When you think of it, dog food often looks exactly the same as cat food. In fact, many people who own both a dog and cat will tell you it’s common for dogs to make a habit out of eating cat food.
But can dogs eat cat food and why might it happen at all?
Cat food has a large account of protein and fats, and guess what? Dogs love meaty, fatty food!
As you may know, cat food is also especially smelly which is done to make it more enticing and this only serves as an extra temptation for dogs.
It’s true, most dogs will eat almost anything but cat food can seem like a far more tasty alternative to chewing on the nearest shoe.
That being said, you should also know that eating cat food on a regular basis is not good for dogs.
How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Cat Food?
Most dogs are active but eating cat food will often ensure your dog gains unwanted weight. You see, eating an extra portion of food is one thing but eating especially fatty and protein filled food is worse.
The truth is, this extra and unsuitable food is also unnecessary and likely to cause digestion or weight issues in the long run.
For this reason, it’s best to prevent your dog from developing any such habit and encourage them to stay away from the cat food entirely.
But how can you stop your dog from eating cat food?
Well, it’s not easy – especially for dogs who like to eat and chew every last thing in sight. But it’s certainly possible to stop your dog from eating cat food and different ways to achieve this result.
Firstly, you can ensure that your cat and dog are not eating in the same room. For many cat owners, it’s just as easy to place the bowl up high in a place that only the cat can reach such as a counter top or window ledge. Either way, you can just remove any risk of your dog eating cat food.
Alternatively, do you have a small cat flap that your dog is unable to use? If so, you can place the cat food outside where your cat can go and eat without having to worry about being disturbed.
However, you might want to address this in such a way that you don’t need to split them up. In this sense, training and patience is the key to stopping your dog from eating cat food.
Training Your Dog to Stop Eating Cat Food
As with humans, cats and dogs are creatures of habit. If you can establish some kind of routine, then repetition is often enough to stop your dog from eating cat food. For example, you can teach your dog to stay away from the cat bowl by saying “No” and using advanced training techniques in this regard.
With this in mind, you should have a different bowl for each pet and ensure they are clearly distinguishable from each other. After all, the last thing you want is to be scolding your beloved dog for having done nothing wrong other than going for the wrong bowl by accident.
It’s often best to keep these bowls apart and this is certainly true at the beginning. That is, you can start by feeding your cat and dog in separate rooms but then move their bowls closer to each other over time. It might take weeks or even months to establish discipline in this respect but this should certainly work with persistence.
Ideally, you should get to the point where your dog is not even thinking about cat food and your cat can eat quietly without having to worry about any disruption.
As often as you might forget, try not to leave cat food in a place that you dog can eat it. You don’t want to stress about this issue but at the same time, you don’t want to be negligent either. Instead, establish a routine in which your dog will stop thinking about the cat food or at least keep them separate so that they cannot reach this food in the first place.
While your dog eating cat food is not likely to have an adverse effect on their health, it’s not a good thing either. Besides, a little common sense and awareness is usually enough to keep this from happening in the first place.