home / home / can dogs eat cat food?
Default image

can dogs eat cat food?

  • Dr. Kim
  • Posted by Dr. Kim Smyth on
    Staff Veterinarian and Pet Health Writer of Petplan

Can dogs eat cat food? Dish it out from Dr. Kim Smyth at Petplan pet insurance.

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.

 

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.


It's safe for dogs to eat cat food, but Dr. Kim Smyth warns of the high calorie and fat content.


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!


Add a comment here
  • *indicates required field

  • read more »
Email sent Close

Thanks for leaving a comment on this page. It will now be sent to our administrator for approval and should be added to this site shortly.

Comments
Posted by Debby Martin
on November 24 2015 14:26

I once thought the same way you do until recently when my dog's blood work showed me cat food should be considered toxic for dogs. http://kirbythedorkie.com/blog/why-your-dog-should-never-eat-cat-food So glad Kirby the Dorkie is covered by Pet Plan Insurance.

policies by AGCS Marine Insurance Company, an Allianz company

our bloggers
  • Meet the panel
  • Meet the panel
  • Meet the panel
  • Meet the panel
  • Meet the panel
  • Meet the panel
  • Meet the panel
  • Meet the panel
  • Meet the panel
  • Meet the panel
  • Meet the panel
  • Meet the panel
  • Meet the panel
Dr. Ernie Ward, Jr.Veterinary Advisory Board of Petplan
vet tip of the week

Visit your vet at least once a year to keep your pet protected from preventable diseases.