Can cats and dogs eat rice?
Can dogs eat cat food?
It is not uncommon for dogs and cats to live in a household in at least a tolerant, but usually really friendly relationship. People with this pet combination have certainly already noticed that their favorites differ significantly in their eating habits. While the velvet paws are true gourmets, they like to leave leftovers in their bowls and are very fussy about food changes. Bello, on the other hand, is - at least in most cases - always hungry, eats everything and completely destroys what is served to him. Cats also take treats, but carefully and carefully checked beforehand. Dogs, on the other hand, seem to literally inhale everything that comes under their noses - quality is rarely a condition; rather, it depends on quantity in terms of quantity and frequency. The upbringing of both pets on food issues is therefore clearly different. The aim for both forms of pet ownership must be to feed the animals appropriately and in the right amount. This means that the quantities and compositions of the feed must be adapted to the respective dogs or cats, their amount of exercise and body size.
Not all human foods are taboo for dogs - but many foods that have already been prepared for consumption are. There is nothing wrong with adding vegetables to dog food, and meat from the butcher's shop can also be on the menu. But in spiced form or fried for lunch by masters and mistresses, seasoned and refined with all sorts, human food is no longer for the dog (and the cat). If dogs have digestive problems, it is even advised to feed them lean chicken or turkey meat and cottage cheese - but the schnitzel with chips and leftover ketchup is simply not beneficial for Bello and Miez. But how about the food of the roommates when dogs and cats live together?
There is a dry food dispenser for the cat, from which the dog steals a portion again and again despite all warnings. If treats are distributed, all four-legged friends come of course - cats usually turn away from dog treats in disgust due to their size and nature. But Bello pulls out all the stops: he begs, gives paws, waves and is so cute - people like to make an exception and give the dog a cat snack. The dog also likes to go crazy when the "feeding the cat" ritual begins: As soon as he sees the can, he gives the impression that he has not had anything to eat for weeks. If even a tiny bit falls to the floor, it is faster than any vacuum cleaner. In addition, there are often thieves' tours, which unfortunately are crowned with success from time to time. Sometimes, as a pet owner, you just can't avoid dogs eating cat food.
To put your mind at ease: it is not necessary to go to the vet straight away if you slip up. The dog may be able to acknowledge some inconvenience for itself and its owner with a larger portion of cat food, but this will pass again after a while. With that, everything is fine again. Diarrhea, (often terribly foul-smelling) flatulence - these can be the consequences if the dog really grabs the cat's bowl to a greater extent and as an exception.
Food for dogs and cats are different
Dogs have become omnivores over the years of development, while cats have retained their carnivore status. For the cat, the optimal composition of a food can be compared with a mouse - that is, with a natural prey. The mouse consists of bones and meat, of innards and (in its stomach contents) a negligible amount of carbohydrates. Cat food is also composed according to these guidelines: little carbohydrates, lots of protein. The dog also needs a level of protein that is obtained from meat (or fish). For this, however, he is also dependent on carbohydrates for a balanced diet.
The main difference between the two animal species is the way in which the body uses the feed. Both need externally supplied proteins as repair components for the organism. While the dog otherwise gets its energy for work, sport and play from carbohydrates, the cat also uses proteins for this. If the dog ingests too much protein, harmful waste products are formed in the body during digestion. Only when the dog's body sees itself in an emergency does it use proteins. As already mentioned, in the event of an "incident" you can expect digestive problems at most. Dogs fed cat food for a long time can get downright sick from it. Deficiency symptoms can occur. In addition, it cannot be ruled out that internal organs, especially the kidneys, may be permanently damaged by the overload caused by the processing and excretion of harmful waste products.
Weaning a dog off cat food
Sometimes dog owners are faced with the problem that their new roommate, perhaps from the animal welfare or from a farm, where feeding puppies is sometimes not as strict as they are crazy about cat food (and leftover food from the kitchen) - But not the wet or dry dog food intended for him. Gradual getting used to it can help here. The “forbidden” feed initially remains the main component of the daily ration, but is increasingly being replaced by species-appropriate feed. Keep the proportion the same for two to three days before further reducing cat food and increasing the proportion of dog food accordingly.
After the cat food has been tapered off, an attempt can be made to mix parts of the dry food into the wet food - and here, too, increase the proportion of dry food while reducing the dose of wet food. The dog owner must of course make sure that he does not exceed or fall short of the daily calorie ration.
One more word about taurine in cat food
People know taurine as an additive in energy drinks. Cat owners know that taurine is also found in cat food to compensate for the fact that their velvet paws cannot produce this substance themselves, as is sometimes the case with dogs. Now there is a sometimes misconception that it is not good for dogs to consume taurine. This is only partly true. It has now been proven that there is a connection between a taurine deficiency in dogs and certain cardiovascular diseases, which could become a problem, especially in larger dog breeds. In this case, studies with a dog food enriched with taurine have shown that this makes perfect sense.
If in doubt, seek advice from your vet. It is important to be able to calmly overlook it if your own dog has caught a portion of cat food for once. His flatulence will go away, the possible diarrhea will only appear temporarily. Dogs should not be fed cat food permanently.
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay
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