How To Keep My Dog From Eating Cat Food?
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Can My Dog Eat Cat Food? Consequences and Complications

  • Last Updated On: May 23, 2019
  • / Dog Care Tips
  • / By Drew & Gunnar

Can Dogs Eat Cat Food ?

Dog Eating Cat Food

Animals are one of the best companions that anyone can have. This is the reason that the trend of keeping a pet is increasing with every passing day. Talking about having a pet, people are found of keeping dogs and cats. Yes, almost every house has either a dog or a cat living with them. A misconception about keeping a dog or cat is that you can’t have them together. The old myths that dogs and cats can never be friend is one of the reasons people prefer to keep either one of them.

However, now the trends are changing and people are prone to have both dog and cat in their house. Keeping a dog with cat, one of the most common confusion that people have is if they can feed them both same food? Can dogs eat cat food, is what they have on their mind most of the time. Most of the dog or cat owners think that there is no difference between a cat and dog food. However, a Vet might not agree with them since these two are a different type of pets and have different types of needs.

What is the fundamental difference between dog food and cat food?

To understand the basic difference between dog food and cat food, the first thing that you need to know is that a cat is a carnivore while the dog is an omnivore. If you drop a piece of meat in front of a cat, it will reject it within few minutes while on the other hand, the dog will finish it up in no time. The basic difference between the dog and cat food is of protein. A cat needs much more protein than a dog in order to fulfill its energy requirements. This is the reason that cat food is high in protein as compared to dog food. The percentage of protein in dog food is around 20-25 percent while in cat food it is more than 30 percent.

Both cats and dogs need Vitamin A in their routine to live a healthy life. However, a dog can convert the beta-carotene into required vitamin A, while cats, on the other hand, cannot do so.  For cats, food is the only source from where they can fulfill their requirement of vitamin A.

Arachidonic acid, also known as fatty acid, is a necessary part of both cat and dog’s diet. The presence of fatty acid in their system is important to keep them healthy and active. Dogs have two options when it comes to arachidonic acid, they can either synthesize fatty acid using the linoleic acid that is present in most of the vegetable oils or they can get it through their intake of meat. However, on the other hand, cats have once choice to get their fatty acid from and that is meat.

Why is a dog eating cat food greedily?

Despite having a lot of differences, you might find your dog still into eating your cat food. Yes, when it comes to a dog eating cat food there is nothing unusual. Dogs have a tendency of eating up anything and everything that comes in front of them. There are several differences in cat and dog’s food. However, it does not change the fact that most of them look same. Dog do not find the appearance and taste of cat food much different from their own. They can easily live up while being feed cat food.

Moreover, dogs are able to live on the omnivorous diet i.e. meat, grains, and plants, which means that they have a large range of the ingredients to feed on as compared to cats. Though the cat food is specially designed to appeal to a cat the presence of the juicy and meaty goodness is likely to make your dog hungry as well.

Dogs also have an amazing sense of smell as compared to cats which means that the aroma of cat food is what draws their attention to it. Cat food is found to be more aromatic as compared to the dog’s food. Presence of cat food and its aroma causes the same effect on your dog as the aroma of your favorite meal do on you.

Can I feed my dog cat food?

Most of the time people are really confused about feeding their dog cat food and wondering “Can I feed my dog cat food?” Well, answer this question is both yes and no. Why yes? If you are out of dog food and only have cat food at hand then there is no harm in letting your dog have it. Your dog can enjoy cat food for a while instead of starving the entire day. Why no? Well, just because your dog enjoys eating cat food, it does not mean that you should let him have it every day. The difference in nutrition value of the dog food is for some reason and it is highly advisable to make sure that you stick your dog to his feed.

The cat food is full of proteins that are good for them but not for your dog. If you are regularly feeding your dog with the cat food then there are a lot of complications that can arise. Cat food is full of nutrients that your cat need but they are not enough for the dogs to stay healthy and active. There are a lot of chances that they might develop some kind of deficiency. The nutrient imbalance can lead to obesity, gastrointestinal as well as pancreatitis. Even if your dog does not show immediate side effects of eating cat food, the high level of protein in cat food can upset his both kidneys and liver.

Consequences and Complications of Feeding Cat Food to Dogs:

There are few things that are common in dog and cat food, however, despite the similarities; there are some serious consequences of feeding your dog with cat food. The first risk which a lot of people are not good at noticing is the risk of being obese. Yes, people are often confused about having a healthy dog and obese dog. Cat foods have a huge percentage of the protein as well as fatty contents as compared to dog food. If you let your dog have cat food on regular basis, he will put on extra weight. Now to a lot of people their dog gaining weight might not seem to be a huge problem but there are a lot of issues related to weight gain. Obesity can lead your dog to have breathing problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, decreased stamina, bad immune system, liver disease and heat intolerance.

Gastrointestinal upset is also a common problem that your dog might face if you feed him cat food. Now the gastrointestinal upset might not cause him to die but it will surely make him feel bad. The high presence of fat content and protein in the cat food can disturb his gastrointestinal tract which will result in him having diarrhea or even vomiting. Gastrointestinal upset does not result of letting your dog feed on cat food for a long time, sometimes even by feeding him cat food once; your dog might end up having this problem which is why you should not take any type of risks.

Can I feed my cat dog food?

The rule of feeding proper diet to your cat is not much different. Cats usually are picky about their food. Unlike dogs, they do not eat everything that is in front of them. There are only a few types of meats that cats are more likely to eat. However, there are still a lot of chances that your cat might seem to be interested in your dog’s food. Again, just because you find your cat indulging in dog food does not mean that you should let her have it. Dog food is not at all a healthy diet for a cat.

Feeding your cat with dog food might be the worst thing to do. It won’t take you long enough to notice the side effects that have been caused by feeding your cat on the dog food. Cats need the high dose of taurine in their diet. Taurine is an ingredient that isn’t part of your dog food which means that if you feed your cat with the dog food, the deficiency of taurine is likely to develop. Lack of taurine can cause a lot of problems which include heart diseases, deafness, and even blindness.

The vitamins that are an important part of the cat’s diet are also not part of the dog food. The lack of presence of these vitamins in their diet can cause problems like seizures, poor heart condition, lethargy, impaired reproduction and in some cases even death. Furthermore, consuming a huge amount of the dog food can cause your cat have the imbalance of protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, and minerals which can lead to the serious gastrointestinal upset. Furthermore, if you let your cat have a huge amount of dog food, there won’t be any space left for her to consume food that is more beneficial for her health.  This is the reason, it is highly advisable that you should buy proper cat food for your cat instead of being lazy and letting then have dog food.

Tips to stop your dog eating cat food:

If your dog loves to enjoy your cat food then it will be a real challenge for you to keep him away from it. It is not much you can do to train your dog when it comes to his eating habits. However, there are some tips that will help you to achieve your goal of keeping him away from cat food, which is as follow:

Give your cat separate room for food:

One of the easiest ways of keeping your dog away from your cat food is by moving cat’s bowl to any other room of the house, the one where your dog cannot go. Doing so, you will be able to keep your dog away from the cat food and also from its aroma. You can also install a very small flap on your door that is not easy for your dog to pass through. In this way, only your car will have access to the food.

Change their meal timings:

Another way to keep your dog away from your cat food is by changing their meal timing. Feed your dog first and then let him go outside for his usual run. This way you will have your cat alone in the house with her food.

Keep it away from your dog’s reach:

If you cannot make another room for your cat to have her meal or you cannot change timings of your pet then your best pick is to keep your cat food away from the reach of your dog. Place her bowl on some higher surface where your dog can’t reach. In this way, he won’t be able to get his hands cat food.

Don’t leave the food unattended:

If your cat is not good at finishing her entire meal and tends to leave some leftover behind then instead of leaving the food as is, it is better to put it away. The absence of unattended food will not draw the attention of your dog which means you will be able to keep him away from it.


Cats and dogs being part of different families have different needs when it comes to food. No matter how much interested they seem to be, feeding them with each other’s food will be the worst thing that you do to them. If you want to keep a dog and a cat at the same place, it is important for you to be responsible enough to buy separate food for them. Feeding them wrong type of food just to save you some time and money will end up causing them serious health problems. This is the reason it is important for every pet owner to make sure they are feeding right diet to their pet no matter what.

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About the Author Drew & Gunnar

As you can see, Gunnar makes Drew do all the work but heading outdoors with your best friend is never really work! Drew buys the products and Gunnar does the testing so you can rest assured you are reading the most up to date information to make the best decision for your dog's health and well-being!