Can Dogs Eat Cat Food? The Dietary Differences of Dogs and Cats

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Updated June 19, 2020

Dog and cat food may seem similar at first glance, but can dogs eat cat food? Can cats eat dog food? The subtle differences between dogs and cats can have a big impact on their dietary needs. Let's take a look at these differences:

We often get asked, "Why can't I just give my dog and cat the same food?", or "My dog seems to like the cat's food better. Can I just feed him this?"

The short answer is no. 

If your dog has eaten a little bit of your cat's food, he'll be okay (assuming there are no allergies). However, if it is a regular habit and your dog is eating your cat's food as a main source of nutrients, then there may be some negative long-term effects.

Sure, dog and cat foods use similar meat ingredients and the ingredients may seem pretty close, but here are some key differences between dog and cat foods that you may not notice from just reading the package:

Dietary Differences of Dogs and Cats

Dogs Eat Cat Food

*There is an exception to this rule. If you are feeding a whole prey raw diet, then this diet is suitable for both dogs and cats. This type of meal is based on an ancestral carnivore diet, and provides all of the nutrients required by both cats and dogs. 

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Written by

Amy Dyck


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