Can cats eat dog food?
If you have dogs and cats at home, surely on more than one occasion you have been assaulted by the doubt of whether cats can eat dog food and vice versa. You may even be tempted to buy a single type of food for everyone, because, after all, they look similar and the smell is almost the same, right?
However, the truth is that each food is formulated especially for a specific species, so here we tell you what is negative or positive in this practice. Keep reading and discover the hand what happens if your cat eats dog food!
What is dog food made of?
Just like the cat food, the Canine feed it is cut in different ways, it has several flavors according to the ingredients it contains and it is even marketed in different sizes depending on age and race (small, medium or large) to which it is addressed. Despite these similarities, both types of feed are formulated differently.
In this sense, dog food contains high concentrations of beta-carotene, that the dog needs to turn it into vitamin A, crucial for its correct development. This food, in addition, is characterized for being rich in vitamins, fiber and lower in proteins and fats that cat food, since dogs tend to gain weight easily if these components are raised, which is what happens if you let them regularly eat cat food.
For this reason, it is better that your dog eat food according to their species, breed and age. Now, what does the cat need for its nutrition? Coming up next, we tell you!
What is cat food made of?
Contrary to the dog diet, cats need a food that is rich in proteins and fatsand lower in fiber. In spite of that, it is crucial for the feline diet that the feed contains Vitamin A, since your body is unable to metabolize it on its own. The same goes for the taurine, an amino acid that in the wild felines obtain from meat (especially from viscera, such as liver or heart), but that the cat can not produce, so it must be provided in the food. Taurine is extremely important for the health of cats, since a diet deficient in this substance will bring various health problems to your pet, including heart disease. See the article on “Foods rich in taurine for cats.”
Similarly, when you think about your cat’s diet, you should keep in mind at all times that it is a carnivorous animal par excellence, hence the importance that your food contains a high proportion of protein. This is necessary for your cat to have the energy it requires to perform physical activities. Although cats look like lazy animals, the truth is that during their games, jumps and climbs burn large amounts of energy, and the consumption of protein provides them with much of it. A cat with deficiency of this food group will end up sick.
Another mandatory component in the cat’s diet is the Arachidonic acid, an important fatty component for feline health. Dogs do not need it in food, as their body produces it, while cats require it to be included in the food.
With this in mind, you’re probably worried that your pets will steal each other’s food while you’re not watching, what are the consequences?
Is it bad for a cat to eat dog food?
Imagine the scene: you fill the bowls of your cat and your dog, you are careless for a moment and the cat has already put his head in the food of the dog, which devours with avidity. You panic, is this poisonous?
The truth is that, for once it happens, there is no problem with your cat eating the dog’s food, so you can rest easy. The drawback comes when this becomes a common practice, either because you have decided to buy the same food for both, or you do not find a way to make everyone consume their own food.
As we already told you, the feed is formulated especially for each species, so if your cat is used to eating dog food instead of yours, Your nutritional needs will not be met. The consequence of that? Your cat will get sick, which can start with signs that are confused with any other discomfort, such as vomiting, diarrhea or hair loss, but in the long run can cause malnutrition, as well as kidney and liver diseases that, in many cases, result lethal for cats.
If you are in the situation of not having cat food at a certain time and can not buy, check the following article to know what to give without damaging your health: “What can I give my cat if it does not have food?”
How to prevent the cat from eating dog food?
Now, if your cat eats the feed of the dog or vice versa and you do not know how to avoid it, here are some tips to achieve it.
- Use different bowls. Dogs and cats distinguish shapes and sizes, so having two equal bowls for both pets can make it difficult for them to identify what their food is. Acquire containers of different shapes and sizes to avoid this confusion.
- Establish feeding schedules. Whether you spend all day at home or not, having a schedule for meals is crucial, that way you control the amounts your pets ingest and prevent them from approaching on their own to the first bowl they find at any time of the day. Check the “Amount of daily cat food” in this article.
- Serves food in different places. Your dog and your cat can eat at the same time of the day, but if you noticed that you have a weakness for the other’s food, it is best to serve them in different spaces of the house and always be the same space for each one. In this way, both will know that this is their food and they should look for it in that place.
- Establish discipline. When you see that your cat eats the dog’s food or vice versa, I gave an energetic “No!”, Without shouting, and change the bowl for the right one, in this way you will know which one corresponds to you.
As you can see, these tips are very simple, it is the only thing you need to know what to do if your cat eats dog food and thus avoid future diseases.
If you want to read more articles similar to Can cats eat dog food?, we recommend that you enter in our section of Feeding problems.