Most dogs will eat any food they can find. Whether it is dog food, cat food, garbage they find on their walk or something you dropped while eating dinner. They don’t discriminate. We can assume that the garbage your dog finds on the road isn’t healthy for him, but is it bad if your dog occasionally eats the leftovers your cat left in her bowl?
The simple answer to “can my dog eat cat food” is no, dogs should not eat cat food. The nutritional profile for cat food is different than dog food, so it’s not something they should be eating instead of dog food. But if they sneak a bit every now and then, it’s not going to hurt them.
Cat food tends to be higher in protein fat. If a dog eats cat food it could potentially cause GI upset, but that would depend on the dog. Cat food isn’t harmful to dogs, but it’s not going to provide them with the proper nutrients and optimal nutrition. If your dog seems to like your cat’s food better than his own, try switching to a different high-quality dog food.
If you suspect your dog might be eating cat food watch out for vomiting and diarrhea. An upset stomach is possible due to the higher fat content in cat food.
How can you get your dog to stop eating cat food?
Feeding time can be a challenge if you own a cat and a dog. Try feeding them in different rooms or at different times of the day. Lock your cat (or dog) in their own room until they finish their meal. If your cat prefers to graze throughout the day, you can try putting the bowl up on a window ledge or the counter—or any place where the dog can’t get to it.