The issue we are putting forth for discussion in this article is majorly oriented towards Dogs. How does feeding them a diet which is not meant for them can affect them? To put it more clearly, is it safe for dogs to eat cat food?
This topic is undoubtedly one of the most underrated ones in the animal’s blogging and the vet’s world.
Even if you love your pets, be it a cat or a dog or both, we can say this from our very experience that you find such animal food discussion and argument boring.
Is It the People or Is It the Dog who Loves Cat Food?
Most of the times, the owners can feed the same food to both cats and dogs so that they can save their money and time which they utilize is finding two different feeds for the animals.
People, due to the lack of their awareness, think that good cat food can do well for the dog’s health too.
Sometimes, the cat food is cheaper and is readily available to the people find it easier to buy it and feed it to both species. But it is not always the owner who does this to the poor dogs.
Sometimes, it is seen that even if the owner brings two different kinds of food for the animals, dogs still love to eat the food from their friend’s plate.
Dogs tend to eat everything they find. And because the cat food looks much like dog’s food in appearance and texture, obviously dogs can’t read from the food’s packaging. They eat cat food too like it’s theirs.
Sharon Crowell-Davis, a professional veterinary doctor, says has to say about this matter that:
Since dogs can’t distinguish us, why they love cat food, and it is relatively consistent amongst most dogs (They do love cat food!), I’m going to estimate it’s the higher protein content and the result it has on the flavor.
Hence, the owners do not only need to buy and serve a different food to dogs but also to take care that they don’t mess with the grain of the poor little cat.
Why Do Dogs Need to be Fed with Dogs Food and why Not with Cats?
Before going to any long details and evidence, all we have to say is that you can feed your dog with cat food on and off. Or when you do not have any other option except doing this, but doing so for long periods is dangerous.
Doing such an act can make your dog sick both mentally and physically and can have many other smalls yet hazardous impacts on the dog’s life.
Dr. Cromwell says that feeding your dog with the cat’s food is just like you humans eat cake all the time.
The cake is not too harmful to us, but if we eat it for our whole life, we can get diseases like high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes, etc. Same is the case with dogs.
Cats can never live if they are fed with only dog’s food entirely. But unlike cats, dogs can be supplied on cat’s food their entire life. Nevertheless, this is bound to pose serious health threats to your dog.
What are the Issues that Arise in Dog’s Health after Being Fed with Cat’s Food?
Cat’s food is high in caloric concentration. They have a very high protein level, moreover, dense amounts of fat as compared to the dog’s food. Such foods, if fed to dogs, can cause obesity and the thickness of the dog’s waistline.
Other than these two, there are numerous gastrointestinal issues, diarrhea, vomiting, upset stomach, etc. that arise when you feed your dog with cat’s food.
What are the Contents of Cat’s Food that are Harmful to Dogs and Why?
Yes, cat food isn’t correctly balanced for dogs because they contain the following elements: Amino Acid Taurine, Vitamine A, Proteins, and Arachidonic Acid. Here’s why!
Amino Acid Taurine:
There is an amino acid by the name of Taurine that is important for cats in large quantities. Dogs don’t need such an amino acid as such in their diet.
Dog’s metabolism is capable of making Taurine by itself inside the body. If cat’s food feeds to the dog, the result will be an excess of this amino acid in a dog’s body causing health issues to the dog.
Vitamin A is something that is required by cats in a vast quantity and by kittens in even more amount than cats. Therefore, it is found densely in their food.
On the other hand, dogs have a substance with the name of Beta-Carotene in their food. This Beta-Carotene can be converted into vitamin A in a specific process that undergoes only in dog’s bodies.
It has been observed that sometimes, there is a small amount of Vitamin A in the dog’s food for additional supply. But this small amount of Vitamin A in the dog’s diet cannot be compared at any level with the amount of it in the cat’s food which is wholly full of Vitamin A.
Hence, if you try to feed your dog with the cat’s food on a regular basis, the dog’s body will be accumulated by a large amount of vitamin A. That can prove to be detrimental to the dog’s long-term health.
Like all the other things, the whole carnivores cats require a large number of proteins too, so that their metabolism may work adequately.
Cat’s foods are high in protein and sometimes so are the dog foods. But even the highest amount of protein content in dog’s feedstuff is very less in comparison with the cat’s level of protein.
This unsaturated, essential fatty acid is yet another thing that is not found in the dog’s food but is excessively present in cat’s food. Arachidonic acid is a fatty acid that can be built by dogs themselves, but cats need it in their diet.
A fun fact stated by famed and professional veterinary is that is as long as the dogs love to eat this food. As long as it does not hurt their bellies and gastrointestinal tracts the owners can let the dogs eat them a little bit.
Eating cat’s food can help the dog’s mind build in a way that can be easily tamed. By eating cat’s food, dogs can show an excessive fast ability to learn and understand new things.
But it is also important to note that even some dogs, who are not so delicate, can be harmed by the cat’s food. In a manner that we humans are unable to observe it until the dog’s state of health declines to a shallow level.
“How to Keep the Puppy From Eating the Cat’s Food”
The Bottom Line:
If your dog eats cat food and remains OK, you can let it eat such food on and off. But if your dog vomits, or falls sick after consuming even the minutest amount of cat food, then you should never ever let that dog even smell the cat’s food otherwise this can have devastating effects.
DR. Cromwell says that even if your dog is one of those dogs that have an iron gut; it is not good for a dog to eat mainly cat food in the long term.
She further says that the cat’s food is not correctly stable for dogs in terms of the fiber and protein and some other nutrients. Other than this, cat food can be tough on the livers and kidneys of dogs as it has so much protein.
In a crux, if you ever want to feed cat’s food to your doggie, make sure that you monitor its health and condition on and off. To make sure that the cat food does not hurt it intensely enough.