Dogs and cat food

Our emergency vets and vet nurses are often asked questions about what dogs, cats and rabbits can and can’t eat. Thanks to the ongoing efforts of the pet-owning community, sharing advice articles and putting out warnings, it’s now common knowledge that chocolate, for example, is bad for pets. But what else features on the ‘don’t eat’ list? This article looks at the potential dangers of dogs eating cat food.

Dog and cat eating food for Vets Now article on can dogs eat cat food

Can you give cat food to dogs?

Dogs should not be fed cat food and dog owners who have cats should ensure their dog’s access to cat food is restricted. One of the reasons for this is cats are carnivores and their diet is almost exclusively made up of meat. Dogs, on the other hand, are omnivores and need a much more balanced diet to meet their nutritional requirements.

Why is cat food bad for dogs?

Cat food tends to be high in fat, calories and protein which means it’s not ideal for dogs. Dogs with sensitive stomachs may suffer gastrointestinal upset, sickness and diarrhoea after eating cat food. Those fed it regularly are at greater risk of obesity and potentially life-threatening pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the organ that aids the digestive process. Having said that, unlike foods containing toxic chemicals such as chocolate, eating cat food that’s been stolen from an unsuspecting cat’s bowl is highly unlikely to kill a dog.

How to keep dog from eating cat food?

You should always keep cat food out of your dog’s reach and, if you suspect your dog has eaten a significant amount, you should seek veterinary advice. Also remember, dog food is not good for cats either.