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Can Dogs Eat Cat Food?

bland diet for a dog's upset stomach

Dogs are attracted to many types of foods, and sometimes cat food is what gets their attention but can dogs eat cat food? Well, of course they can as many dog owners can attest when Rover steals Fluffy's food from under her nose, but is it OK for them to eat cat food? Turns out dogs and cats are quite different when it comes to nutrition and have different needs. If your dog ate a bunch of cat food all at once, consider that he may get digestive upset and even bloat in some cases, which is a medical emergency. See your vet. Veterinarian Dr. Ivana Vukasinovic goes more into depth onto why you shouldn't make eating cat food a habit for your dog.

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Is it OK for Dogs to Eat Cat Food?

Answered by Dr. Ivana Vukasinovic

Cats are obligatory carnivores, which means that the main ingredient in their diet plan must be meat. On the other hand, dogs are more or less omnivores, and they can handle and sometimes even need a wider diet.

Cat food has a higher amount of proteins because the higher percentage of meat. Recommended protein percentage in food for cat is 25% or higher and fat percentage is around 20%.

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These numbers are far less for dog; In general, average healthy adult dogs need diet that is approximately 18% protein. The difference in these amounts between cats and dogs food, makes cat food much more appealing for the dog. Excess amount of protein is harmful to the animal, especially to its kidneys.

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If we put aside protein intake, and think about other dietary requirements, cat food contains less vitamin E, and it has taurine, s form of amino acid that dogs don’t need, but is essential for cats, and arachidonic acid certain B-complex vitamins that dogs can produce on its own.

While dogs love cat’s food, and an occasional bite is not a problem, eating cat food on regular basis would lead to health problems such as pancreatitis, fatty liver, coat problems, obesity. So make sure that your pet is fed a diet purposely tailored for his own species.

About the Author

DVM Ivana Vukasinovic is a veterinarian in Belgrade, capital city of Serbia.


She received her B.S from University of Belgrade in 2012, and her master’s degree from Veterinary University, Belgrade.

Before eventually becoming director of Vetanima Doo, company that sells animal food, medicine and supplements, she have worked in many different fields of sales. After finishing college, she started working as sales person in biggest Serbian bookshop chain, and being passionate about books, she had reached the position of publisher.

After leaving this field, she started working as a veterinary commercialist, and then landing a job as veterinarian at veterinary pharmacy, in the same company in which she is now acting as director.

When she is not working, she is either glued to some fantasy book or cooking for friends. She currently resides in Belgrade with her cat Mile.

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