Many pet owners wonder if it’s possible to share cat food with their dogs. The question arises especially if the cat is a sharer and the dog is greedy, which is quite common.
While eating cat food occasionally will not affect a dog’s health, feeding your dog cat food on a regular basis can have some adverse health effects.
In this article, we will discuss the risks of giving cat food to a dog and what to do to avoid this kind of food sharing between your pets.
Are the nutritional needs of cats and dogs different?
Cats are carnivorous animals while dogs are semi-carnivorous or even omnivorous. The nutritional needs of cats and dogs are therefore different. Indeed, a cat’s diet must be more energetic than a dog’s and must therefore contain more protein and fewer carbohydrates.
On the other hand, the dog’s diet must contain less protein, protein should be of animal and vegetable origin, and the protein portion of the dog’s diet must be around 18%. In addition, the dog’s diet must also contain some carbohydrates and fats.
Cats need taurine in their diet because their bodies do not synthesize it, unlike dogs.
Cat food does not meet the nutritional needs of dogs and should not be given to your pet as it may cause long-term deficiencies.
Giving cat food to a dog: what are the dangers?
It is necessary to know that your dog’s health depends largely on his diet. If he is fed a diet that is not adapted to his species, the dog’s health will deteriorate over time and this will have a long-term impact.
Here are the main symptoms and risks of feeding cat food to your dog:
- Digestive problems: bloating, diarrhea or constipation;
- Pancreatic problems: pancreatitis caused by excess fat in the body;
- Obesity due to excess protein;
- Overloading of the kidneys or liver causing long-term renal and hepatic insufficiency.
In addition to these consequences, the dog may also develop vitamins, minerals and trace elements deficiencies, as the requirements for these nutrients differ according to the needs of each species.
How can I prevent a dog from eating cat food?
Each to his own. It is necessary to take all possible measures to avoid that your cat and your dog share their food and their bowls. First, it is recommended that each animal be fed in its own special eating area, or even in a different room, to avoid food pilfering and health problems that can result from it.
Secondly, you must be careful not to leave leftover food in the bowls.
Finally, to prevent the sharing of food between a sharing cat and a greedy dog, the owner can install an automatic dog food dispenser that opens only when it recognizes the animal for which the food is intended.