You might have been feeding your feline friend with enough nutritious food and have continued in that vein for a long while, yet, they appear to be emaciating by the day. As if that is not enough, the family dog is busy piling up weight when it is not receiving any extra meals! Perhaps, you are in the category of several others who are keeping a pooch that has suddenly come to realize that it can sneak in an additional snack or two from the cat’s bowl.
At first, this might seem funny; however, you, as the adopter of both cat and dog, will be at a disadvantage. In the first instance, it means that you will be spending double on cat food, but it is highly unhealthy for your canine companion to be eating excess food, especially when the content is not good for it. Besides, your cat will become malnourished in the process. Fortunately, there are training methods you can leverage to stop the dog from snacking on the cat’s food. This will not only solve the problem but will go a long way in alleviating your kitty’s resentment of the family dog! If you find yourself in this predicament, continue reading for tips on how to stop your dog from eating cat food.
Why do Dogs Love Snacking on Cat Food?
It is an established fact that the cat’s kibble is replete with protein and fat as the felines are known to be obligate carnivores. It so happens that dogs savor the taste and smell of fat and higher protein. Bedsides, cat food, is designed to have a sweet aroma which never fails in drawing the dog’s attention to the kitty’s bowl; if you happen to be the type that believes in free-feeding your cat, the household dog would be grateful to know that his favorite treat is always available.
Can Dogs Eat Cat Food?
Yes, several members of the canine population love to snack on cat food. Though it might appear cute when you catch your pup snacking on feline food, there are several reasons why that trend of behavior should be nipped in the bud. Cats are known as obligate carnivores, because of this, their food is formulated to suit the cat’s high protein needs. What this means is that the cat’s kibble contains more protein than your canine companion is used to digesting; it also entails more fat, which can lead to canine obesity for your dog.
Related Post: High Protein Dog Food
Is Cat Food Bad for Dogs
Any dog that gets to snack on cat food from time to time might be predisposed to gas and might end up with an upset stomach. However, when the dog insists on eating the cat food on a regular basis, it won’t get the necessary nutrients to be healthy. In addition, the family kitty will miss out on their meals, and this does not work well for a cat-dog relationship.
How to Keep a Dog From Eating Cat Food
Training your dog to desist from snacking on the household kitty’s food is an important step you must take in order to keep both cat and dog healthy. However, the canine population can be quite stubborn, especially when the talk is about treats and food. The problem may get beyond your control if you happen to be the type that is always free-feeding your cat.
Fortunately, there are a plethora of ways you can follow to keep your canine companion away from your feline friend’s food. Teach both cats and dogs to respect each other’s meals by following the under listed steps.
- Be sure to hide the cat food away from the dog
This is the simplest solution; just keep the cat food out of the dog’s reach. This entails keeping both bags of food and the kitty’s bowl in hiding. Some dogs are so mischievous that they can easily open any bag of cat food insight, and even spill the content onto the floor in order to have easy access. If you observe that your pooch has mastered this clever skill, then you should try to keep the cat’s food safe by putting it away in the cabinet, or better still, you can keep the bags high up in positions where the dog cannot reach.
- The cat food should be kept in high positions
While felines are adept at climbing heights, the story is different for the canine population. The highest height a dog can attain may well be the couch, and if your household dog is small in size, it would be quite easy to keep the kitty’s food out of his reach. Now, if your cat tree is the large type, you can decide to let the kitty have her meals on top of it. However, you can easily use the table or top of the shelf as feeding spots for your cat. It is also possible to make feeding stations out of washing machines and window sills. All these spots can be easily accessed by your cat but will be too high for the dog to reach.
- Make use of a pet gate that cannot be knocked down by a dog
Sometimes, the problem can be easily resolved by the use of a baby gate or a pet gate. In explanation, you only need to put your kitty’s food in a separate room with the entrance blocked with a gate – this is a sure way to keep the dog out. However, you should ensure that the cat is able to reach its The gate you are using should have an opening wide enough for the kitty to easily pass through. Conversely, if your dog is as small as the cat, then what you need is a shorter gate that your feline friend can easily jump over. If your pet dog happens to be the large-sized type, you only need the cat’s food inside it crate to stop the dog from reaching it.
Related Post: Dog Gates
- Go for scheduled feeding with your cat’s meals as opposed to free feeding
The method of free-feeding is quite good for households that have only one pet; however, multi-pet households cannot favor this method since it will be rather difficult to control who is eating what. Recommendations are that you take to timed- Let the kitty have its meals at set periods each day, and be sure to maintain the schedule since both canines and felines are quite sensitive to change in routines.
Related Post: Automatic Dog Feeders
- Feed all household pets together
Eating cat food can be curbed by feeding all the pets at once; the essence is that each will be distracted by their own meals. Though, it has been observed that this does not usually work with dogs that are bent on eating cat food. It is only effective with dogs the only take to eating cat food because their own meal is not available.
- Distract the dog
When it is mealtime for the cat; you can keep your dog engaged by taking it out on a walk or using that period as playtime for the pup. You can also take the dog to another room to distract it. With this, the pet gate becomes unnecessary, as there will no longer be any need to constantly worry about your canine companion knocking things over in a bid to reach the cat’s food.
- Reward the dog with treats when he leaves the feline’s food alone
When all other methods have failed, you can try training your pooch to stay away from the kitty’s food. At the initial stage, you can reward the dog with its favorite treat and some bits of feline food. Try establishing a command by simply saying no! Try using your hand to protect the cat’s bowl so the dog can’t reach it, but, if your dog insists, don’t punish it, rather offer some treats. Be vigilant through the course of the day, and anytime you observe the dog making moves towards the cat’s bowl, issue the command “no” and take the food out of his reach, then follow up with the training exercise after which you offer it a treat. This training should be a continuum, and you need to exercise patience. It may take weeks before your dog come to realize that you don’t want your dog consuming cat food, but it will eventually sink in, especially when it begins to associate staying away from feline food with a reward.
Related Post: Dog Treats
- Change the dog’s food
There may be something about the dog food that your pup does not like, especially if they won’t even taste their own before moving over to the cat’s bowl. Thus, try changing the dog’s current food, and see if the new one will be more appealing.
Some dogs have succeeded in making cat food their favorite snack; however, they won’t get the necessary nutrition to stay in tip-top shape. Besides, it is not ideal to allow the cat to miss their meals because the dog loves to snack on their food. These tips help in keeping your dog from stealing cat food, and perhaps, you will be in a better position to strike a happy balance in that multi-pet household of yours.