Cat Food Loving Canines – Health Complications
It’s no surprise to many cat and dog owners – that cat food seems simply irresistible to dogs. Pet Insurance Australia looks at the main reasons we should prevent our dogs from eating cat food, with some top tips on how to keep your feline’s food away from your canine companion.
“This can be a bit of a headache for cat and dog owners,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “It is not uncommon for many dual species lovers to understand the annoyance of the pet dog constantly cleaning out the cat food bowl.”
This can not only pose an issue in terms of budget, but the facts are – cat food, particularly long term, is not good for your dog. Cat food is specially formulated for felines and is generally much richer in calories, meat-based protein, fats, and specific nutrients.
“The occasional nibble isn’t going to cause much of an issue, but if your dog is eating cat food daily it can lead to issues including gastrointestinal upset and even pancreatitis,” Crighton warns. “The high protein content over a long period can also put extra strain on your dog’s liver and kidneys.”
There’s also the issue of the bludge. Dogs who overindulge in treats – including cat food, have a higher risk of suffering from obesity that can have horrible future consequences in terms of their overall health and wellbeing.
Allowing your dog to devour the cat food bowl is also creating bad habits and may lead to your cat not getting the nutritional content they need for good health but it can also prevent your dog from eating their specially formulated meal. Meaning both your cat and dog are missing out on a carefully balanced diet for optimal health.
“Some dogs don’t show any symptoms after devouring the cat food,” Crighton says. “While others will show clear indications that they have eaten something that does not agree with them, either way, it’s best to ensure your dog cannot access their feline friend’s food.”
The key is clever thinking and careful positioning of the cat bowl.
“Many cats have kibble down all day long, as your dog, being a natural scavenger will most likely not have access to food 24/7, plus, cat food is simply irresistible to a dog – it smells amazing and tastes even better,” Crighton says. “So it’s no wonder our dogs simply love cat food in all shapes, sizes, and textures.”
Consider putting cat food high up on shelves and building or creating steps for easy access for your cats. Cat scratchers can help immensely with this.
“Some cat owners also add cat flaps indoors – think the laundry or bathroom – so the cat has access but not the dog,” Crighton says. “This can be a little tricky if you have a smaller dog, however utilising baby gates can get around this issue.”
Other tips include:
- Purchase a smart food bowl that is microchip activated
- Hide your cat food
- Place cat bowls up high and away from dogs
- Train your dog not to eat from the cat’s bowl
- Remove the food when you are not supervising
“With some creativity, you can easily stop your dog from devouring the cat food,” Crighton says. “Many pet owners are not aware that cat food can cause big problems with your beloved dog, now and into the future. Keeping the cat food out of sight can help prevent health issues and keep your dog in optimal health.”
Photo by Berkay Gumustekin