Pets are the family we get to choose for ourselves. As you grow next to each other, you create a bond similar to that of a mother and a child or children. Dogs and cats are some of the most common pets you can find in a household.
Although folk tales tend to consider them perennial rivals, you can train them to live side by side. As with any family, there are bound to be challenges. In this article, we shall consider one problem that you are likely to face between cats and dogs, and that is the Dog continually feeding on the cat food.
If you allow this problem to persist, your Dog is likely to experience health issues, and you may end up incurring losses as you will be spending more on cat food and veterinary costs as well. This article aims to help you Understand and find a solution to this problem.
Why Dogs Love Cat Food
When you look at dog and cat food from afar, it is hard to tell if there is any difference. They both seem dry and may even share the same texture and color. However, in reality, some differences would explain the Dog’s attraction to cat food.
First, cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that their food is going to have higher protein content in comparison to a dog’s diet. This means that the flavor is going to be different and may seem tastier to the Dog.
Then, the cat food is designed to give out an attractive odor, and this will always attract the Dog to it. At the end of the day, dogs will be dogs, and any food in front of it is a meal.
Is There A Problem With Dogs Consuming Cat Food?
Yes, there is, and if you are not careful, it may lead to devastating consequences. To start with, cats are obligate carnivores. This means that it is a necessity for proteins to be in their diet for the sake of their survival. Their digestive system is therefore designed to accommodate high protein contents.
Dogs, on the other hand, and many people do not know this, are omnivores. This means that although some protein in their diet is of great benefit, they also need some plants in their diet, and therefore do not need the amount of protein that you will find in the cat food.
What Happens When Dogs Consume Cat Food?
The Dog’s stomach is not prepared to handle the amount of protein that is available in cat food. This means that the Dog will experience frequent stomach upsets as well as other complex digestive issues.
Then, the extra protein is likely to cause an increase in iron, which will cause complication to the Dog’s liver and kidneys.
Lastly, cat food also contains a large amount of fat and your Dog, especially if he does not do much exercise, is likely to become obese. This will put your beloved barker at a higher risk of developing pancreatitis.
Methods of keeping Your Dog Away From the Cat Food
To minimize the chances of your Dog consuming cat food, there are several ways you can go about towards achieving this objective.
Place the Foods in Clearly Distinct Bowls
At times, you may be to blame as you may be feeding the two animals in similar bowls. As a result, the Dog may end up on the cat’s bowl and vice versa. If this becomes a habit, the Dog will likely develop a liking towards cat food.
Ensure that the bowls are different in every aspect possible: size, color, shape, material, and so on. If possible, place different mats next to each bowl.
If this does not work, try the next one.
Take the cat Food to A Different Room
This has to be the most effective way of keeping your Dog away from cat food. The Dog will have no alternative but to get used to its food.
Alternatively, you can create different zones for the two pets within the same room by using a gate. The cat will jump over it while the Dog will be stuck on its side. This will only work if the Dog is small in size.
If the Dog is larger, consider installing a small flap on the door so that the cat will go through it while the Dog will remain in the other area.
Place the Cat’s Dish on Higher Ground
If setting up zones is a problem, try placing the food on a higher level like a shelf or counter. When it comes to feeding, the cat is unlikely to have any difficulty in jumping up towards its food. A dog, on the other hand, is stuck on the ground.
Train Your Dog
You can also train your Dog to learn how to ignore cat food when it comes across it. This may include some word and phrases which once the Dog hears, it will leave the food alone.
However, this method may take weeks to be successful. You also need to have a lot of consistency in your training.
Introducing Different feeding Schedules
You should try feeding the pets at different times as the Dog will learn that it has no other option than to feed on its meal. It will learn to stick to its routine rather than wait for the cat’s food to be brought around.
Try Altering the Food Brand
There could be the possibility that the Dog is bored with its current brand. Maybe you have fed it the same food for several months, and the animal needs some variety. Although it may mean spending more, your Dog may eventually stick to its diet permanently.
Exercise before Meals
Exercise has a way of creating appetite as it will use up the energy in the body and get the Dog hungry for more. At this point, it will not mind if you provide it with its ordinary dry food.
Wrapping It Up
As you can see, your Dog will not stop stealing the cat’s food unless you step in and stop this habit. This food will not have many nutritional benefits to the Dog, and your cat will be missing out the necessary nutrients for survival.
So, why don’t you employ these tips and see how good it feels to have a happy and well-fed family (pets)!