What if your dog raided their nemesis and ate a massive part of their food? Dogs have a particular liking for cat food, and a little bit of it shouldn’t be cause for concern. However, large amounts can cause considerable problems for your dog. Experts say large quantities in a single sitting can result in immediate digestive issues such as diarrhea and vomiting, but the symptoms go away almost as quickly. Yet, continuing with the cat food diet can lead to long-term health issues such as weight gain and obesity issues. The nutritional profile, fat content, and a few supplements in typical cat food differ from what your dog is allowed to eat. The good news is that a few preventive measures can entirely keep your dog off-limits cat food.
Here Are a Few Differences Between Dog and Cat Food You Should Know
First, the two frenemies have distinct anatomical and biological differences. While cats are categorized as obligate carnivores and mainly feed on a rich meat diet, dogs are merely opportunistic carnivores or omnivores. It means that besides massive amounts of meat, your pup can also comfortably provide on other diets. Dog meals are closely linked to human diets and are composed of similar proteins, fats, vegetables, fruits, and other vital nutrients that would typically work well for humans.
On the contrary, cat food has an Atkins-inspired food recipe consisting of proteins and fats. In this case, they lack the vegetables and properties that are found in a dog diet. Animal experts suggest dog food should contain 18% of proteins, while 26% of proteins are adequate for cat food. Still, other authorities dispute these figures. They suggest an effective cat food diet needs to have about 30-45% protein content. The fat content stands at 9% and 8.5% for cats and dogs, respectively. Seeing how these differences stand out makes you only sensible to let your dog eat its designated food and mostly keep off cat food.
Immediate Issues with Your Dog Ingesting Too Much Cat Food
Whereas cat food wouldn’t bring acute danger to your pup, too much of it can present some discomfort in one sitting. For example, you may notice that your dog is bloated due to the low fiber in cat food. The pup can also have various digestive issues, including vomiting or diarrhea, especially if it is their first-time gobbling.
Why Continued Access to Cat Food Cause Problems for Your Dog
Even though it is rare for your dog to develop issues because of one-off ingestion, you can’t rule out long-term health issues if they eat more often. Some of the problems you should watch include weight gain because of the higher protein and fat content in cat food. The same food carries higher calories, which can quicken your dog’s obesity issues. The canine can also develop pancreas inflation issues arising from higher fat properties in a typical feline diet.
Because of the delicious nature of cat food, your dog can refuse to ingest their bland food and only want to eat cat food, which can aggravate any of these health issues. It also means they are missing out on vital nutritional compounds found in dog food.
How to Keep Your Dog Away From Cat Food?
Once your pup discovers the sheer tastiness of cat food, it can be tricky to keep them off it. You need to figure out how to do this so that everyone eats the right diet. An easier way to keep the dog off cat food is to elevate the cat feeding perch. The best thing is that felines are flexible and good climbers, and they won’t have problems hopping higher up to have their meal. Experts also recommend the use of an automated cat feeder.
You can program it so that the mouser eats during those times you are walking your dog. Yet you can also use an uncomplicated method of feeding the cat in a separate room away from the dog. The feeding space can be anywhere in your house, including the laundry room, or even the bathroom, where the dog cannot access. Finally, if your dog can’t keep off cat food, the trick would be experimenting with various cat food flavors. It would blind them into thinking they are eating the delicious cat food when it is their nutritious dog food.