Can Dogs Eat Cat Food? Yes, But They Shouldn’t!

If you live in a multi-pet household, chances are that your dog has shown interest in your cat’s food bowl.

But is it safe for your pup to eat your kitty’s food?

The short answer to the question “can dogs eat cat food” is that cat food is not toxic and thus is safe for canines, but overall, it is not recommended to feed your dog with food for felines. The reason is that cat foods are formulated differently from dog foods due to the different nutritional needs of the two animals.

Remember that canines are omnivores, meaning they can eat both animal- and plant-based foods. Cats, on the other hand, are obligate (true) carnivores. Thus their metabolisms and gastrointestinal tracts are adapted for eating meat, and they need it to survive.

Cats need more protein and fat in their daily diet than canines. They also need taurine, unlike dogs.

So a complete and balanced dog diet consists of both animal-based and plant-based ingredients, which are essential for its health and wellbeing. In contrast, kitty food consists of animal proteins only with higher fat content and added taurine, alongside the other amino acids. It is also usually higher in calories and with little or no carbohydrates.

In other words – commercial dog food is not good and doesn’t provide sufficient nutrients for cats. And commercial cat food may contain too many nutrients, which can lead to potential health issues in the long run.

In rare cases, if your pup is recovering from an injury or surgery, is malnourished, or needs a nutritional boost, your veterinarian may recommend adding cat food to its diet.

Read on to find out whether dogs eat cat food and why you should not feed your pup with food for felines regularly.

What Makes Cat Food Unsuitable For Dogs?

As mentioned in the introduction, commercial cat food contains a higher percentage of fat and protein and very little or no carbohydrates than is recommended for dogs. Food for kitties also contains taurine, which is an amino acid that is not essential for canines.

Dog food is made up of animal- and plant-based ingredients and is formulated to provide the pup with the recommended and healthy amount and type of nutrients.

Dogs that eat a cat-based diet for a prolonged period of time can develop a variety of mild to severe health issues, including:

  • Obesity
  • Pancreatitis – inflammation of the pancreas
  • Stomach upsets
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Kidney disease and problems

So, What If My Pup Ate Cat Food?

If your pup happens to eat some cat food, then don’t worry. If it is a one-time or rare incident, then there is little risk for your pet’s health.

Sometimes, your dog may display mild adverse effects from the cat food, such as vomiting or diarrhea.

The real problems can arise if your dog happens to eat cat food on a regular basis.

If you catch your pup stealing your cat’s food or suspect it may be sneaking on food for felines for some time, you may want to speak to your veterinarian.

Also, if you notice any symptoms that your furbaby has been eating the wrong kind of food, then make sure to keep any cat food away from it and feed your pets separately.

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