If you have dogs and cats living in your house under the same roof, it’s very possible that you’ve once asked yourself the question “can dogs eat cat food? Or is cat food bad for dogs?”. Why? Well, because we human beings are creative and curious like that, that’s why!
But, you’re not the only curious one in this story, your dog is just as curious if not more about what that cat food they’re seeing exactly tastes like.
So, you can be sure that if you expose your dog to cat food and leave them unattended, they will gobble that thing down like there’s no tomorrow!
But, just because your dog’s curious to find out what cat food tastes like, does that mean you should go ahead and give them some to eat?
Can A Dog Eat Cat Food?
If you only feed your dog cat food in moderation and only as an occasional treat, then the answer is YES.
Cat food isn’t beneficial to your dog in any way, because it doesn’t contain the nutrients that your dog needs, and is formulated for cats in mind, not dogs.
However, given on occasions and in moderate amounts, cat food isn’t particularly harmful to dogs.
Just make sure not to make a regular habit out of it for you and your dog, and you’ll be fine.
Differences Between Dog Food And Cat Food
Here are some of the main differences between dog food and cat food:
- Cat food contains higher protein levels than dog food (26% protein vs 18% protein), and while cats require this higher level of proteins, dogs don’t (which is one reason dogs go bananas over cat food)
- Cat food contains higher fat levels than dog food (and while cats can handle the higher levels of fat safely, dogs can’t and become at a great risk of being affected with pancreatitis and obesity)
- Cat food contains different vitamins and minerals than dog food because the two animals require different nutrients from their diets, which means your dog might be getting an excess or deficiency in some nutrients
- Cat food doesn’t contain enough fiber levels that dogs require in their diet
- Cat food doesn’t have enough levels of carbohydrate in them that dogs need to remain healthy and energetic throughout the day
How Much Cat Food Can Dogs Eat?
As mentioned above, you should not make a regular habit out of feeding your dog cat food, because if your dog is regularly eating cat food and it becomes a staple of their diet, they will be consuming much more proteins and fats than they need and can handle, which only leads to health problems with time (such as kidney faliure).
However, if only given to your dog as an occasional treat and in moderate amounts, cat food is fine for your dog to eat.
With that said, it must also be noted that some dogs will not tolerate any amount of cat food, no matter how small, because their bodies were just designed that way. These dogs will get an upset stomach, start vomiting and have diarrhea if they eat even the smallest amount of cat food.
If that’s the case with your dog, then you have to make sure they don’t get near any cat food ever again.
For dogs who can tolerate small amounts of cat food on occasions, you should consider using cat food as incentives for your dog when positively training them, because cat food can be one of the most powerful and effective treats you could ever offer your dog.
If you notice that your dog is going out of their way to get to the cat food and eat some, you should consider consulting with your veterinarian about it, because that might mean that your dog’s diet is low in fat and/or protein, and that adjustments have to be made.