is it bad to feed dogs cat food

Dogs need protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in different proportions to cats. This is why feeding your dog cat food on a recurrent basis is detrimental to their health, as it can lead to common dog digestive problems and various health issues including: Sensitive stomach. Kidney problems.

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

Since dogs are omnivores, they can eat a wider variety of foods, including both plant- and animal-based components.

Nevertheless, cats have higher needs for both protein and fat than dogs do because they are true carnivores, meaning they only consume animal protein.

Moreover, dogs only need 10 essential amino acids, but cats only need 11 to be obtained from their diet. The additional amino acid required by cats is taurine.

In comparison to commercial dog foods, commercial cat foods must have higher concentrations of taurine, fat, and protein to meet these higher nutrient requirements. This suggests that every commercial dog food is inadequate in nutrients for cats.

However, cat food’s higher protein and fat levels make it more appetizing, fragrant, and therefore appealing to dogs. It can also meet or even surpass a dog’s nutritional needs.

When Cat Food Is Harmful for Dogs

If there are underlying causes for why too much protein or fat is not ideal, then eating cat food, even as a treat occasionally, may become problematic for other dogs.


  • Because cat food is just too rich, a dog with a sensitive digestive system may vomit or have diarrhea after eating it.
  • To ensure that their kidneys and liver function as best they can, dogs with kidney or liver disease should eat moderate—not excessive—amounts of protein.
  • A dog that is overweight or has a higher risk of developing pancreatitis g. , many Schnauzers), need to eat a diet lower in fat to help them lose weight or reduce pancreatic inflammation.

Any quantity of commercial cat food fed to any of these dogs, whether occasionally or consistently, may make health problems worse

Is It Safe for a Dog to Eat Cat Food?

For the typical adult dog, it’s not inherently “bad” for them to occasionally treat themselves to their feline friend’s food, or even to eat it instead of their own.


What happens if a dog eats cat food?

Cat food is not toxic to dogs and might cause a GI upset (diarrhea or vomiting), which should quickly resolve on its own. However, if diarrhea or vomiting persists for more than 24 hours, you should get in touch with your vet. If your canine companion eats a very big amount of cat food, they might become bloated.

Can I mix cat food with dog food?

Only mix foods for the same species and life stage (i.e. don’t mix dog and cat food, or puppy and adult food together). Make sure both foods are nutritionally complete and balanced, with similar nutrient profiles.

Can cats and dogs eat the same food?

Cats and dogs have different nutrient requirements. Although similar ingredients may be used, dog and cat foods are not formulated to the same recipes. Dog food will be deficient in several key nutrients required by cats. Consuming a small amount of food intended for the other species should not be an issue.

Can dogs eat fresh pet cat food?

This key difference in nutritional needs is why dogs, even an adult dog, really should not eat cat food. Dogs’ nutritional requirements require a more varied diet, and they need only 10 amino acids, whereas cats need an 11th: taurine.