While most dogs love to eat cat food, there’s a reason why cats eat cat food and dogs eat dog food. Your dog probably won’t be harmed by sneaking some of the cat’s food now and then, but it isn’t something you should give him on a consistent basis.
The difference between cat and dog nutrition
Dogs and cats have different nutrition needs. Dogs are omnivores, meaning they consume meat and vegetables, whereas cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they need to eat a diet that is mainly meat. In other words, dogs need a more varied diet than cats.
In addition, canines require ten amino acids, while felines require eleven. The additional amino acid they need is taurine, which is vital for normal vision, heart function, digestion, and a healthy immune system.
In order to satisfy feline dietary requirements, cat food is higher in meat-based protein, taurine, calories, and fat than dog food. This may be one of the reasons why dogs find cat food so irresistible. The higher fat and protein levels in cat food make it more fragrant and tasty.
What to do if your dog has eaten cat food
While the answer to the question ‘is cat food bad for dogs?’ is yes in the long term, you’re probably wondering if there are any immediate side effects to be aware of. It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for any unusual reactions. Although cat food is not on the list of harmful foods for dogs, your dog may experience a digestive upset. Dog vomiting and diarrhoea are possible side effects, but should be short-lived. However, speak to your vet if these symptoms persist.
If you’re wondering if your cat has taking an interest in the dog’s food bowl instead, our article Can cats eat dog food will help shed some light.