Last Updated on June 4, 2021 by adrienne hardwick
Dog food, cat food. Dog treats, cat treats. What’s the big deal and why does it make a difference? After all, they both need the same kind of diet, right? Well, that’s actually where you’re wrong – they have completely different nutritional needs.
Dogs can eat cat treats, but they shouldn’t. While one or two won’t hurt them, a large quantity can cause conditions like pancreatitis because the treats are higher in calories and protein. It could even cause them to suffer from painful bloat, diarrhoea, and gas.
So, it’s best to avoid the cat stuff with your dog. But why does it make a difference? Scroll down and have a flick through to learn more.
What’s the Difference Between Dog Food and Cat Food?
The key difference between dog food and cat food is in the nutritional balance. Cat food has way more protein than dog food and, surprisingly, there is such a thing as too much protein for your pup.
Cat food has a lot more fat and calories because cats need more for their daily activities and all the exploring they do. Too much cat food and your dog is going to end up packing on the pounds as well as developing health issues such as pancreatitis.
There is also a different level of vitamin balance, and the concentrations found in cat food can actually be dangerous for your dog if they eat too much. For example, cat food has way more vitamin D than dog food. Too much vitamin D in dogs can lead to kidney failure and death.
Cats have way stricter dietary needs than dogs, and this is why cat food has been specially formulated for them. While dogs still need to follow a careful and balanced diet, it isn’t as detrimental as a cat. This is why cats shouldn’t have dog food either.
Is It Safe for My Dog to Eat Cat Food?
There is nothing toxic to dogs in cat food, so if they end up eating a little bit you don’t need to worry about their safety. The big issue is the difference in nutrients, but this is only something you should be concerned about if they eat a large amount consistently.
Similarly, cat treats are not toxic to dogs. However, you do need to be careful that they only have one every once in a blue moon. Why? Same reason as before – a different balance of nutrients as well as way more fat and calories.
My Dog Ate Cat Food – What Do I Do?
If your dog has just munched a little bit, there is no need to worry. However, if they have managed to eat a large amount of cat food, even if this is the first time, there is a high chance that they are going to get sick as a result.
This is because it was not made with canine digestion in mind, therefore you may find that they end up with a very upset stomach, vomiting, bloating, and gas. In severe cases, they can end up developing pancreatitis from the excess of fat and calories in cat food.
If your dog does end up getting sick after chowing down on the cat’s dinner, it is best you call your vet for advice. They will be able to guide you through any helpful treatments to ease their discomfort and let you know if they need to come in for a visit and a check-up.
Why does your dog love cat food so much? Well, cats have very limited tastebuds, and this means that their food is designed to be more appealing so that they want to eat it. Dogs have twice as many tastebuds as cats, so you can imagine how tempting it is for them.
Can dogs eat Dreamies and cat treats?
Technically, your dog can have Dreamies and cat treats but it is not recommended. If they sneak one or two it’s fine, but cat food treats have a higher concentration of protein and calories due to their different nutritional needs. Therefore, they may end up with a very upset stomach and gas.
Can dogs eat catnip?
Definitely, dogs can eat catnip. It’s actually a great way to help them relax if they are stressed or about to head out on a journey that you know will make them uncomfortable. There are no harmful effects from your dog eating catnip either.
Take a look at our favourite choice of catnip – Cat Crack Catnip. It is 100% natural, meaning it contains no artificial ingredients. This proprietary herb blend will last longer and stay fresher, giving your Kitty a better long-lasting experience.
Cat food is not good for dogs, those are the basic facts. It’s high in calories, has more fat and protein, and can cause serious illnesses when dogs eat too much of it. So, instead of giving them Dreamies, stick to the treats that were made for them.
Have you enjoyed this chapter in our canine care guide series? Why not check out the rest, we cover everything from diet and health all the way to behaviour and grooming. Everything you need to know is right here to help you become the best dog owner possible.
For over a decade, Adrienne has been a freelance content writer and blogger who’s passion lies in anything related to dogs. Growing up, dogs were a very important part of family life in the Hardwick household. Now, Adrienne is the proud parent to two Swedish Vallhunds called Moose and Pumpkin.