Dogs aren’t known for being picky eaters. Set food down in front of them and there’s a good chance they will chow down instantly. They are up to eat just about anything and even your cat’s treats will not be spared.
But should you be worried about your dog eating your cat’s food? Let’s answer that question and discuss other relevant topics in this article.
Can Dogs Eat Cat Treats?
How many times have you seen your dog clean up the remaining pieces of dry food in your cat’s bowl? Chances are that it’s happened more than a few times if you’ve had both pets for a while. You may even notice your dog seemingly seeking out cat food occasionally.
The first time it happened, you probably just thought your dog was being silly. Now that it’s become somewhat of a habit, you may be wondering if your dog is actually doing something that could be bad for their health.
As you’ve probably guessed, dog food and cat food feature different ingredients. They are formulated differently because cats and dogs have different nutritional needs.
Dogs are omnivores and that factors into the formulation of their commercial food. While meat is typically featured in commercially produced kibble, the manufacturers take care to balance it out with other ingredients. Doing that is necessary since dogs require a wide array of nutrients to stay healthy.
Commercial cat food is also well-balanced, but there is more focus on featuring meat-based protein. Manufacturers have to formulate cat food that way because our feline friends are carnivores. If a particular brand of commercial cat food does not feature a high enough concentration of meat-based protein, then there’s a chance that your pet won’t like it.
So, what does all of this mean for your cat-food-loving dog? Basically, it means that cat food is not good for them. At the very least, your dog shouldn’t be eating cat food regularly.
What Happens if My Dog Ate Cat Treats?
Most of the time, a dog eating cat food is nothing to worry about. You can scold your dog for getting into the cat food, but they should be fine health-wise.
In a pinch, you can even offer your dog some cat food. That’s still preferable to your dog going hungry. Feed your dog some cat food until you can purchase more of their proper kibble.
Your dog eating cat food occasionally is no big deal. However, that can be troublesome if it turns into a habit.
Detailed below are the bad things that could happen if your dog eats too much cat food.
Your Dog May Experience a Bout of Vomiting and Diarrhea
Cat food is richer than the dry food your dog typically eats. Because of that, your dog could end up feeling sick after eating too much cat food. Your dog may experience a bout of vomiting and/or diarrhea not long after they ate a full bowl of your cat’s favorite treats.
This is especially likely to happen if your pet dog already has a sensitive stomach to begin with. Eating rich food can overwhelm them easily so don’t be surprised if they cause a mess inside your home.
Your Dog May Gain Weight
Your dog’s preference for feasting on cat food can catch up to them eventually. For instance, your dog may end up gaining a significant amount of weight due to how often they consume protein-rich cat food.
Obesity can be very troublesome for dogs.
The extra weight can be difficult to carry for your pet. Their joints and muscles could experience a great amount of strain due to the additional weight they have to carry.
On top of that, overweight dogs are at greater risk for developing life-threatening conditions.
Don’t put your dog’s long-term health at risk by allowing them to feed on cat food constantly. Offer them tastier and healthier alternatives so they forget about those cat treats.
Your Dog May Develop Pancreatitis
Dogs that eat too much cat food may also eventually develop a case of pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a condition that can cause vomiting, dehydration, and severe pain.
In extreme cases, pancreatitis could be the primary reason that a dog dies.
One of your long-term goals as a pet owner should be to shield your dog from conditions such as pancreatitis. Protect them from that condition by keeping the cat food far away.
What to Do if My Dog Eats Cat Treats?
Upon getting home, you open your door to discover that your dog just got into the sack of cat food you were keeping in the pantry. What should you do now? The tips detailed below should provide some guidance.
Monitor Your Dog
If your dog just ate a good amount of cat food, you need to keep your eyes on them. Closely monitor your dog for the next few hours and watch how they react to what they just ate.
Hopefully, your dog will present no adverse symptoms during that time meaning they are feeling fine. Unfortunately, there’s also a chance that your dog will start vomiting and pooping all over the place because the cat food is not sitting well inside their stomach.
Fast Your Dog
Dogs that have an adverse reaction to eating cat food should not eat for a while. Avoid feeding your sick pet for at least the next few hours. Only give them water during this time.
Wait until your pet starts looking better before you feed them again. You can also ease them into eating again by offering a boiled chicken breast or some plain canned pumpkin.
Take Your Dog to the Veterinarian
Resting and fasting should help your dog feel healthy again. However, resting and fasting may not be as effective if your dog has already developed a case of pancreatitis.
At this point, you need to get a veterinarian involved. Your pet’s case of pancreatitis must be treated as soon as possible so don’t delay your visit to the vet.
Store the Cat Food in a Different Area
Moving forward, you should consider storing your cat’s food in a different area so your dog cannot get to it anymore. Keep it in a part of your home your dog never visits and seal it properly so it remains undetected.