- Dogs can eat cat food, but it shouldn’t become a part of their diet, the American Kennel Club says.
- Monitor your dog’s health in the event they get ahold of cat food.
- Cats are carnivores and dogs are omnivores, differing their diet needs.
Despite dogs having only 1,700 taste buds, compared to 9,000 in humans, they love to eat anything they can get their paws on, including cat food.
Interestingly, dogs have “special taste buds” allowing them to taste water, says the American Kennel Club. While they can taste salt, pups won’t taste it as well as we do.
Dogs also have taste buds at the back of their throat that enable them to taste the food they seemingly swallowed without even chewing. While this may help them taste exciting new foods, what should they stick to eating?
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Can dogs eat cat food?
Yes, dogs can eat cat food, but they shouldn’t regularly. Your pup is actually an omnivore, while cats are carnivores, the AKC points out. This means that feline diets need more protein and meat products and canine diets must consist of varied meats and vegetables.
PetMD explains cat food can be used as a treat, as it is often healthier for your dog than many human foods, such as “cheese, chicken or peanut butter.”
Be careful not to let cat food become a core part of your dog’s meals, though. The AKC notes how cat food does not have all the “protein, fiber, and all of the nutrients dogs need to stay healthy.” Feeding your pet too much cat food can lead to an imbalanced diet, resulting in gastrointestinal issues, obesity and pancreatitis, says the AKC.
A dog with stomach, kidney or liver diseases could encounter difficulties consuming the excess protein. Similarly, dogs with pre-existing gastrointestinal problems and obesity should avoid cat food, according to PetMD.
What to do if your dog eats cat food
Generally, it’s okay if your dog snatches some cat food when you’re not looking, as long as this doesn’t become a regular occurrence or a consistent portion of their diet. The AKC recommends owners to keep an eye on their canine in the event they eat cat food and, should the owner observe “signs of intestinal discomfort,” to call their veterinarian.
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How to stop your dog from eating cat food
To discourage your pup from getting into the cat food, place it out of their reach or change the times you feed your cat, the AKC says. Make sure your pets learn which food and which food bowl belong to them.
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