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If you have dogs and cats at home, surely on more than one occasion you will have the doubt of whether cats can eat dog food and vice versa. You may even be tempted to buy one type of food for everyone, because, after all, they look similar and the smell is almost the same, ¿sure?
However, the truth is that each food is specially formulated for a specific species, so here we tell you what is negative or positive in this practice. ¡Keep reading and discover from the hand of AnimalWised what if your cat eats dog food!You may also be interested: Can cats eat chocolate? Index
- What is dog food made of?
- What is cat food made of?
- Is it bad for a cat to eat dog food?
- How to prevent the cat from eating dog food?
What is dog food made of?
Like cat food, I think canine It comes cut into different shapes, presents various flavors according to the ingredients it contains and is even marketed in different sizes depending on the age and the breed (small, medium or large) to which it is directed. Despite these similarities, both types of feed are formulated differently.
In this sense, dog food contains high concentrations of beta-carotene, that the dog needs to convert it into vitamin A, crucial for its proper development. This food, in addition, is characterized by being rich in vitamins, fiber and lower in protein and fat than cat food, since dogs tend to gain weight easily if these components rise, which is what happens if you let them eat cat food regularly.
For this reason, it is better for your dog to eat food according to its species, breed and age. However, ¿what does the cat need for its nutrition? ¡Coming up next, we tell you!
What is cat food made of?
Contrary to the canine diet, cats need a food that is rich in protein and fat, Y lower in fiber. Despite this, it is crucial for the feline diet that the feed contains Vitamin A, since your body is unable to metabolize it on its own. The same goes for the taurine, amino acid that cats obtain in the wild from meat (especially viscera, such as liver or heart), but that the cat cannot produce, so it must be provided in the food. Taurine is extremely important for the health of cats, since a diet deficient in this substance will bring various health problems to your pet, including heart disease. See the article on "Foods rich in taurine for cats ".
Similarly, when you think about your cat's diet, you should keep in mind at all times that it is a carnivorous animal par excellence, hence the importance of your food containing a high proportion of protein. This is necessary for your cat to have the energy it requires to perform physical activities. Although cats may seem lazy animals, the truth is that during their games, jumps and climbs they burn large amounts of energy, and the consumption of protein provides them with much of it. A cat with a deficiency in this food group will end up sick.
Another mandatory component in the cat's diet is arachidonic acid, Fat component important for feline health. Dogs do not need it in their diet, as their body produces it, while cats require it to be included in their food.
With this in mind, you are surely worried that your pets will steal each other's food while you are not looking., ¿what consequences does this have?
Is it bad for a cat to eat dog food?
Imagine the scene: you fill the bowls of your cat and your dog, you are careless for a moment and the feline has already inserted its head into the dog's food, which it eagerly devours. You panic, ¿this is poisonous?
The truth is that, for one time what happens, there is no problem with your cat eating the dog's food, so you can rest easy. The downside comes when this becomes a common practice, either because you have decided to buy the same food for both of you, or because you cannot find a way to make each one consume their own food..
As we already told you, the feed is specially formulated for each species, so if your cat is used to eating dog food instead of his own, your nutritional needs will not be met. ¿The consequence of that? Your cat will get sick, which can begin with signs that are confused with any other discomfort, such as vomiting, diarrhea or hair loss, but that in the long run can cause malnutrition, as well as kidney and liver diseases that, in many cases, result lethal to cats.
If you find yourself in the situation of not having cat food at a certain time and not being able to buy, check the following article to know what to give it without damaging its health: "What can I give my cat if it does not have food ".
How to prevent the cat from eating dog food?
Now, if your cat eats the dog's feed or vice versa and you don't know how to avoid it, here are some tips to achieve it.
- Use different bowls. Dogs and cats distinguish between shapes and sizes, so having two equal bowls for both pets can make it difficult for them to identify what their food is. Purchase containers of different shapes and sizes to avoid this confusion..
- Establish feeding times. Whether you spend the whole day at home or not, having a meal schedule is crucial, that way you control the amounts your pets ingest and prevent them from approaching the first bowl they find on their own at any time of the day. Check the "Amount of daily cat food " in this article.
- Serve food in different places. Your dog and cat can eat at the same time of day, but if you have already noticed that they have a weakness for each other's food, it is best that you serve them in different spaces of the house and that it is always the same space for each one. In this way, both will know that this is their food and must look for it in that place..
- Establish discipline. When you see your cat eat the dog's food or vice versa, say a forceful "¡No! ”, Without having to shout, and change the bowl for the correct one, this way you will know which one corresponds to you.
As you can see, these tips are very simple, it is all you need to know what to do if your cat eats dog food and thus avoid future illnesses..