If your little cat accidentally gulps down dog food, what will happen?
Will he be sick?
Is dog food safe for cats’ consumption?
Before I clear things up, there is one quick fact that cat food is totally different from that of dogs.
So, low intake is acceptable while heavy or frequent feeding is really worrying.
Let’s go into more details.
Dog food and cat food: Any Conflict?
Since cats require different nutritional values, they risk being malnourished if fed on the food specially designed for canines.
What matters most is protein
As omnivores, dogs can derive essential nutrients from both animal- and plant-based sources.
On the other hand, cats are obligate carnivores. That means their only source of protein is meat or meat byproducts.
According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials, cats’ minimum amount of protein outnumbers that of dogs by 8 percent.
The next factor is moisture
As dogs can sense signs of dehydration, they can drink up if the food is a little bit dry.
However, cats don’t develop that ability so they may suffer from lack of water.
In particular, canned food for cats is designed to keep their organism well-hydrated while dog food doesn’t merely serve that purpose.
Taste may be another factor
Thanks to the richness in vitamins and proteins, cat food tends to have a better and more tempting flavor compared to a typical dog meal.
The latter is often blander and basically tasteless.
Therefore, dog food is unappealing to cats.
However, they may try some nibbles due to curiosity or hunger.
What are the consequences of cats eating dog food?
A one-time bite won’t affect cats much.
However, in the long run, dog food can be lethal to cats.
Due to the shortage of vitamins, proteins, and taurine, your furry friend is subject to various problems related to its eyesight fur, metabolism, kidneys, heart, and reproductive system.
Cat food is clearly identified among that for kittens, adult, and senior cats with different contents of nutrients.
Without a well-balanced diet, your lovely companion can’t live healthily and strongly.
In case of an emergency, is it OK for cats to eat dog food?
Even if you’ve prepared abundant cat food in the cupboard, the chance of running out is unavoidable.
Sometimes we may think we have more food than we actually do.
But it’s midnight now. All pet stores are closed.
Or a thunderstorm hits your hometown, making you unable to rush out for food.
And your cat is continuously meowing because of hunger.
What will you do in that case?
A little bit dog food is ok to keep your cat at ease.
But don’t overuse canine food. Regular feeding on such food is dangerous.
Just one meal is enough.
How to keep dog food out of cats’ reach?
In a multi-pet house, you have to familiarize with the fact that pets try to eat each other’s food.
Thus, if you leave food available all the time, the chance is cats may eat dog food and vice versa.
Rather than free feeding, you can try feeding each animal two or three meals a day based on the veterinarian’s advice.
Make separate feeding routines for dogs and cats.
If possible, prepare some treats for those eating their own meals.
Another way is to create physical separation. That means you feed each animal in different locations.
When it’s the feeding time, put different pets into separate rooms. Baby gates or behind doors are feasible choices.
Go for a raised position like a cat tree to feed the feline. This will stop the canine from gorging on its housemate’s food.
At the same time, this way will boost a positive interspecies relationship between your pets while minimizing the likelihood of resource guarding.
Your cat can be confident to eat their meal without fear of being stolen by your dog.
Does your cat still eat dog food?
Don’t worry. This is because dog food is something new to its appetite.
To prevent further outcomes, try different brands of cat food until there is one to your feline friend’s liking.
Feeding your pet on a proper diet is a key to keeping him or her in good shape.
So, don’t let them mess things up.
Quyên Lê from www.petlifebuzz.com
I am a passionate animal rescuer in my country. My spare time is spent on laughing around the dogs and cats. I dream of building a roof for street animals in the city I’m living in.