Can Dogs Eat Cat Food?

can dogs eat cat food

Most probably, the reason for which you came here, is because you have a cat and a dog, and the finance of adopting both are starting to take their toll on you.

I get it, buying different food cans for 2 animals is exhausting.

After all, how different can the food be?

So if you’re wondering if you can feed your dog cat food, the short answer is ; sure, maybe, like once or twice, but if you want to see what the long-term effects of such diet on your little pup, then you better keep reading.

What’s The Difference?

The difference in the food stems from the difference in dietary requirements.

Contrary to common belief, dogs are omnivores, meaning, in order to sustain a healthy lifestyle, they need variety in what they’re eating.

cat eating food in a bowl

Cats are different, they are carnivores, which means their food is mostly meat, or meat products.

High in protein, your dog will definitely be attracted to the scent, and sure, having a little bit of it is okay, occasionally.

On the long run, however, this diet fails to provide the necessary nutrients for your dog.

Which is why,it’s best to stick with dog food, if you plan on having your dog around for long.

More on The Differences Between Cat Food and Dog Food!

What Happens If I Feed My Dog Cat Food?

As mentioned before, cats are carnivores, whereas dogs are omnivores.

Carnivores need to have meat to survive, if it’s not part of their diet, it’s the end for them.

Omnivores are different, meat is one of the many things they survive on, so technically, they can survive on a plant-based diet.

dog and cat sharing the same bowl

Furthermore, with cats, they need taurine, arginine, and arachidonic acid, which are present mainly in animal flesh, hence their dire need of meat, which is the main reason why it’s even worse for a cat to eat only dog food.

Dog food was made in a way to provide all the nutrients your dog needs, in a balanced way, so if you dog only eats cat food for a long period, not only will you be depriving it from the other necessary nutrients, but also giving it too much protein, for his body to handle.

If you have a dog and a cat in the same house, you’ll have to be very careful when you’re feeding them, since dogs are extremely attracted to cat food.

It could be the high protein levels, which affect the taste, or simply the pleasure of taking what isn’t yours.

Whatever the reason may be, your dog will immediately run to the cat food, upon seeing it.

This is why implementing tricks, such as putting cat food in a room that your dog doesn’t have access to, are essential, since having too much cat food, can have serious implications.

But enough of this, what will really happen to your dog if he has access to cat food?

dog and cat playing

Once again, if it’s once or twice, not much will, but if happens perpetually, it can cause some serious damage, since the high protein diet can affect their liver and kidneys.

Moreover, it will also cause a weight gain, which comes with its own set of complications.

Diarrhea, vomits are only some of the symptoms that will alert you to your dog not feeling okay.

If you happen to notice these symptoms, make sure that you isolate your dog from your cat, and if the symptoms subside, then you’re sure that it was the cat food that caused them.

Pancreatitis is another terrible complication.

It is a serious health issue, which could cause your dog to have diabetes.

When in doubt, keep an eye for these symptoms, and contact your vet if any of them show:

It’s most advised that you keep your dog’s contact with cat food as a treat, when he’s being a good boy, and even then, it shouldn’t happen so often.

Kitty food is even worse for dogs, since it has an even higher density of proteins and fat.

How To Keep Your Dog From Eating the Cat's Food

My Dog Had Some Cat Food, What Do I Do?

Most dogs wouldn’t be affected by eating cat food once or twice, in fact, you might not even know that your dog has had some cat food, since many dogs can handle it just fine.

However, on the rare occasion, it’s best to look out for symptoms of vomit and diarrhea, keep a close eye on your dog, and most importantly, hide any cat food and make access to it almost impossible.

dog eating bread

So the short answer is; if it’s a once in a lifetime event, then you don’t have much to worry about, just don’t make a habit of it and expect things to go smoothly.

After a while, your dog will start getting affected by this food, and will most probably suffer permanent damage.

Your dog is your responsibility, and it goes without saying that you must do all that you can to keep him or her, safe and sound.

About the Author Afafe Elkasimi

Greetings, my name is Afafe, a student by the day, and an animal stalker by night. Writing for a blog like this one is the perfect opportunity to get my daily dose of puppy pictures. So join me, as I help you not only pick the best company animal, but also learn how to care for it.

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