If you have both dogs and cats in your home, you will ask yourself whether it is harmful to one pet to eat the other pet’s food. The answer to this is clear: cats and dogs need their own specific diet. But if your dog eats out of your cat’s bowl from time to time or vice versa, it’s not a cause for much concern. However, keep in mind that 90% of diseases in dogs and cats are due to unsuitable food. So can you feed a dog cat food?
Is the dog a carnivore or omnivore?
There is often uncertainty as to whether the dog is a carnivore (meat-eater), herbivore (plant-eater), or omnivore (omnivore). This disagreement about the dog’s natural eating habits is also visible on several dog forums. Again, many people wonder if you can’t just give a dog cat food.
A common argument in this discussion is that the type of food available indicates which group the dog belongs to. However, this is only true to a very limited extent; the pet food industry also offers vegan and vegetarian dog food. It cannot be concluded from this that this feeding method is suitable for the species and meets the actual nutritional needs of dogs.
Also Read: Dog food for every age – Detailed Guide 2021
The same applies to dog food with a disproportionately high grain content. However, this is also the wrong conclusion that some dog owners draw from the offerings on the market. In fact, too high a grain content in dog food can lead to health problems. Wheat, in particular, is often used for artificially stretching lower-quality dog food. However, wheat can lead to strong fermentation processes in the dog’s digestive tract, thus causing stress throughout his body. As a rule, sooner or later this will have a negative impact on behavior and health.back to menu ↑
Instinct versus ingredients
Like cats, dogs don’t basically eat only what’s good for their health. For example, some dogs eat chocolate when given the chance – and above a certain amount, it can be fatal for dogs. The theobromine in the cocoa bean can significantly damage the dog’s nervous system.
This is also the case with cats. As far back as 2005, zoologist and behavioral scientist Paul Leyhausen wrote: “If you think you can trust your cat’s instinct for food, you may be in for a nasty surprise. Unlike the rat, an omnivore, which is very must quickly learn what it can and cannot tolerate, a cat often does not know what it is taking in. This observation seems to apply to dogs as well, but now back to the original question of whether our beloved four-legged friends are carnivores or omnivores.
If we look at the genetic origin of the dog, it belongs to the predators (carnivores) from a zoological point of view.
Is the dog therefore a carnivore? The short answer is: no.back to menu ↑
Why is the dog an omnivore?
The dog is an omnivore. That which applied to its predecessor, the wolf, no longer applies to today’s dog. Dogs have accompanied humans for thousands of years. The dog’s eating habits have always been based on what humans ate, or rather what we gave them. In addition, it is also based on regional living conditions. If we consider that at times meat was a luxury product for humans, we can well imagine that the dog was not always fed meat.
Over generations, the dog has evolved from a carnivore to a functional omnivore. His current diet must take this into account.
The cat, on the other hand, is still a carnivore. They have a high need for animal proteins, fats and also the amino acid taurine. This means that the nutritional needs of the cat are very different from those of the dog.
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How does the food affect the dog’s behavior and health?
Also, the dog is what he eats. Now the dog will not become a cat if it has looked too deeply into a cat’s food bowl. If problems arise with your dog that cannot be explained by a lack of training or behavioral psychology, it is advisable to take a closer look at the ingredients of the dog food. You can also make sure that your dog does not eat your cat’s cat food too often. In consultation with a veterinarian, another food with a different composition should be tried.
Of course, you should only feed your sweet dog high-quality dog food. Commonly used fillers such as the aforementioned wheat, soy, and corn lead to a reduction in serotonin levels due to the high concentration of the amino acid tyrosine. Serotonin is again very important because, just like in humans, it stabilizes the mood. If the dog has a lack of serotonin due to its diet, this can play a role in the development of depression or its precursor.
Dog food also often contains sugar. However, the dog should only be given a certain maximum amount of sugar. If a dog ingests an excess of sugar, it can lead to hyperactivity, bad breath, and bad teeth. Moreover, sugar in the diet is not even necessarily an asset to the taste.back to menu ↑
Why can’t the dog tolerate cat food?
Dog food in the form of wet and dry food is specially adapted to the nutritional needs of the dog. There are also special foods and nutritional supplements for dogs that take into account certain health characteristics. For example, there is food for dogs that suffer from allergies, diet food, and the like.
Only a food specially developed for the dog can ensure that the dog receives all the necessary nutrients. So no substances are harmful to health. This would put an unnecessary strain on his entire system, putting the dog under permanent stress and endangering his physical and mental health.
If you give a dog cat food too often or if he eats this, there is a good chance that your dog will suffer from various health problems.back to menu ↑
Don’t try this at home
There are videos on the internet of people trying to feed their dogs cat food. They then conclude that there are no direct side effects and that cat food is therefore safe for dogs. However, this line of thinking is also wrong.
It does not correspond to the facts and is therefore not recommended. In general, we can only advise against such “animal testing”. We recommend that you always consult an expert or expert.
We hope that your dog and cat always get along well and have a lot of fun with each other, but eat from different food bowls. Because only in this way can they remain both healthy and happy in the long run.