Animal lovers often raise a dog and a cat together, so sometimes they have to face the same problem – the dog cannot resist the temptation to eat cat food. You’re probably thinking that this is not a big problem, but the food for cats contains more protein and fat, which can lead to various health problems for your dog.
To prevent this from happening, it is worth thinking about how to wean your dog from eating cat food. While you are somewhere around and if the dog is trained, he will probably not touch the cat’s food. But it may be enough to just go to another room, and the dog may not resist the temptation to taste that fragrant food. So what could you do that your dog would not eat cat food?
The Difference Between Food for Cats and Dogs
In nature, dogs are hunters and carnivores who eat a wide variety of foods. Their diet is really incredibly diverse, from live mice or other predators dropped a few days ago to herbivorous feces. There is nothing too disgusting for these animals as they try to survive.
These days, dogs are usually fed a fairly uniform diet. Usually one manufacturer of dry food is chosen and only the feed formulas change as the dog’s growth phases change. Can cat food be given to the dogs? The answer is NO. the simplest reason for this is that cat food is designed and balanced for cats, not dogs. Cats need less food per kilogram of body weight, but at the same time more protein and fat. Cat food is usually higher in calories, sometimes with more sodium (this depends on the formula of the given food).
Why Might Dogs Like Cat Food?
Because cats are quite picky, their food is smaller, tastier and smells more pleasant. When dogs are more likely to choose food according to smell and cats are more likely to choose food according to taste. This means that a frequent dog will prefer tempting cat food than its dry, ordinary food, which it receives daily. However, this does not mean that dogs have to eat everything that tastes good to them.
Changes in food can lead to more frequent scratching and allergic rashes. It is believed that high protein diets can worsen kidney function and cause growth problems in puppies. If a dog is prone to pancreatitis or indigestion, higher levels of fat in the cat’s feed may contribute to chronic problems. In addition, due to the higher caloric content, dog can get additional weight. As the amount of food is low and the caloric content is high, dog still feels hungry and is looking for something else to eat.
In turn, cats should not be given dog food either – as a result of prolonged such feeding, cats begin to lack practically most important substances, especially taurine, which the dog’s body is able to produce. Cat owners that once tried to feed their animals with dog food often complain, that their cats start to shed a lot, their fur is deteriorating and that is the first sign that something is wrong.
3 Ways That Could Help to Solve This Problem:
- Feed the cat in another room
A good solution would be to feed the cat in a different room than the dog. For example, when you go to the work, you can separate the dog and the cat – leave one part of the house for the dog and another part for the cat. In this case, you will be able to rest assured that the dog will not eat the cat’s food, and don’t need to worry that the dog and cat may get angry with each other.
2. Do not leave food standing
Dog breeders know that you can‘t leave an uneaten food in a bowl, because the value of the food decreases and the dog is no longer motivated to do certain commands for a bite of food. We also quite often have problems with fasting, when the dog refuses to eat even the most delicious food (as it seems to us). Cats usually eat small amounts many times a day, so owners usually leave a bowl with food if the cat is hungry. If there is an opportunity to refill the bowl when the cat is hungry, then there is really no need to leave the bowl with food – the dog will be much less tempted.
3. Feed the cat higher than on the ground
A number of cat breeders choose to feed their cat higher than on the ground. A windowsill, cabinet or shelf may be suitable for this – just allocate a place that is high enough. In this case, your dog will not reach the cat‘s food. You can also find devices that spill food only for a particular animal under its collar, but such devices are very expensive and do not always pay off.
What happens if a dog tastes cat food once? Possible scenario is vomiting and diarrhea due to a sudden change of feed. It is really necessary for your pets to eat well-balanced food, intended specifically for them. It is best to include both pets in the feeding schedule so that there is no food left or no pet is hungry for too long.
As we discussed, you can refuse to leave food in bowls for other animals by feeding you cat and dog small amounts of food several times a day instead of putting together a large meal at once. It is always a good idea to create separate feeding areas at home, as this not only safe but also can reduce temptation for your pets to eat food belonging to another household.