Can Dogs Eat Cat Food? When You Should Stop Your Dog Eating Cat Food?

It can be adventurous sometimes for owners that have both a dog and a cat and I am sure that if you are one of them you have thought about what will have if you give your dog cat food or give your cat dog food.

See, I don’t have the answer to your second question but I will share with you my knowledge about whether can dogs eat cat food.

You need to know that dog food and cat food are different as both animals are different and need different amounts of nutrients. So it’s better for dogs to eat dog food and cats cat food.

But let’s see everything in more detail and see if dogs can or should eat cat food.

Can Dogs Eat Cat Food?

Maybe your dog already many times have tried to eat cat food or you have run out of dog food and you have only cat food, that’s fine.

Dogs can eat cat food but it shouldn’t be for sure often. Cat food is safe for dogs. But it shouldn’t be part of their diet as in the long term of time cat food can cause weight gain in your dog. Cat food is richer in fat and protein.

If you give your dog cat food as a treat, then you shouldn’t worry about the health of your dog. As a treat cat food is a great choice. Another case when you shouldn’t worry is for the occasional stollen bite from the food bowl of your cat.

Why Do Dogs Want to Eat Cat Food?

If your dog had already tried once cat food for sure it will keep happening.


I don’t know if you have noticed but cat food smells more nicely than dog food. Another reason why dogs will find it yummier as the content of fat in cat food is much more than in dog food.

Dog Food vs Cat Food: Nutrition

Dog Food

Many people think that dogs must eat meat but actually, that isn’t really true as dogs are omnivores. This fact shocks people.

As omnivores, they need more than just meat. Dogs need a variety of products containing different nutrients, so their diet can be beneficial. Dogs can enjoy both plant-based and animal-based diets or a combination of them.

Dogs need 10 amino acids. That sounds okay, right? But cat food contains 11. So one more that isn’t needed for your dog. But these nutrients are again needed in different amounts for dogs and cats.

Cat Food

While dogs are omnivores, cats are carnivores. So? In their diet meat should be included 100%. As it’s their biological necessity.

That’s the main difference in the ingredients in these two types of food. Cat food is more concentrated in meat protein, while dog food is concentrated in different nutrients and it’s fine if the protein isn’t from meat. As cat food has a higher content of meat protein then it leads to the fact that food for cats is richer in fat, too.

Cats need more vitamin A than dogs.

Cats need 11 amino acids. The 10 that dogs need plus taurine.

Why Dogs Shouldn’t Eat Cat Food?

As you already got to know both pets need different amounts of nutrients to function properly and to keep their immune systems strong.

If you are noticing that your dog is eating the food of your cat, then you should do something so this stealing of food stops. Too big amounts of cat food or every day eating cat food will for sure cause health problems to your doggo.

Your dog may gain weight rapidly which can lead to obesity because of the high content of fat and protein in cat foods.

Dogs for sure will experience nutritional imbalance. This imbalance can lead to serious problems like gastrointestinal upset, pancreatitis, and liver and kidney problems.

Dogs that have liver or kidney problems shouldn’t eat cat food because they actually need less protein so the kidneys don’t overwork.

How to know if my dog has pancreatitis?

The signs of pancreatitis include:

  • fever
  • lethargy
  • weakness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • decreased appetite

As pancreatitis can be acute and chronic, you should be careful how you feed your dog. Pancreatitis in dogs is happening more and more often already and in every age and breed. As the digestive enzymes don’t stay only in the pancreas, they spread into the abdominal cavity which can lead to damage in the liver, intestines, gall bladder, and more.

Why Dogs Should Eat Cat Food?

You may be like What?

Well, as usual, the coin has two sides.

Some vets advise dogs that are losing weight rapidly, don’t have much appetite, or are fighting cancer to eat cat food. Richer in protein and fat will help them gain weight as the calories are more than in dog food.

What to Do If My Dog Eats Cat Food?

Whenever something like that happens I advise dog owners to stay calm and don’t panic. If your dog had cat food for the first time and you are sure it’s a very little amount, then you don’t need to worry.

But as every new food eaten for the first time, it can cause diarrhea or vomiting as the stomach isn’t used to it. But as some dogs’ stomachs are much more sensitive, they can get abdominal pain, and if you notice any other discomfort let your vet know about this cat food problem.

But if you come home and find your dog eating from the can or container you store cat food, then call the vet of your dog immediately. When something like this happens you can’t be sure if that’s the first time your dog is doing it and you can’t be sure about the amount your dog had.

If both of your pets are eating together, may cat food is seeming to be tastier to your dog, because the smell is much better. Then you maybe should think of another place for your dog or cat, so they don’t eat together. And make sure that cat food is out of reach for your pooch.


Dogs usually need less protein and fat than cats. That’s why it’s good for cats to eat cat food and dogs to eat dog food.

But some dogs that experience problems in gaining weight or don’t have much appetite for food are advised by vets to eat cat food. So cat food is safe for dogs. But it’s a better option for dogs with these types of problems.

Do you have a cat? Do your dog and cat eat together? Share with us if your dog steals from the food of your cat. Let us know if you want to know more about something specifically.


Can Dogs Eat Wet Cat Food?

Wet cat food will not give the needed nutrients for your dog but it’s a good option for a small treat.

Can Dogs Eat Dry Cat Food?

Dry cat food also known act kibble is a good choice for a treat, but as I said many times already it doesn’t contain the needed level of nutrients required for dogs. But it can be a little difficult for your dog to chew it as it’s made the sharp and tiny teeth of cats and they may swallow them whole which can lead to an upset stomach.

Can Dogs Eat Cat Food As A Treat?

As an occasional treat cat food is safe. But be sure that this treat is in little amounts.

Can Puppies Eat Cat Food?

Occasionally, yes. But cat food shouldn’t be part of their diet.

Share your love
Desislava Asenova
Desislava Asenova

Desi is a dog-lover and proud parent to Daisy, her sweet and sassy Chihuahua. She's always been fascinated by the different diets and eating habits of different animals, and she's especially interested in how food affects a dog's overall health and happiness.

When she's not busy writing about dog food, Desi enjoys pampering Daisy with long walks and playtime in the park. She's also an avid home cook and loves coming up with new recipes for her and Daisy to try out together. She's excited to share her passion for dog food and help other pet owners find the best food for their fur babies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *