Can I Give My Dog Cat Food?

Can I Give My Dog Cat Food?If you have both a cat and a dog then you may wonder if your canine can consume cat food. Maybe they’ve already helped themselves to some, either confusing it for their own, or simply out of greed.

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Cat food and dog food are usually never made in the same factory and the ingredients are different. Rest assured, it’s a myth that the labels on the packaging are the only thing that’s different. Not true!

Store-bought chow has been formulated for the two types of pets, respectively. They’re designed to meet the needs according to each animal. Dogs should be eating food made for their species, but eating a bit of your cat’s meals isn’t a disaster.

Can I Give My Dog Cat Food? Answer: Not Recommended

Try to strictly enforce no sharing because each animal won’t nutritionally benefit as much.

Cat food isn’t a good source of balanced nutrition or a substitute for formulated dog food. These two types of pets may seem similar, seeing how they’re both four legged and furry, but the two species don’t share much in common as far as digestion goes.

Cats & Dogs Differences

Since they’ve both evolved in different ways, cats and dogs require certain levels of vitamins and minerals. Dogs need a balance of proteins and carbohydrates. It’s in their DNA!

House cats are meat eaters, just like their big cat counterparts out on the African wilderness. Since they can’t necessarily run around chasing down mini Antelope, today’s cat foods contain a sufficient amount of protein they need. This is typically too much protein for what dogs require. Most cat food also contains too much fat.

Dogs aren’t omnivores but they also aren’t as carnivorous as cats. While they usually eat anything and everything that’s presented to them, their natural calling is primarily meat. As such, they do require lots of protein but likely not as much as what’s contained in cat food.

So dogs seek to consume meat just like cats. However, owners may wish to supplement that protein by providing a more balanced food. While it may seem like cat food can work for them, dogs need a smartly formulated food regiment tailored to their evolutionary makeup. Simply put, cat food is for a cat.

If you compare the body structure of a dog to that of a cat, it’s clear that cats are more predatory. Canine paws are nothing to fear and while their teeth are sharp, they’re rarely in attack mode the way cats can be.

Appreciating the difference between cats and dogs, and realizing that there’s millions of years of evolutionary variation going on, provides for greater knowledge about your dog and their needs.

No Cat Food & Less Filler

Dogs need a good amount of protein, just not at the levels that cats do. Still, a meat source should be the most plentiful ingredient.

What some companies do, and what you’ll notice with cheaper varieties, is put lots of cheap fillers and other questionable ingredients in the product.

Skip brands that list things like corn and other grains as major dog food ingredients.

Conclusion on Cat Food

You can, as a last resort, give some cat food to your dog. It will hold them over if you’ve run out of dog food. Just don’t make it a habit. Cat food, when eaten accidentally, will not harm your dog. That said, it’s important not to make it a regular occurrence.

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Dr. Stephanie Flansburg Cruz, a practicing vet, has reviewed and endorsed this article. She has 3 dogs of her own and cares about the welfare of all animals.


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