It is no secret that many dogs are crazy about cat food.
They like it so much that in the market of pet food there are even special devices to protect cat food from dog attacks. Why is this happening, what may be the consequences, and is it worth worrying about?
The nutritional needs of dogs and cats are slightly different and this is taken into account in the food formulas. Dogs can assimilate not only meat but also some vegetable foods.
Cats are obligate predators, which ideally should eat only meat. Therefore, in cat food, the content of protein and meat products is higher than in dog food. Specialists believe that this is one of the reasons why dogs are so attracted by the content of cat bowls.
Why you can’t feed dogs with cat food
Some owners feed their dogs cat food, indulging their whims and considering it a manifestation of special love for the pet. Remember that the food for cats is different in composition and a basic set of nutrients from dog food. If a dog is systematically given cat food, there are no consequences.
Excess protein in the dog’s diet can cause obesity or metabolic disorders. The opinion of veterinarians – the pet will have to put on a strict diet or even apply drastic measures – fasting from one to three days. Also due to the incorrect diet, dogs may get gastritis, or its neglected form – stomach ulcer. In cat food, there is taurine, the excess of which can provoke gastrointestinal diseases in dogs. Excess protein in the dog’s diet can cause diseases of the kidneys, heart, and blood vessels. Eating food with high protein content can cause allergies. It may appear in the form of stains or redness on the body of the animal, the dull color of the coat, or its fallout. If a pet has an excess protein in the body, there may be other signs in addition to allergies: constipation, nervousness, aggressiveness.
Small amounts of vitamin E and zinc in cat food can affect the immune system of dogs.
In cat food, there is little vitamin C, which is so necessary for dogs. With its deficit in dogs may begin to bleed gums, and they will feel weak and lack energy.
In cat food, there is a high content of iodine and phosphorus. Excess of these vitamins is dangerous for dogs with urinary stone disease.
The consequences of poor nutrition for these two types of pets are obvious. Dogs should not be given cat food, even as a treat or incentive.
If pets live in the same room and are used to eat from each other’s bowls, then you should wean them from this habit as soon as possible.
What to do if the dog eats cat food?
There are several ways to protect the cat’s bowl and dog’s health. Specialists advise:
Feed the dog and cat in different rooms;
Put the cat’s cat’s cat bowl up high: where the cat will jump free and the dog won’t get to it;
Buy a special “anti-dog” bowl from which the dog will not be able to get its food. You can also buy or make a very box of shelter, in which the cat can have some privacy and lunch.
How to wean a dog to eat cat food
It is necessary to understand the reasons why the dog can eat out of the cat’s bowl, and after that to take action.
Determine if the cat is eaten with his portion. Perhaps the reason is that the dog simply doesn’t eat enough food that you give him every day. Try to increase the portion, if there are no contraindications from a specialist.
Sometimes dogs eat cat food because they do not like their food. Try giving the dog food from another manufacturer: maybe this is the reason.
If you have found out the reasons and have changed the quantity and quality of food for the dog and it still eats cat food, you can try the following measures:
Feed the pets at different times. If the area allows, you can lock the dog and cat in separate rooms for the duration of meals.
Do not keep food in the public domain. Because most cats don’t overeat, they feel measured in their eating habits – there is always something to eat in their bowls. Try to apply a cat food method that is limited in time. Following this system, let her eat three to five times a day so that she does not feel hungry.
Put the cat’s bowl up high. Place the cat food on the window sill or the fridge. It is important that the dog can’t get it.
If the dog refuses to eat its food then it may have to resort to radical measures such as a hunger strike. But before using this method, it is better to consult with your vet to rule out all negative consequences.
To wean a puppy out of a cat’s bowl, specialists recommend the use of a distracting object. If your puppy asks for a supplement immediately after eating then try to distract him with a toy or sounds. The little cat will be able to switch to external stimuli and forget about other people’s food.
Such simple actions will help to wean the dog to eat cat food and keep your pet healthy.
Cat food is for cats, and it will not be useful for any other type of animal. The composition of food for different pets is different in most elements. If you give your dog cat food, the consequences can be very deplorable – from gastrointestinal dysfunction to stomach ulcer and liver cirrhosis.
Do not treat all the whims of your pets, especially if it comes to nutrition. So you can keep them healthy for many years.