What Should I Do if My Dog Eats Cat Food?
If you have both a dog and a cat in your home, you’ve probably had experiences when one of them has eaten the other’s food. The first time this happens, it can be concerning, especially for an inexperienced pet owner. The good news is that it’s relatively safe if your dog eats cat food accidentally.
However, there’s more to learn about dogs eating cat food, too. In the article below, you’ll find more information to help you better understand what to expect if your dog happens to eat your cat’s food. You can use this information to monitor your dog for any concerns following this type of situation. Read on to find out more.
First of all, don’t panic! Dogs and cats have accidentally eaten each other’s food throughout time and will continue to do so. This is not a serious problem in most situations, and there is very little to worry about. As long as the issue doesn’t persist, your dog should be just fine.
You should monitor your dog for any changes or concerns you may notice following the incident for a few days. If your dog seems fine, then they are probably okay and won’t need any follow-up care or assistance.
Watch for Digestive Symptoms
Most of the time, if a dog accidentally eats some cat food, the worst outcome will be an upset stomach. Your dog may become nauseated, may have diarrhea or loose stool, and may vomit a few times. They may also have a stomachache and seem lethargic or aggressive, depending on the severity of the problem.
If these symptoms go away in a day or two, then you have nothing to worry about. However, if they last longer than 48 hours or are accompanied by any signs of an allergic reaction (such as swelling of the snout or neck), you should get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
Watch for Signs of Pancreatitis
Although unlikely, it is possible that the fat content in cat food can trigger pancreatitis in some dogs. The nutrients in cat food are not balanced for dogs, and if your dog is already predisposed to pancreatitis, they are are at a greater risk of a flare-up from eating cat food.
Signs of pancreatitis flare-ups include a hunched posture, swollen abdomen or stomach, and severe diarrhea and vomiting. Dogs with pancreatitis may have blood in their stool or vomit during a flare-up. This condition can be fatal if left untreated and requires a trip to the vet or emergency vet right away if you notice it happening to your dog.
Move the Cat’s Food
Dogs who have easy access to cat food are likely to eat it, unless your dog is just extremely picky or very well-mannered. Moving the cat’s food somewhere out of the reach of your dog should be the next step after you make sure your pet is safe from eating the wrong food.
This move may be a temporary one, but it’s usually best to make it permanent. Keeping your cat’s food away from your dog is an easy change that can prevent this risk almost entirely in the future.
Feed in Separate Rooms
If your dog is too tempted by your cat’s food and tries to eat it every day, you may need to feed them in separate rooms. Keep your cat’s food in a room where your dog is not allowed to go, or feed your cat on a high surface, away from the reach of your dog.
Although this may be a little inconvenient, these types of changes can go a long way toward preventing your dog from accidentally eating cat food, or vice-versa. You may have fewer pet vomit messes to clean up as a result, too.
Use Storage Containers
If you have a dog who regularly gets into your cat’s food, you may need to move the cat’s food into a more permanent storage container, rather than keeping it in the bag.
Using a storage container with a lock or screw-on lid can make it all but impossible for your dog to get into the cat food, no matter where you keep it. This may also have the added benefit of preventing pests from finding their way into the food, too.
As you can see, there is very little concern if your dog eats cat food. As long as your dog isn’t allergic to or intolerant of the ingredients, there won’t be any lasting consequences.
However, it’s also very important to make sure you don’t feed your dog cat food regularly. Cat food is not designed for dogs, and it can be harmful if fed in large amounts over a long period of time.
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