Can dogs eat cat food?

The question is less "can dogs eat cat food" and more "Is it really a big deal to share some of your kitty’s dinner with the pooch?"

Believe it or not, it's something customers often ask. Typically because a bag of cat food has been left in prime position for pooches to break into. While the occasional bite of cat food is unlikely to harm your dog (or indeed the other way round), the best thing for your dog to eat is dog food, not cat food. This is what we'll be delving into in this blog, so you know exactly why you should avoid cat food for your pooch.

If you regularly find yourself short of dog food, you’ll be glad to know that these days a quick trip to Tesco, Sainsbury's, or Wilko is all your need to grab some Scrumbles.

What makes Dog Food and Cat Food different?

Cats and dogs are different beings, with different digestive systems and nutritional requirements. Dogs are omnivores, and our feline friends are obligate carnivores. As omnivores, our doggies can thrive on a more varied diet not relying on animal protein. Cats, on the other hand, require animal protein to get their essential amino acids, and for this reason, you might notice that cat food is higher in animal protein or meat content than dog food.

There are lots of other subtleties that make cat food right for cats and not dogs. As well as higher levels of meat, cat food is higher in fat content and more calorific, as well as has the essential amino acid, Taurine, supplemented to avoid taurine deficiency. In the 1970s, a taurine deficiency was linked to feline illness. This sadly led to blindness and other developmental abnormalities. A few years on DCM was linked to low taurine levels. To prevent these issues, it’s not mandated for cat food to have taurine added.

Is it harmful to feed cat food to my dog?

One bite here or there isn’t going to warrant a trip to the vet. If your dog has eaten a large amount of cat food or does it regularly, it can cause long-term problems. If you find that your dog is constantly stealing food from the cat’s bowl, consider storing your cat food somewhere your dog can’t access. It’s also wise to feed your cat and dog in different places like their own safe crate haven. We feed our kitty Boo on a higher table, out of paws reach from Smudge.

Cat food isn’t tailored to suit your dog’s nutritional requirements. Not only can cat food cause an upset tummy for your pooch but the differences and higher calorie and fat content puts your dog at an increased risk of obesity and pancreatitis, as well as potentially causing kidney and liver problems.

Some dogs have an iron stomach and will digest the stolen cat food without any visible issues. For those dogs with sensitive stomachs, you may well see a far from pleasant-looking poop that follows on. Your dog may well throw up or give those eyes that say they’re having a tummy ache. Help them through it with cuddles and by keeping a watchful eye on what they eat to avoid it becoming a repeat problem. If you’re concerned or not clear on how much cat food your dog has chowed through, call your vet who will best advise you on what to do.

Why does my dog love cat food, and what should I do?

There are many reasons why your dog might be obsessed with the contents of the cat bowl. Cat food is typically meatier which can have a more alluring smell on your dog’s nose. Perhaps your pooch prefers the different kibble shape or wet food texture. Some dogs like ours, simply suffer from FOMO and think the cat’s living the better life.

If your dog is cat food OBSESSED, make sure the cat food is inaccessible. Feed your dog something nutritious and tasty so that their tail keeps on wagging.

So what should I feed my dog?

A bowl of delicious dog food of course, and we’d love that to be Scrumbles. We’ve got a range of recipes to suit all puppies and dogs. Our dog food recipes are healthy, natural, and centred around digestive health to help your dog live their best life. If you’re new to Scrumbles, drop us a line and we’ll be happy to help you find the best options.

The bottom line

Dogs can of course eat cat food (just as they can eat slippers, socks, and horse poop) but they shouldn’t.

Whilst you're here, why not read:

  1. Can cats eat dog food?
  2. Is hypoallergenic cat food b.s?
  3. The truth about grain free cat food

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