If your home is residence to both a feline and canine companion, you may have noticed your dog trying to sneak a bite or two of cat food. Crunchy kibble of the feline variety may not seem very different than dog food, so what makes it so attractive to dogs?
The reality is that dog and cat food may look similar, but there are some key differences. Since cats are carnivores and dogs are omnivores, kitty food has a much higher protein content and less fiber. There’s no doubt that this difference affects the taste, and dogs seem to be drawn to the protein-rich food.
So, is it dangerous for dogs to chow down on a few bites of cat food? The answer depends on the dog. Some dogs won’t be affected at all, while others will experience diarrhea and vomiting. Even if your pup’s stomach can handle cat food, it’s certainly wise not to make it a habit. Dogs need a balanced diet that includes both protein and fiber. Consuming too much protein can actually damage a dog’s liver and kidneys.
Conversely, a cat should not be fed dog food because it lacks two essential feline nutrients (taurine and arachidonic acid). Long story short, owners should stick with pet food that is specific to their animal’s species.