What Happens When Dogs Eat Cat Food? Will my Dog Die?

Imagine the morning you wake up to find your dog around the cat food bowl, or you are out of dog food, and the only option is the cat’s food for your pup!

There are multiple theories about whether wet cat food is harmful to a dog and if it should be fed to your dog – here are some answers.

What happens if my dog eats cat food? Certain dogs can experience gastrointestinal problems if they consume cat food frequently. Because cat food contains protein, it can trigger hyperactivity, clotting, and acidity. 

Dogs with sensitive stomachs are more prone to becoming nauseous and vomiting. Continued consumption of cat food can lead to diabetes, epilepsy, and pancreatitis.

 Here’s what you need to know if you’re concerned about feeding your dog cat food.

Can cat food hurt my dog?

Can cat food hurt my dog

We were all told to eat everything in moderation, growing up by our mothers. This was meant to prevent us from overeating and becoming overweight. But, what about your dog eating cat food?

Occasionally, you may have to give your dog cat food if you’re running low on dog food, but that shouldn’t be a concern. Depending on his gastrointestinal constitution, he may be fine, or he might have the runs.

Vets strongly recommend that you do not feed cat food to your dog. It can cause serious problems that include prolonged diarrhea, vomiting, inflammatory reactions, and food and skin allergies.

The takeaway is that cat food isn’t harmful to your dog, but too much of it can lead to health issues later on.

The difference between dog and cat food

Cats require up to three times the amount of protein required by dogs to live optimally. The majority of mammals will survive on a low-protein diet without experiencing adverse effects on their overall health. On the other hand, a kitten needs nearly twice the protein that puppies do to develop and maintain energy.

It is recommended that dog and cat foods are formulated to meet AAFCO’s recommendations. Let’s discover precisely what the suggestions are and how dog and cat foods differ from each other.


AAFCO recommends that dog foods contain at least 18% protein content for adult dogs, while the average dog food contains 25-30% protein. On the other hand, for adult cats, a minimum of 26% protein is recommended, while some experts argue that increased protein content could be beneficial.


Most cat foods exceed the recommended level of 9% fat in adult cats, while dogs only need 8%. That is why your dog loved your cat’s tasty recipes.

Vegetables and fruits

A cat’s digestive system cannot handle fruits or vegetables, but dogs can eat some.

In dog food, carrots are often used. Dogs’ digestive systems process carrots converting beta-carotene into Vitamin A. Cats cannot do this, so cat food must include supplements.

The supplements

Cats can make and utilize their taurine and arachidonic acid since they can manufacture them internally. Dogs can synthesize some fatty acids and taurine through their diet.

How do dietary requirements differ between cats and dogs?

How do dietary requirements differ between cats and dogs

Though we might think cats and dogs are related, they do require different diets. Besides, dogs and cats differ in the types of food they consume.

Cats are considered to be “obligate” carnivores, meaning they must eat meat whenever possible. Cats can eat small amounts of plant matter, but their digestive systems cannot digest it fully.

Cats need to consume meats as well as any animal-derived product like organ meat and muscles. A cat cannot live on a plant-based diet.

Dogs are often known as scavenging carnivores because they enjoy scavenging for food and eat a wide range of different types.

However, even though dogs tend to do fine without meat, they still require some protein for their overall health.

Can wet cat food hurt my dog?

Theoretically, all cat food should be a protein and fat source. It is applicable to dry food as well. Water isn’t as common with cats as it is with dogs. It is always advised to combine wet food with dry food to prevent dehydration.

These are the main differences between dry and wet cat food:

Moisture content: There is up to 60% moisture content in moist food, while less than 14% is found in dry food

The caloric content: Wet food varies between 0.8 and 1.5 kcal/g, while the caloric content of dry meals varies between 4 kcal/g and above.

Dry cat food is easier on your dog’s stomach than wet cat food. However, all cat foods have higher protein, fat, and vitamin content. If you give your dog too much wet cat food, don’t be surprised if his stomach rebels.

If you share your house with a cat and a dog, you’ll need to keep an eye on their eating habits. It is usual for the cat to snatch food from the dog and vice versa. However, you’ll want to mitigate this activity to keep both of them safe.

What causes my dog to like cat food?

No one should blame the dogs for eating unhealthy, fatty food. It looks much better to everyone. Food for cats smells exquisite compared to dogs.

Although cat food is appealing, there are other explanations why your dog will have it hidden away.

They’re scavengers, so they’ll naturally gobble up anything that’ Factually, dogs would eat whatever they can, so it’s just the same as cat food.

Your dog’s diet might not be in order. seek out your cat’s food to restore the balance Satisfy your dog’s nutrient needs

Adding a small amount of cat food to your picky eater’s food will entice it to eat. Please don’t entice your cat with some dog food.

How can I stop my dog from stealing my cat’s food?

Keep your cat’s food away from your dog. The cat food can be put on a higher shelf where the dog can’t reach it. There are other, more effective methods. Here is how to keep your cat food safe?

Just program a feeder to dispense food when the cat is present. Away from your dog and let it chew in peace. 


Occasionally your dog can steal cat food. It is possible that you ran out of dog food and had to switch to cat food in an emergency.

Considering this, it is unlikely to be a concern that your dog is eating cat food in moderation.

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