Can Dogs Eat Cat Food? 6 Facts You May Not Know

Something about cat food makes it nearly impossible for a dog to resist. When given the opportunity, the vast majority of canine species, regardless of age, training, or temperament, will seek out and eat cat food.But does a dog get sick from eating cat food? Find out if your dog is getting the proper nutrition and if it is okay for them to eat cat food.

Can Dogs Eat Cat Food?

Dogs can eat small amounts of cat food (wet or dry) on occasion or in an emergency, but feeding your dog exclusively cat food can be bad for its health.

To meet the varied nutritional needs of canines and felines, pet food manufacturers produce species-specific formulas.

Some veterinarians will suggest a period of time during which underweight puppies are fed cat food in order to help them gain weight. If you take your dog to a pet expert, they can tell you if they need more protein in their diet or if switching them to cat food would be best for their overall health.

Is Cat Food Bad for Dogs? 3 Health Concerns

Owners should refrain from feeding their dogs cat food on a regular basis because:

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1.Problems with health have been linked to feeding cats commercial cat food. Food formulated for felines typically contains more protein than food formulated for canines. A dog’s risk of developing high-protein health problems like pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), liver damage, obesity, and kidney problems is increased if it consumes only cat food. Dogs with delicate stomachs should avoid eating cat food, as it can cause tummy aches, gas, and diarrhea.

2.Dogs need a more varied diet than people do. Dogs, in contrast to cats, are omnivores and need a diet that includes a variety of proteins, carbohydrates, and vegetables. The ingredients in dog food are mostly meat, while those in cat food are mostly meat and vegetables. Dogs can’t get enough of what they need from a diet consisting solely of cat food.

3.Ingredients are limited to those known to be beneficial to cats. Vitamin and mineral requirements for cats are distinct from those for dogs; felines have higher demands for niacin and for compounds such as amino acids taurine and arginine.

What’s the Difference Between Dog Food and Cat Food?

Due to their omnivorous nature, dogs can thrive on a diet that includes both plant and animal products.

However, cats are true carnivores, meaning they must consume only animal protein to meet their high protein and fat needs.

In addition, cats need 11 out of the 10 amino acids that dogs do from their food. Taurine is the supplemental amino acid that felines need.

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Cats have higher protein, fat, and taurine needs than dogs, so commercial cat foods have to up their game. This means that felines should avoid eating any commercial dog food because it lacks essential nutrients.

Cat food is higher in protein and fat than dog food, making it more palatable and aromatic for dogs and meeting or exceeding their nutritional needs.

Can Dogs Eat Cat Food? Your Question Answered

Is It Safe for a Dog to Eat Cat Food?

In most cases, it’s not “bad” for an adult dog to eat some of their feline friend’s food, either as a treat or as a replacement for his or her regular diet.

When Cat Food Is Safe for Dogs

Some dogs, like those with cancer who are experiencing weight loss, muscle wasting, and a lack of appetite, may benefit more from eating cat food than traditional dog food.

When compared to many home-prepared diets, commercially prepared cat food is typically more palatable, provides more calories per serving, and offers a more nutrient-balanced option.

When compared to human foods like cheese, chicken, or peanut butter, which provide a concentrated amount of primarily one nutrient, cat kibble can make for healthier, well-balanced treats or training rewards.

When Cat Food Is Harmful for Dogs

While some dogs may benefit from the extra protein and fat in cat food, for others, even occasional consumption can cause health problems.


  • A dog with a delicate stomach may experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea after consuming cat food.
  • Moderate protein intake, rather than excess, is what’s best for a dog with kidney or liver disease.
  • A lower-fat diet is recommended for an overweight dog or one with a predisposition to developing pancreatitis (such as many Schnauzers).
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Problems with health could be exacerbated for all of these dogs by feeding them commercial cat food, whether occasionally or regularly.

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Cat Food

If your dog has been eating cat food, you can help him adjust to dog food by mixing the two together, starting with one scoop of dog kibble (or wet dog food) and one scoop of cat kibble (or wet cat food) every few days.

Can Dogs Eat Cat Food? Is Cat Food Bad for Dogs? | Petco

Changing your dog’s diet can cause stomach upset, but if you do it gradually, their stomach will get used to the new food and any sudden changes will be less noticeable.

Feed your cat in an elevated spot, out of your dog’s reach, like in a cat tree, if he keeps stealing food from the cat’s bowl.

Ask Your Vet About Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs

Your dog’s individual physiology and metabolism will determine whether or not cat food is “good” or “bad” for your dog’s health.

This means that you can feel safe giving your dog an occasional kitty treat, as long as your dog is an adult and otherwise healthy.

Nonetheless, if you’re unsure about whether or not feeding your dog any amount of commercial cat food is safe, consult your vet or a veterinary nutritionist.


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