Perhaps the single best way to keep your dog from eating cat food is to simply position the two of them apart during meal times, so they don’t get into each other’s food. Barring this, you might want to try these options:
- Invest in an automatic electronic feeder, which only opens when a pet wearing the right tag comes close to it – this will prevent your dog from getting into the cat food
- Set up a cat feeding station, which requires your cat to get into a latch – dogs usually won’t try to enter into these
- Put the cat’s bowl up on a higher place than your dog can reach it – while cats can climb, dogs usually can’t and they’ll quickly get bored with trying
- Tuck the cat food ina room that your dog can’t get to; cats are usually more crafty when it comes to getting into closed doors
- Feed your pets in different rooms, separated by gates if at all possible – you could even use a little child safety gate as long as it’s tall enough to keep the dog out of the cat’s feeding area
- Give your animals food at different times of the day so they used to eating apart from one another
- Use a timed feeder that only opens up at meal times and then train your dog to eat at a different hour than your cat will – this will normally work even if you’re not around
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Will Cat Food Hurt a Dog?
Cat food won’t necessarily hurt your dog, but it certainly isn’t good for them. It normally contains more proteins and fats than dogs need, which can give them a pretty bad case of an upset stomach.
Amino-acids in cat food, like Taurine, aren’t biologically significant for dogs, thus they may not be able to metabolize them. This makes eating cat food particularly dangerous for dogs that already have very sensitive constitutions.
Certain brands of cat food include artificial additives and preservatives. While these aren’t exactly great for cats either, dogs can’t tolerate them and might end up vomiting a few times as a result of consuming any product that contains them.
Should I Be Worried If My Dog Eats Cat Food?
A few bites of cat food probably won’t have any impact on your dog, but you want to be concerned if your pooch seems to be making a habit of this. On top of an upset stomach, cat food can cause obesity in dogs because it’s so fatty.
If your dog seems to be more interested in your cat’s food than actual dog food you’re going to need to find some way to separate the two of them at meal times. You may want to call a vet if your dog has inadvertently swallowed a large amount of cat food all at once, but he or she will probably take a watch and wait approach to the problem.
Why Does My Dog Eat Cat Food?
Chances are that your dog likes the appealing smell of it. While cat food doesn’t smell great to most people, the fats and animal proteins in it may smell like cuts of fresh meat to a dog.
Any dog who doesn’t like their normal food is likely to gravitate toward cat food as well. If your dog doesn’t normally like to eat whatever it is that you give them on a regular basis, then there’s a strong possibility that they’ll go looking for other things to eat.
Can Dogs Die from Eating Cat Food?
Medium-to-large dogs normally won’t die from eating cat food, but they can eventually become fat from eating it. This leads to obesity and diabetes, which can both prove fatal to dogs.
Some smaller dogs might have a bad reaction to cat food, especially if they’re already prone to having upset stomachs. Get in touch with your vet if it seems like your dog has a sudden serious case of diarrhea or any other similar gastrointestinal problem.
What’s the Difference Between Cat and Dog Food?
The biggest difference is in terms of protein content. Due to the fact that dogs are at least somewhat omnivorous, they can eat a wider variety of foods.
Both wet and dry dog food reflect this fact. According to the American Kennel Club, high-quality dog foods contain a mix of certain types of fruit, vegetables, grains and meat.
Cat food, however, is almost wholly animal protein. Dogs can’t digest this much all at once, but it’s loved by cats especially if some of said protein comes from fish.
Can I Mix Cat Food With Dog Food?
Never mix cat food and dog food together no matter how much either of your animals bed you. This makes it hard for cats and dogs to get the nutrition they need while also contributing to obesity in dogs, because it encourages them to consume fatty cat food products.
If you want to mix your pet’s food, then do so with like foods. For instance, you can mix wet and dry dog food together to give your pet something that has a more appealing texture.
Put out a separate bowl for your cat and dog. Don’t let them share, because they could potentially pass germs from one another.
Although cats and dogs have similar water needs, they shouldn’t drink from the same bowl. Depending on how aggressive and feisty your animals are, they might also misinterpret the simple act of taking a drink.
For instance, a cat drinking from the water bowl could be interpreted as the cat trying to take the dog’s water away. This could eventually cause fights, so it’s best to avoid from the beginning.