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Can I give my cats dog food?

Are cats allowed to eat dog food?

As different as cats and dogs are in general, their demands on their food are also very different. If it should happen that your cats eat dog food, this is not yet a cause for concern.

However, if your cats eat dog food on a permanent basis, serious health consequences would be to be feared. You should avoid this in any case.

Basically, cats must be sure to get the cat food that is intended for them & of course in high quality.

There is a good reason for this: Cats need very protein-rich food with a sufficient amount of the amino acid taurine because cats cannot produce it themselves.

Dogs, on the other hand, are able to produce it on their own but do not tolerate protein as well and need food that is rich in carbohydrates.

At the same time, the proportion of the amino acid taurine in dog food, which is so important for cats, is too low, which could lead to deficiency symptoms in cats.

Taurine is particularly important for the health of cats because the cat's liver cannot synthesize it on its own. The reason: the enzymes responsible for the conversion into taurine are hardly active in cats. Therefore, the amino acid must be supplied through the diet.

If cats are fed permanently with dog food, it comes to considerable deficiency symptoms in the cat. These can manifest themselves in the fact that the cat gets dull fur or bad eyes.

In the worst case, the deficiency can lead to retinal degeneration

A disease of the retina that is irreversible, i.e. cannot be reversed, and in the long run, can even lead to blindness in the cat.

Animal protein is present in large quantities in meat and fish products. Vegetables, on the other hand, are primarily rich in carbohydrates. Therefore, dog food contains a higher proportion of vegetables, while cat food tends to contain fish.

Dog food also fails to meet the nutritional needs of cats in that dog food contains too many carbohydrates due to the relatively high proportion of vegetables, while the proportion of meat in dog food is too low for the feline carnivores.

How can I prevent my cats from eating dog food?

  • It is helpful to feed cats and dogs spatially separated, so if possible in different rooms or at least in different corners of a room
  • If you appreciate working with the Clicker, you can also use it to divert the cat's attention away from the dog food - if necessary. Cats do not always find dog food alluring. So in many cases, the problem does not arise at all
  • You can also prevent mutual nibbling on the bowls by filling the bowls of your beloved feline friends and canine mates at certain feeding times. This gives you the opportunity to observe what is happening and intervene if necessary. This is ultimately the only way to prevent your roommate chick from tasting your dog's food. An important aspect is of course also that cat and dog internalize from the beginning that they should only eat food from their own bowl
  • Another proven option is to offer the food in a limited time window of only 15 minutes. So you place the bowl in the dog's hand and remove it after this time. This way the dog learns that he has to eat all the food within the given time frame

As we estimate the greediness of our beloved canine mates, this is not absolutely necessary, because the dog usually eats his meals very fast and completely anyway.

His roommate chick usually has no chance at all to taste the contents of the dog bowl, because the dog simply leaves nothing for the cat of the house, but likes to eat everything himself and that at high speed.

What should I consider when buying cat food?

High-quality food has such a positive effect on the health and well-being and thus also on the life span of the cat that it is highly recommended to attach great importance to high-quality cat food.

The food should contain the ingredients that are necessary to keep the cat healthy and logically do not contain any substances that could harm the cat's health.

By the way, you can recognize high-quality cat food by the accuracy of the information on the label. Great care should be taken with unspecific information such as "products".

Terms such as "animal by-products", "fish by-products", "dairy products" and "bakery products" are euphemisms for waste products that have been produced during the production of food for humans.

In the worst case, cat food with such a label may contain slaughterhouse waste including blood, urine, and claws of animals.

Just as critically as consumers question the origin of food in their own diet, it is also advisable to check which unappetizing components can be hidden behind certain names in cat and dog food - especially since these can also harm the pet.

This applies, among other things, if they contain hidden sugar. So if you love your sweet velvet paws, take a close look at the information on the label.

There is nothing more beautiful than a harmonious coexistence of dog and cat, which complement each other in their differences in such a wonderful way - and when dog and cat lie peacefully next to each other on the carpet or sofa after eating from separate bowls.

Because as different as they are when they eat, dogs and cats agree that sleeping is the most beautiful secondary matter in the world. Besides eating, of course.

Read Also: Can Cats Eat Human Food?

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