Manufacturers produce many types of dog food, each owner has the opportunity to choose the best option for his four-legged friend. But some owners have a question whether it is possible to replace them with products intended for cats, whether it is dangerous for the dog’s body. In order to understand how safe and rational such a replacement is, it is necessary to study the characteristics of feed, their composition.
The reasons for the appearance of cat food in the dog’s diet
Caring dog owners prepare food for their pets taking into account the needs of the animal, ensuring a full supply of all necessary elements. But the convenience of ready-made feeds is undeniable. Therefore, it is included as a supplement to the diet by many owners. The appearance of cat food products in the menu of the dog may be due to several reasons:
- There are both animals in the house. If the product for the dog is suddenly over, he is given a feline version.
- Owners save financial costs, buy a cat product that costs less.
- The dog likes the food that he just borrows from the cat’s bowl.
It may seem that this problem does not deserve attention, because cat food also has a balanced composition, there are minerals, vitamins. However, experts say that such a diet can seriously harm the dog’s body.
Why does a dog eat cat food?
Quite often, owners who keep a dog and a cat in the house observe an increased interest of the dog in someone else’s bowl. There may be several reasons for such a love for cat food. Dog:
- trying to prove his dominant role;
- does not get saturated with his diet;
- attracted by the intense smell of flavors, which are many in the cat food category “economy”;
- out of greed, he tries to empty both bowls.
From one intake of cat food, no problems will arise. But if it is present in the dog’s diet constantly, it will lead to negative consequences.
The main differences of pet products
Cat products of the “economy” category are harmful not only for dogs, but also for cats themselves. The meat share in it takes no more than 5%, the main component is vegetable waste, cereals, bone flour. For the preparation of the meat component, the most low-quality product is used: tendons, skin, offal. The feed “economy” often includes additives that form addiction.
Premium products are of decent quality, but they are not an acceptable option for dogs either. Cat food:
- Contain a lot of protein. There is 20% more of this element in cat products than in dog products. An overabundance of protein complicates the functions of the digestive system. With regular use, the work of the heart and kidneys can be disrupted in the dog, obesity occurs, which negatively affects the entire body.
- Cat food contains a lot of fiber. It is necessary for the proper passage of the digestive processes. But if the element comes in excessive quantities, useful minerals, fat-soluble vitamins are excreted. There are problems with the intestines, nausea and vomiting are not excluded.
- Vitamins A, K, D, C are not enough in cat food for a dog. Deficiency of element A will lead to a decrease in visual acuity, deterioration of the condition of the coat, skin. Vitamin K deficiency can disrupt the blood clotting process. The lack of a proper amount of element D will lead to a decrease in immunity, problems with the musculoskeletal system. Lack of vitamin C will cause general deterioration, gum disease.
- The content of PP, E elements in cat food is higher. Excessive intake of these vitamins leads to difficulties in the mechanism of digestion. The dog’s stool is disturbed, itching, nausea appear, there are failures in the work of the heart. Such a violation of the diet often causes lethargy, weakness, apathy.
- Cats require a regular supply of taurine for normal functioning. This amino acid is necessarily included in the finished feed. But for dogs, taurine can cause serious pathologies. Its regular intake into the body causes allergic reactions, worsens the functions of the heart and kidneys. The amino acid can negatively affect the reproductive function, disrupts the structure of the hair
- Cat food does not provide a high-quality supply of potassium, sodium. Deficiency of potassium compounds leads to a weakening of the muscular system, cardiac disorders, poor digestion. Sodium is necessary for the quality work of the kidneys, digestive organs, and cardiovascular system.
- Phosphorus and iodine in cat food are contained in large quantities. In a dog, their excessive intake can create serious problems. An overabundance of iodine will negatively affect the functions of the thyroid gland, kidneys and heart, and worsen the structure of skin tissues. With excessive ingestion of phosphorus, the strength of bones decreases in dogs, stones form in the bladder, ureters.
These facts prove the danger of cat food for dogs. It is unacceptable to include them in the dog’s diet. It is necessary to prepare food yourself or purchase products intended for dogs, choose food based on breed, age.
Ways to wean a dog from eating cat food
It is difficult to wean an animal from any bad habit. Eating cat food from a cat bowl is no exception. If a cat and a dog live in the house, this situation happens quite often. The owners need to wean the dog from the habit that creates a risk to his health. Experts recommend several techniques to eliminate the problem. Necessary:
- Make sure that the dog eats his portion, that the habit of emptying the cat’s bowl is not related to hunger. An adult, active dog may lack an average norm. It is necessary to increase the diet by 10%.
- When keeping pets together, you should not keep their bowls always full. The food should be put only at certain mealtimes. Usually the process takes about a quarter of an hour, after which the dishes can be cleaned.
- If the dog is already used to eating cat food, it is advisable to organize a separate feeding. First you need to feed one of the pets, after closing the door. Then you can start feeding another animal.
- Sometimes a dog eats cat food just because he likes it more to his taste. In this case, you need to find him another product that will satisfy him.
Often the owners themselves accustom the dog to cat products. For example, a large package of food is purchased for a cat, from which portions are allocated for a dog. This is unacceptable. The dog will quickly get used to this product, it will be difficult to wean it later. The cat will have little chance to protect its food, the dog will quickly understand where and how to get the desired treat, he will regularly empty the bowl of fluffy purr.
Caring owners should remember about the harm of such a diet, eliminate the risk of diseases. It is impossible to save on the nutrition of pets, their subsequent diseases and treatment will cause worries and financial costs.