Dog and cats may need time to settle in when they are first introduced to each other. However, once they’ve settled in, they may cuddle each other, share their bedding, lap space, and even the same food. What happens if they share the same food? What might happen if they do this regularly or if they’ve only eaten the wrong food once? To understand the effect, we need to look at the difference between feline and canine nutrition first.
Does dog food and cat food meet each other’s nutrition requirement?
Both dog and cat food have a lot of different formulation, flavours, and ingredients. Dog food has recipes according to a dog’s health need, breed, size, age, and status. Dog food has a higher beta-carotene source for vitamin A, an essential factor for canine development. Dog food is also rich in vitamins and fibre but lowers in fat and proteins compared to cat food. This formulation is made due to the tendencies of the dog gaining weight quickly. With all these specifications, it is recommended for dogs to refrain from eating cat food as their health need has to be met, and cat food will not meet these specific requirements especially over a more extended period.
On the other hand, cat food is made of protein and fat, but also lower in fibre. Felines also needed an added vitamin A as they are a type of organism that’s unable to metabolize it on their own. It is also essential for cats to have enough protein to meet their daily activities. Also, taurine, which is a type of amino acid, needs to be added on cat food production, and arachidonic acid, a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid. Dogs can produce naturally from their food, but cats don’t.
If the cats have been feeding on dog food for a significant amount of time, you will need to monitor their physical well-being and behaviour. If they are experiencing discomfort, vomiting, diarrhoea or hair loss, they may be dealing with nutritional deficiency.
Cats and dogs need to be fed appropriately to prevent serious medical illnesses such as liver disease, kidney failure and malnutrition as it may lead to fatal cases.