Dog food for cats and cat food for dogs is unsuitable for the regular nutrition of four-legged friends, as the animals need different nutrients. Here you can find out what happens when dogs and cats are not fed appropriately and how you can prevent the fur noses from snacking on someone else’s bowl.
Snacking from someone else’s bowl from time to time isn’t so bad, but it’s not healthy either – Shutterstock / Monika Wisniewska
Once in a while, cat food isn’t harmful to dogs, nor is dog food to cats. If your pets ever tried a bite from their roommate’s bowl, there’s no need to call the vet right away. However, dogs and cats need their own special food for long-term healthy nutrition.
Why cat food is unhealthy for dogs in the long term
In the long term, you should not give cat food to dogs as they are not pure carnivores. While a dog’s primary diet should be meat, they also need vegetables to stay healthy. Cat food contains more fat and protein than dog food, is higher in energy and is also enriched with taurine. When dogs regularly eat cat food, they become overweight because they consume too many calories when they eat filling portions of it. In addition, the four-legged friends do not need any additional taurine and they do not tolerate the high protein content so well in the long run. It can lead to digestive problems such as flatulence and diarrhea, kidney problems or allergies to protein.
Why dog food for cats doesn’t do their diet justice
Dog food for cats is even cheaper than vice versa. Cats are pure carnivores and have a very sensitive digestion compared to dogs. In order to stay healthy, they need small portions of food throughout the day, longer breaks in eating lead to acidification of the stomach and portions that are too large at once spoil the cat’s stomach, which is also problematic. If a cat is given dog food, it will probably only eat small bites of it throughout the day. Since dog food for cats contains too few calories, too little fat and too little protein, she doesn’t get enough energy and nutrients.
They also lack taurine, which can lead to dull fur, eye diseases, blindness and heart problems in the long term. At the same time, your cat cannot do anything with the roughage and the higher proportion of vegetables in dog food – it excretes these nutrients without being used. Dog food for cats can also lead to diarrhea, just like cat food for dogs.
Feed dogs and cats separately
However, the deficiency symptoms and digestive problems mentioned only occur if you regularly give the wrong food. But even if the animals don’t get sick immediately from small bites, they don’t benefit from eating inappropriate food. The best thing is that you make sure that your pets get suitable food in peace and keep an eye on the diet of your fur noses. Dogs can usually gobble down large portions at once, and if you have a particularly gluttonous representative at home, he may go after the leftover cat food because your kitty wanted to save the rest for later. The result: the dog gets overweight, the cat may not get enough food and nutrients.
The simplest solution to this problem is not to feed the animals in the same room at the same time. Separate them either in time or space and place the cat food left over by your velvet paw covered with cling film in the fridge until it’s feeding time again. That way your dog can’t feast on the leftovers. Your cat can also eat in peace and digest the food without being disturbed by your dog because he wants some of your food.
You might also be interested in these topics on dog nutrition and cat nutrition:
Feeding cats in multi-cat households individually: Reasons
Cat Food Ingredients: 5 Superfluous Additives
Dog food: 5 ingredients no dog needs