From outside it is normal that the dog food seems exactly the same as that of the cats. They have smells and similar appearance, they have the same brands and, finally, it’s food for animals, right? Some of these ideas may be true, but the reality is that although they may seem very similar, both feed and cans of wet food are different for each species, because the needs of their organisms are different. If you have ever thought about administering the same food to your dog and cat, in a Pet O Club we explain why cats can not eat dog food and vice versa.
Cat food vs. dog food
If you ask “my cat eats the dog’s feed, is this good or bad?”, He notes the main reasons why cats should not eat dog food:
- Dog food contains beta carotene instead of vitamin A, which contains cats.
- Dog food contains little taurine and cat food contains a lot.
- Dog food has little or no arachidonic acid and cat food has high levels of this.
- Dog food has less protein than cat food.
Then, we explain each of these points to better understand the reasons why you should not give dog food to your cat and the serious consequences for your health that this is your usual food.
Vitamin A is an essential component in the food of cats and, in contrast, in that of dogs is not present as such. In feed and wet food in dog cans, what we find are beta-carotene, which dogs can metabolize to get vitamin A, but cats can not. For this reason, domestic felines need direct vitamin A in food.
Cats need to eat foods with taurine, a neurotransmitter sometimes listed as an amino acid although it is not one in its strictest sense. In contrast, dogs do not need to ingest it because they produce it normally, although this is generic and there may be dogs that do need an extra supply of this neurotransmitter.
Taurine is found in large quantities in cat food but in dogs there is little or no, depending on the quality of the feed. On the other hand, if they are fed at home, taurine is found in the muscles, therefore in the animal flesh.
It is an arachidonic acid is an essential fatty acid for cats, that is, they need to include it in their diet because they do not produce it naturally, but dogs do not need it included in their food because their body already produces it.
Thus, feed and cans of wet dog food do not contain this essential fatty acid for cats, so they will lack this if they are fed normally with food that is not specific to them.
Cats are strict carnivores, they need to eat animal fats and proteins, only meats and fish and no vegetables, although if they eat any once in a while nothing bad happens to them, the important thing is that it is not their food base or they are in quantity in your diet In contrast, dogs are omnivores and should eat a variety of meats, fish and different vegetables.
Dog food is low in protein and fat, instead it is high in vitamins. Cat food, on the other hand, is very rich in proteins and fats, so if you eat only food for dogs you will be losing a lot of proteins and fats, which will take its toll on your health.
So, does something happen if a cat eats dog food?
For once nothing happens or once in a while it is not bad either, but it is not advisable that it becomes routine and be the main food. A cat fed with dog food will habitually be deficient in vitamin A, taurine, arachidonic acid and protein and poor nutrition leads to various serious diseases.
So, is it bad to give dog food to cats? The answer is that it is bad if it is offered as a continuous diet but nothing happens if it is sporadic or exceptional. If one night your feline’s food is finished and you only have feed for dogs, for one day you can give the animal this food only as an exception. We have to take into account that dog food is not toxic for cats, but in the medium or long term it produces deficiencies and diseases.
For example, cats that eat dog food usually end up suffering from malnutrition, muscle weakness, loss of sight, hormonal problems, problems to metabolize nutrients, problems to process proteins if vitamin A is lacking, fur and skin problems, etc. .
Tips for your cat to eat its food and not the dog’s
Choose quality feed for your cat and give it the best care to keep it healthy and happy. However, it is also necessary to avoid that your cat eat your dog’s food, since sometimes they do not eat it because it is the one we give it, but because they like to take it from their partner’s plate. Here are some tips for a cat to eat its food instead of the dog’s:
- Use feeders of different color and shape, and even different sizes so they can differentiate well which is each.
- Place the feeders in different places of the house, it is better to eat separately or with enough distance. You can even place the cat feeder in a higher place and the dog only put it at the time it is going to eat and never leave it continuously. In this way, they will hardly reach the other’s food.
- Mark guidelines at meal times. Do not leave the troughs full all day or constantly, it is better to fill them when they have to eat and remove them after a while.
- Make sure that the two animals know basic commands, such as standing by your side waiting for their turn to eat, leaving whatever they have in their mouths or a simple “no”.
This article is merely informative, in a Pet O Club we do not have the power to prescribe any veterinary treatment or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or discomfort.