It is not uncommon to see a dog make a bee-line towards a cat’s bowl every now and again. Dogs are inquisitive by nature, and once they get a whiff of something that they perceive to be edible, they will follow that scent until they have found and eaten it! You may however be wondering, is it healthy for my dog to do this? Well look no further than this article right here, because we are here to answer the age-old question, ‘is it safe for my dog to eat cat food?’, and we may even tell you why dogs love cat food so much!
The Nutritional Basics
Let’s start from the beginning. Dogs and cats have different nutritional needs and dietary requirements. Cats are carnivorous in nature, which means that meat is a staple in their diet, without meat of some kind, a cat will not be fully healthy and may suffer severe side effects. Dogs, however, are omnivores and need a balance of meat and vegetables to get the full benefit of their nutritional intake.
Why do dogs like the smell of cat food?
Well, this one is simple, dogs love the smell of est. It is a strong odor that attracts them because cat food is so much higher in meat content than dog food, so the smell may be too tempting for them to ignore. However, veterinarians have recommended that sticking with dog food is the best course of action for your dog, and just because dogs might enjoy the meaty taste, does not excuse the fact that it may not be too great for them.
What about in an emergency?
This is a very valid question to be fair. Let’s say for example an earthquake hits, or a horrible disaster occurs and leaves you with o choice but to flee with your dog, and you have nothing but cat food in your bag. In that case, cat food is an acceptable temporary substitution. However, you should always be looking to get your dog back to his regular diet as soon as possible. You may notice a little diarrhea coming from your canine pal, but this is a normal side effect of his change in diet.
You can prevent stomach upset and overeating (and an increased risk of obesity) and ensure your dog is getting the nutrients he needs by following a few simple rules to keep him out of the kitty kibble:
Feed your dog and cat in separate rooms. Do not let your pets free feed (graze throughout the day) and remove uneaten food after mealtime, or place cat food bowls on countertops or elevated surfaces, out of your dog’s reach. Yes, if your dog was to somehow get a hold of some cat food, it would not be the end of the world, but make sure he does not get too used to it. Dogs have their own brands of food for a reason! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!