We know that cats shouldn’t eat dog food, but can dogs eat cat food?

I’ll start off by answering somewhat directly: There is probably nothing nutritionally wrong with feeding your dog food that was formulated for a cat.

Unlike cats, dogs are omnivores, meaning that animal- or plant-based diets provide them with all the nutrients they need. This is why dogs can eat a vegetarian kibble if necessary. Cats, on the other hand, are obligate carnivores, so they are healthiest on meat-based diets.

Why dogs shouldn't eat cat food

So, your dog would be fine if he ate nothing but cat food for the rest of his life. However, many cat foods are calorically dense and high in fat. This spells trouble for your dog and his waistline. It’s important to check the calorie content of your pet’s food, no matter what food it is. It’s equally important to feed the proper quantity – even “light” food can pack on the pounds if it’s eaten without limits.

Do I personally think that your dog should be eating cat food? No, I don’t. That’s because most large pet food industries formulate their diets with specific species in mind and with tons of scientific data to back up their recipes. I know it can be hard to trust pet food manufacturers with so many recalls happening, but the tried and true companies really do have your pet’s best interest in mind.

If you’re feeding your dog cat food because he is picky, you are only further encouraging his “refined” palate. If you have some other reason for feeding your dog cat food (food allergies is the only one that makes any sense to me, but please do chime in with others), just be sure to discuss it with your veterinarian to make sure the calorie count adds up!

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Nov 19, 2015
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