Manufacturers produce many types of dog food, each owner has the opportunity to choose the best option for their four-legged friend. But some owners have a question whether it is possible to replace them with products intended for cats, whether it is dangerous for the dog’s body. In order to understand how safe and rational such a replacement is, you need to study the features of food, their composition.
Reasons for the appearance of cat food in the dog’s diet
Caring dog owners prepare their Pets ‘ food according to the needs of the animal, ensuring a full supply of all the necessary elements. But the convenience of ready-made food is undeniable. Therefore, it is included as a Supplement to the diet of many owners. The appearance of cat food products in the menu of the dog may be due to several reasons:
- The house has both animals. If the product for the dog suddenly ran out, he is given a cat version.
- Owners save financial costs, buy a product for cats that is cheaper.
- The dog likes food that he simply borrows from the cat’s bowl.
It may seem that this problem does not deserve attention, because cat food also has a balanced composition, there are minerals and vitamins. However, experts say that such nutrition can seriously harm the dog’s body.
Why does a dog eat cat food?
Quite often, owners who keep a dog and cat in the house observe an increased interest of the dog in someone else’s bowl. There may be several reasons for this love of cat food. Dog:
- trying to prove his dominant role;
- doesn’t get enough of his diet;
- it is attracted by the intense smell of flavorings, which are many in the cat food category “economy»;
- out of greed, he tries to empty both bowls.
One meal of cat food will not cause any problems. But if it is present in the dog’s diet all the time, it will lead to negative consequences.
The main differences between products for Pets
Cat products of the “economy” category are harmful not only for dogs, but also for cats themselves. The meat share in it takes no more than 5%, the main component is vegetable waste, cereals, bone meal. For the preparation of the meat component, the most low-quality product is used: tendons, skin, and offal. Food “economy” often includes additives that form addiction.
Premium products are of decent quality, but they are not an acceptable option for dogs either. Cat food:
- They contain a lot of protein. This element in cat products is 20% more than in dog products. An overabundance of protein complicates the functions of the digestive system. With regular use, the dog can disrupt the work of the heart, kidneys, and obesity, which negatively affects the entire body.
- Cat food contains a lot of fiber. It is necessary for the proper passage of the digestive processes. But if the element comes in excessive amounts, useful minerals and fat-soluble vitamins are removed. There are problems with the intestines, nausea and vomiting are not excluded.
- Vitamins A, K, D, C in cat food for dogs are not enough. A deficiency of element A will lead to a decrease in visual acuity, deterioration of the condition of the coat and skin. A lack of vitamin K can disrupt the blood clotting process. The lack of proper amounts of element D will lead to a decrease in immunity, problems with the musculoskeletal system. Lack of vitamin C will cause a General deterioration of the condition, gum disease.
- The content of PP and E elements in cat food is higher. Excessive intake of these vitamins leads to difficulties in the mechanism of digestion. The dog’s stool is disturbed, itching, nausea, and heart failure appear. Such a violation of the diet often causes lethargy, weakness, apathy.
- Cats require a regular supply of taurine for normal functioning. This amino acid is necessarily included in the finished food. But for dogs, taurine can cause serious pathologies. Its regular intake in the body causes allergic reactions, impairs the function of the heart and kidneys. The amino acid can negatively affect the reproductive function, disrupts the structure of the hair.
- Cat food does not provide a high-quality supply of potassium and sodium. A deficiency of potassium compounds leads to a weakening of the muscular system, heart disorders, and poor digestion. Sodium is necessary for high-quality work of the kidneys, digestive organs, and cardiovascular system.
- Phosphorus and iodine in cat food are found in large quantities. In a dog, their excessive intake can create serious problems. An overabundance of iodine will negatively affect the functions of the thyroid, kidneys and heart, and worsen the structure of skin tissues. With excessive ingestion of phosphorus, the strength of bones in dogs decreases, stones are formed in the bladder, ureters.
These facts prove the danger of cat food for dogs. It is unacceptable to include them in the dog’s diet. You must prepare food yourself or purchase products intended for dogs, choose food based on the breed and age.
Ways to wean a dog from eating cat food
It is difficult to wean an animal from any bad habit. Eating cat food from a cat bowl is no exception. If a cat and a dog live in the house, this situation happens quite often. Owners need to wean the dog from a habit that creates a risk to its health. Experts recommend several techniques to eliminate the problem. You need:
- Make sure that the dog eats his portion, that the habit of emptying the cat’s bowl is not related to hunger. An adult, active dog may lack the average norm. You need to increase your diet by 10%.
- In a joint maintenance Pets, you should not keep all their bowls are always full. Food should be put only at certain meal times. Usually the process takes about a quarter of an hour, after which the dishes can be removed.
- If the dog is already used to eating cat food, it is advisable to organize a separate feeding. First you need to feed one of the Pets, after closing the door. Then you can start feeding another animal.
- Sometimes a dog eats cat food just because it is more to his taste. In this case, you need to choose a different product that will satisfy them.
Often the owners themselves teach the dog to cat products. For example, a large package of food is purchased for a cat, from which portions are allocated for the dog. This is unacceptable. The dog will quickly get used to this product, and it will be difficult to wean it later. The cat will have little chance to protect its food, the dog will quickly understand where and how to get the desired treat, it will regularly empty the bowl of fluffy purr.
Caring owners should be aware of the dangers of such a diet, to exclude the risk of diseases. You can not save on the nutrition of Pets, their subsequent diseases and treatment will cause worries and financial costs.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.