Your dog has top-of-the-line food available, but why do they always make a beeline to the cat's dish?
Dog and cat foods may seem similar at first glance, but when you dig deeper, there are actually a few major differences between them.
As obligate carnivores, cats are required to eat meat as their main source of food. Dogs, on the other hand, are omnivores and need a more varied diet. Each pet has its own nutritional needs. But why do dogs seem to prefer cat food over their own?
Since dogs cannot tell us why they like cat food so much, we have to make an educated guess. One of the most popular theories is that since cat food is higher in protein, it's tastier than dog kibble.
But just because it tastes good doesn't mean you should swap your dog's food for your cat's. Dogs aren't designed to have such a high-protein diet. Too much protein on a regular basis can be hard on your pup's liver and kidneys and result in nasty GI issues, including vomiting and diarrhea, and pancreatitis and diabetes at its most serious. Higher protein in your pet's food can also lead to obesity.
Sharon Crowell-Davis, DVM, DACVB, professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia told Vet Street that a dog eating cat food is like humans eating sweets;
"It's not necessarily the best thing for our diet, and certainly if we ate nothing but cake, we'd become really sick. But as an occasional treat, it's not going to hurt us."
Even if your dog is one of those lucky ones with an iron gut, eating primary cat food will result in an imbalanced diet. Dog food is specifically designed to give your pup the necessary fiber, protein, and other nutrients. So, although dogs may enjoy eating cat food, they are better off eating their own food.
The best thing you can do if your dog likes to eat cat food, is keep your pets separated when feeding and making sure your dog doesn't have access to the other pets' food bowls.
Does your dog love cat food? How do you deal with it? Let us know in the comments!
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