If you have both dogs and cats in your household, you may be wondering if it is harmful for your animals to eat the other animal’s bowl. There is a clear answer to this: cats and dogs need their own specific food. If your canine buddy nibbles on the bowl of your roommate kitty every now and then, or vice versa, that’s no cause for great concern.
But keep in mind that 90% of diseases in dogs and cats are due to inappropriate food.
Is the dog carnivorous or omnivorous?
There is often general uncertainty in dogs about whether they are carnivores (Carnivore), herbivores (Herbivore) or omnivores (Omnivore). This disagreement is also evident in dog forums about the dog’s natural eating habits.
A common argument in this context is that the type of food offered provides information about which group the dog belongs to. But that is only partially true. Because the animal feed industry offers vegan and vegetarian dog food. However, it cannot be deduced from this that this method of feeding is species-appropriate and does justice to the actual nutritional-physiological requirements of our canine buddies.
The situation is similar for dog food with a disproportionately high percentage of grain. However, this is also a faulty conclusion that some dog owners draw from the offer on the market: In fact, a significantly too high percentage of grain in dog food can lead to considerable health problems for the dog to lead. Wheat in particular is often used to artificially stretch dog food of poor quality. Wheat, however, can lead to strong fermentation processes in the dog’s digestive tract and thus to stress for his entire organism. This will usually have a negative impact sooner or later on the behavioral and / or health level.
Just like our roommates, dogs don’t only eat what is good for their health. Some dogs, for example, eat chocolate when given the opportunity – and a certain amount can be fatal to the dog. Finally, the theobromine contained in the cocoa bean can significantly damage the nervous system of our beloved canine buddies.
It’s the same with his fellow cats. Even zoologist and behavioral researcher Paul Leyhausen wrote in 2005: “If you think you can rely on your cat’s instinct when feeding your cat, you may experience unpleasant surprises. Unlike the omnivorous rat, which has to learn very quickly what it can and cannot tolerate from the wide range of food available, the food specialist cat often does not know what you are getting. ”This observation also seems to apply to dogs.
But back to the initial question, whether our beloved canine buddies are carnivores or omnivores. If we look at the dog’s genetic origin, it is considered a zoological predator (Carnivora).
So is the dog a carnivore? The clear answer is: NO.
Why is the dog an omnivore?
The dog is an omnivore. Because what still applied to its predecessor, the wolf, has long ceased to apply to today’s dog. Dogs have been with humans for thousands of years. The dog has always aligned its eating habits with what humans have left over and what they have given them – and of course according to regional conditions. If we consider what a luxury item meat was to humans at times, we can easily imagine that the dog was not fed meat at all times.
For generations, the dog has developed from a former carnivore to a functional omnivore. His current diet must do justice to this.
The cat, however, is still a carnivore. It has a high need for animal proteins and fats and also for the amino acid taurine. The cat’s nutritional requirements are very different from those of the dog.
How does the feed affect the behavior and health of the dog?
The dog is also what he eats. Now the dog does not immediately become a cat if he looks too deep into the bowl of his roommate kitty. However, if there are problems with the dog that cannot be explained by lack of upbringing or behavioral psychology, it is recommended that the owner or mistress take a closer look at the ingredients in the dog food. (Or pay attention to whether the dog may taste the cat food too often.) In consultation with a specialist veterinarian, a different feed with a different composition should then be tried.
Of course, you should only give your beloved canine buddy high-quality dog food. Frequently used extenders such as the previously mentioned wheat as well as soybean and corn lead to a decrease in the serotonin level due to the high concentration of the amino acid tyrosine for the dog. Serotonin is again very important because, like in humans, it stabilizes the state of mind. If the dog lacks serotonin due to diet, this can be a factor in the development of depression or its pre-stage.
Dog food often also contains sugar. However, the dog should only receive sugar up to a certain maximum amount. Because an excess of sugar can cause dog overreactness, bad breath and poor dental health. In addition, sugar in the feed is not necessarily a benefit for the dog.
Why doesn’t the dog tolerate cat food?
Dog food in the form of wet and dry food is specially tailored to the nutritional requirements of the dog. There are also special foods and dietary supplements for dogs that take certain health predispositions into account – for example, food for dogs suffering from allergies, diet foods and the like.
Only a feed specially developed for the dog can ensure that the dog is supplied with all the necessary nutrients – and that he does not receive substances that would harm his health. Because these would put an unnecessary strain on his entire system, putting him under permanent stress and endangering his physical and mental health.
If your canine buddy looks too deeply into the bowl of his roommate kitty too often, serious health complications for him are to be feared.
Don’t try this at home
There are videos on the Internet of people who give their dogs experimental cat food and then erroneously conclude from the absence of immediate side effects that cat food is safe for dogs.
However, this is not true and is therefore not recommended for imitation. In general, we can only advise against such “animal experiments”. We recommend that you always consult an expert or specialist reading instead.
We wish that the dog and cat always get on well and have a lot of fun together – but eat from different bowls. This is the only way to keep both of them permanently healthy and happy.