Is it okay for dogs to eat cat food

Is it okay for dogs to eat cat food?

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In homes where dogs and cats live together, dogs sometimes eat cat food. Temporary diarrhea may occur, but it is unlikely to cause immediate illness. However, it cannot be given on a daily basis due to the excess or deficiency of nutrients. A pet nutritionist explains why you shouldn’t eat cat food and what to watch out for.

If your dog has eaten cat food

dog has eaten cat food
dog has eaten cat food

Even if your dog eats cat food, there are no immediate health consequences. The intestinal environment may not be able to cope with the unusual rice, and it may cause temporary diarrhea, but it is unlikely that poisoning symptoms will occur or you will get sick. Of course, if you have allergies, you need to check the ingredients.

If your cat eats dog food, be careful of the additive called “propylene glycol” (used as a moisturizing agent in wet food). It may cause anemia, and its use in cat food is prohibited by the Pet Food Safety Law. Also, if you continue to eat taurine, you may become blind due to lack of taurine.

why dogs like to eat cat food

Animals are divided into “carnivorous”, “herbivorous” and “omnivorous” based on what they eat. Dogs were originally carnivorous animals, but when they lived closely with humans, they realized that they could obtain energy more efficiently by eating rice containing carbohydrates, so they evolved into carnivorous omnivores.

Read Also: can Dogs eat watermelon? 

Cats, on the other hand, have always been carnivores. Nowadays, it’s common to keep pets indoors, but not so long ago, even pets were free to come in and out of the house and keep an appropriate distance from people. Therefore, cat food eaten by carnivorous cats is meatier than dog food.

Just because dogs have evolved into omnivores doesn’t mean they’ve lost interest in meat. It’s no wonder that dogs, who were originally carnivores, think cat food with plenty of meat is “appetizing”. If you take up the taste and only eat cat food, you may not be able to get the nutrients your dog needs and become unhealthy.

Differences in nutritional needs between dogs and cats

As a guideline for the nutrients necessary for dogs and cats, the nutritional standards for comprehensive nutrition formulated by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) are generally referred to. Comparing them, there are the following differences.


Because cats are carnivorous, they need more protein than omnivorous dogs. Growing cats need more than 30% protein, while dogs need more than 22.5%. Adult cats need 26.0% or more, while adult dogs need 18% or more.

Therefore, cat foods tend to contain too much protein for dogs, which can put a strain on their kidneys and liver if they continue to eat them.


Growing cats need more than 0.2% sodium, while dogs need more than 0.3%. Adult cats need 0.2% or more, while adult dogs need 0.08% or more. Therefore, if a dog eats cat food for a long period of time, it will consume too much salt, which may put a strain on the heart and kidneys.


Other cat foods include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, threonine, valine, linoleic acid, α-linolenic acid, EPA + DHA, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, iodine, selenium, vitamin D, and vitamin E., vitamin B2, pantothenic acid, etc. may not be ingested by dogs.

The risks of feeding your dog cat food

risks of feeding your dog cat food
risks of feeding your dog cat food

beware of an unbalanced diet

Cat food can be highly seasoned and appealing to dogs. Therefore, once they learn the taste of cat food, they may stop eating dog food, which may lead to an unbalanced diet, so don’t give it to them as a trial.

burden on the kidneys

Long-term intake of high-protein, high-salt cat food may put a strain on the kidneys of dogs. Care must be taken as it may cause chronic kidney disease or renal failure due to the burden on the kidneys.

nutritional balance

Dogs have more variation in physique than cats depending on breed and growth. Since the necessary nutrients and calories differ depending on the dog breed and physique, if you continue to give cat food, there is a risk that the nutritional balance will collapse.

As much as possible, it is desirable to give a food that matches the breed and size of the dog.


  • Dogs and cats have different nutritional needs
  • Cat food is high in protein and salt for dogs.
  • May damage the kidneys and heart

Healthy food for dogs is dog food as a comprehensive nutritional diet that is formulated so that nutrition can be taken in a well-balanced manner. Make sure you give your dog the best food.

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