Can Cats Eat Dog Food?
If dogs and cats live in the same home, you will probably have noticed one trying to eat the other's food. You may have also wondered, is this healthy? can you offer dog food to cats in an emergency? In this animal-wise article will answer these questions and explain what happens when cats eat dog food.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Dog Food for Cats.
Both dog and cat food are manufactured according to different formulas and recipes. They're made with different ingredients to meet the very nutritional needs of each animal, often further specified by catering to different stages of their lives or to certain health issues. For this reason, food for dogs contains high concentrations of beta carotene which the dog needs to convert into vitamin A.
This is crucial for canine development, and dog food is enriched with other vitamins and fiber, but it's also lower in protein and fat than cat food.
This is because dogs tend to gain weight more easily when these elements are of a higher concentration, something which will happen if they eat cat food regularly. For any dog, it's best to eat foods specific to the species age and state of wellbeing.
What does a Cat Need for Nutrition?
Unlike the canine diet, cats need food rich in protein and fat but lower in fiber.
It is crucial that cats eat a diet rich in vitamin A since they are unable to metabolize this on their own. The same can be said of taurine and amino acid which cats in the wild obtained from meat, especially viscera such as the liver or heart. They are unable to produce it on their own, so it needs to be provided in their food. taurine is extremely important for the health of a cat.
A diet insufficient in the substance will result in various health problems with heart disease being particularly concerning.
Similarly, when we think about our cat's diet, we need to keep in mind they are obligate carnivores. This is due to the importance of having a high number of proteins found in meat.
These proteins are necessary for the cat to have the energy to adequately carry out an active life. Another obligatory element of a cat's diet is Erica donek acid, an important omega-six fatty acid needed for feline health.
Dogs do not require this in their food as their body produces it naturally, cats needed to be included in their food. With these nutritional necessities in mind, you may still be worried about the consequences of one pet stealing the other's food.
What if a Cat Eats Your Dog Food?
If a cat eats your dog's food on a one-off occasion, there should be no serious repercussions for the health problems only likely to occur when it becomes a regular practice.
This may happen either because a pet owner decides to feed them the same food or is unable to prevent one from eating the other food. As we have already explained, the different fees are formulated for each species.
If your cat has a tendency to eat the dog's food instead of their own, their nutritional needs will not be met. The consequence is that your cat will get sick starting with symptoms you may confuse with other illnesses such as discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, or hair loss. In the long run, the result will be malnutrition leading to kidney and liver disease, which can be lethal and cat.
If your cat eats the dog's food regularly or vice versa, you will need to find ways to avoid it.
Here are three helpful tips. Dogs and cats distinguish shapes and sizes, so having two equally shaped balls for both pets can make it difficult for them to identify which food is their own.
Purchase containers of different shapes and sizes to avoid confusion. Whether or not you spend all day at home having a schedule for meals is crucial. Different feeding schedules allow you to control the amount they eat as well as helping them to be hungry at different times.
If your dog or cat has a weakness for other foods, especially when they eat at the same time of day, it's best to serve their food in different parts of the home.
You can even close off doors during feeding time if necessary. This will help them to know where the food is when they need it and to leave the others alone.
Now you know why it's not good for a cat to eat dog food on a regular basis. You may have your own experience to share. If so, leave us a comment.