Can Dogs Eat Cat Food?


If you have cats and dogs, you probably know how hard it can be to keep your dog away from your cat’s food bowl. 

You may be wondering: is cat food safe for dogs? Luckily, a few bits of cat food probably aren’t going to harm your dog. 

However, problems start to arise if your dog is gobbling up every last bite of your cat’s food. The change in ingredients and additional food can give them an upset stomach and cause them to weight gain. Not to mention that giving your dog cat food leaves your cat with nothing to eat.  

dog and cat scratching

What’s the Difference Between Dog Food and Cat Food?

Although the ingredients in dog food and cat food are similar, cat food is typically higher in protein, fat, minerals, and vitamins. 

A small bite of cat food packs a punch with higher calories since cats are eating much smaller portions to meet their daily nutritional requirements. 

Dry cat food is also generally much smaller in size than dog food. There is a chance your dog can inhale it without chewing, which can be a choking hazard.

Cats also have a higher safety tolerance to some nutrients than dogs do. Cat food is not designed for a dog’s digestive system and can make them sick if consumed in large quantities or on a regular basis. 

small dog

How to Keep Your Dog Away From Your Cat’s Food

It’s important to make sure your dog isn’t eating your cat’s food every day. Here are some ways to keep your dog away from your cat’s food:

  • Feed your cat on a high countertop that your dog can’t reach. 
  • Feed your cat in a laundry room or another room with a closed door and install a pet door that your cat, but not your dog, can fit through. 
  • Install a dog-proof gate that your cat can hop over or go through to get to their food in another room.
  • Use a feeding station that is designed to let your cat access their food while keeping your dog out. 

  • Ultimately, it’s important that your dog is eating nutritious food made specifically for dogs. Find out what is the best pet food for your dog to learn more. 

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