Do you have a cat and a dog? They may be the best buddies, but they really shouldn’t share one another’s food. It can happen that dogs may try to snarf up what’s in the cat’s dish from time to time. This will happen and it’s OK. Your dog probably won’t get sick from this if he happens to once in a while raid the kitty’s dish.
However, dogs can become pretty sick from eating cat food on a regular basis.
The Differences Between Cat & Dog Food
Cats and dogs are both mammals but each one needs an entirely different type of diet. For one thing, dogs are classified as opportunistic omnivores. This means dogs not only need meat in their diet, but they also need plants, and more.
On the other hand, cats are classified as obligate carnivores. This means a cat’s diet is mostly meat. It’s true that some cats do enjoy veggies and fruit. But for them to be healthy, they need a meat-based diet.
When a dog eats a cat’s food, he may be getting too many of certain nutrients, which can make him sick. For instance, cat food mostly contains more proteins and fats, without the addition of fruits and vegetables. According to AAFCO recommendations, dogs require about 18% protein, while cats need 26% protein in their foods.
When it comes to fats, the AAFCO recommends cat food to have 9% fat content. Dogs food requires about 8.5% fat content.
The same differences are found in vitamins, minerals, fruits and vegetables when you’re looking at the differences between dog and cat food.
One of the main differences is that cats need higher amounts of taurine, which is an amino acid. However, dogs make taurine naturally.
As you can see, it’s possible dogs may get too many nutrients (or not enough) by eating cat food. Another issue is that dogs with allergies may be allergic to certain ingredients found in cat food. They may have an allergic reaction, depending on how sensitive the dog is to any specific ingredients.
Health Issues from Dogs Eating Cat Food Regularly
The immediate results (or soon thereafter) of a dog eating cat food may differ. Some dogs may experience an allergic reaction, while others will suffer from diarrhea and vomiting. This can vary from dog to dog.
Dogs who regularly eat dog food may also experience long-term effects including:
- Weight gain
- Nutritional deficiencies
So, if your dog has eaten cat food and is showing any concerning symptoms, then be sure to call the vet right away. It’s best to keep your cat’s food away from your dog, especially if he enjoys snacking on it regularly. Plus, your kitty will be happier, too, when his best bud isn’t eating her food all the time!
TomTom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!
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