Q:

Can a dog eat cat food?

A:

Quick Answer

Although a dog will not die from a diet exclusively made up of cat food, cats and dogs have different dietary needs. According to The Daily Cat, cat food is formulated to have much higher levels of fat, protein and calories than is healthy for most dogs. A cat's metabolism does well on such a diet, but dogs will gain weight and can experience gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Continue Reading
Can a dog eat cat food?
Credit: Mariya Bibikova E+ Getty Images

Full Answer

Cats are obligate carnivores; that is, they need animal-based protein to survive, but they cannot digest vegetable matter. Cat food, consequently, is very heavy on animal protein and animal fat. Kitten food is even higher in animal-based nutrients than is food meant for adult cats. Dogs can digest both meat and vegetable matter, but prefer meat. According to PetMD, this preference for meat can make cat food very tempting to a dog, but it is not designed with a canine's health in mind. The high animal fat content can even cause acute pancreatitis in dogs, as flare-ups of inflammation in the pancreas are associated with high fat levels in blood serum. Cat food can serve as a treat to an especially insistent dog, or as a last-ditch measure to keep a hungry dog fed when dog food is not available, but it is not recommended as a primary diet.

Learn more about Dogs

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs?

    A:

    If a dog has a sensitive stomach, it is important to experiment to find the right diet for the animal; according to PetMD, high-quality foods tend to be easier to digest. Switching to a different food helps many dogs with sensitive stomachs to lead more comfortable lives. This process should be completed gradually, as a sudden shift in diet can cause an assortment of health issues.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some dog foods that are made in the USA?

    A:

    Some dog foods that are made in the United States include Merrick, who also creates cat food and gathers all its foods from local farms while not including any artificial coloring, additives, or sweeteners to the products, also EVO, which contains more proteins and fats, as well as less carbs and starches to replicate the diet of wild animals more closely, according to USA Love List.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is in canned dog food?

    A:

    The exact ingredient list of canned dog food varies dramatically by brand and diet, but in general, wet food consists of meat chunks and gravy. Pet food manufacturers usually use offal, which is the head, feet, liver, kidneys, intestine and stomach, sometimes mixed with vegetable protein for shape. Although undesirable by human standards, offal is still high in protein. Gels and thickeners form a gravy that adds texture and consistency.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How long should you feed your dog puppy food?

    A:

    Because puppies require a diet that is rich in protein, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins, they should be fed puppy food until they are at least 1 year of age. After 1 year of age, puppies can be gradually transitioned to adult dog food.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore