Whether it is already a reality or planned: the coexistence of dogs and cats presents you with a number of challenges. And you may be wondering whether there are health risks for the dog if the cat invites it to brunch together at the bowl. Are you threatening digestive problems or worse with the first bite? In this guide, you will find answers and interesting information about the nutrition of your four-legged friends.
Help, my dog eats the cat food!
With all the varied advice, the all-clear is clear for the first moment. A single slurp (if the cat leaves something) is by no means harmful – but it must not become the norm. And you should definitely not serve cat food to a spoiled dog – just so that it empties the bowl. There are good reasons that you will find two departments with food in the pet shop. Because cats and dogs carry different genes and their bodies need a very differentiated combination of minerals and nutrients. And no, please no cat food for the dog, even as a treat!
Diet – from the former wolf to man’s best friend
In the course of evolution, dogs have developed from carnivores to omnivores. Its close connection to humans without the need to hunt also has its nutritional plan changed. However, some things have remained from the primeval times of our dogs: the stomach acid of a dog is seven times stronger than that of humans. This means that digestion can cope with a lot without getting out of balance. Buried bones in the garden only seem really tasty after weeks and do not cause nearly the problems like cakes and hearty spiced human food. Signs of malnutrition do not appear overnight. It usually takes weeks of deprivation before it becomes really dangerous for a dog. This in no way means that the health system of the four-legged friend is endlessly resilient: too much salt, too much fat or too much protein like in cat food will make the dog ill in the long run.
More than just the kick – what makes cat food so appealing to dogs
What actually makes dogs so crazy about snacking out of the cat bowl? You rarely experience the reverse variant. Even when it comes to dog food with a high meat content, only a few cats are driven to “eat it”. The answer lies in the seasoning: cat food is far more flavorful. This is due to the high protein content that cats need as so-called carnivores (meat-eaters). There are also the amino acids taurine and arachidonic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid. For the dog’s metabolism, the high protein content may represent an increased burden in the long term. It has developed into an omnivore (eater of everything). His feed contains more fiber than protein. Consistently high protein intake may cause stomach upset, diarrhea, or vomiting caused. Liver and kidney damage may occur. Skin irritation or joint pain can also torment the dog with this very protein-rich diet.
Small tips in everyday life: How to successfully combine dog and cat food
If your dog steers towards the cat bowl too intensively, there is of course the option of feeding the animals in separate rooms. If possible, a feeding place in the garden or on the balcony can give the house tiger a quiet feeding time. A cat flap clears the path and restrains the dog (unless it is as small as the cat). Another practical variant is automatic feeders that can be programmed according to time. For example, the cat gets its food when you go for a walk with the other four-legged friend. Or maybe you’ll try the proven BARF diet. Many dogs love the fresh taste and you have many options to customize the composition to your pet’s preferences. The cat food may then no longer be so appealing.