Can Dogs Eat Cat Food?
If you have both a cat and a dog then you probably already know that it’s hard to keep your dog away from the cat food! Dogs almost universally seem to love cat food. But, is it good for your dog to eat cat food? Can dogs eat cat food, without getting sick? Or, is cat food bad for dogs? The answer is that you should not let your dog eat cat food, no matter how much he likes it.
Dogs are carnivores, just as cats are, but dogs can eat lots of different things, unlike cats. Cats must have a lot of protein in their food for health reasons. For this reason, cat food has a much higher percentage of protein in it that dog food does. It also contains lots of animal fats. It often includes fish, too, which most dogs love. Plus, cat food manufacturers go out of their way to make sure the food has a very strong odor to make it more appealing to cats. All of these things also make cat food almost irresistible to dogs.
If your dog has the opportunity to eat cat food, he probably will. But, should he? Should you let him eat cat food? If your dog eats a bite of cat food once in a while, it probably won’t hurt him. He may have some diarrhea but he probably won’t get sick. However, if you feed your dog cat food instead of dog food, then your dog would become ill. Cat food is not formulated to meet the nutritional needs of dogs. Dogs and cats are different and they do need to eat different foods. Your dog should not eat cat food on a regular basis.
The best way to prevent your dog from eating your cat’s food is to feed your cat some place where your dog can’t get to the food. You may need to feed your cat in a separate room and install a small cat door so only the cat can enter the room. Perhaps you could place the cat’s food and litterbox in a laundry room and put a cat door on the door to this room.
Dogs are often fanatically drawn to eat cat poop, too. One reason is that it is still full of cat food. So, it’s a good idea to keep the kitty’s litterbox off limits to your dog, too.
Some cats are also interested in eating dog food but most dogs are faster eaters so cats have less chance to eat dog food unless you leave dog food sitting out in your dog’s bowl at all times. Again, it would not be healthy for your cat to make a habit of eating dog food.
Remember that dogs and cats do need to eat different foods and try to do all you can to discourage them from eating each other’s food. It may be tempting to try to save money by buying just one food, or it may seem more convenient to only use one food, but dogs and cats have very different nutritional needs and they do need to be fed different foods.