Let’s face it, cat food has a very distinct scent and is different, making it a perfect treat for your dog. However, when your dog chows down on cat food, it often gives them diarrhea and an upset stomach. This happens because cat food contains a lot more protein than dog food does. Which, can make your dog regret having ventured to the wrong feeding bowl. Some dogs, however, enjoy dining from every dish available to them, so whether cat food makes them sick or not, they still munch on the wrong food. Here’s how to keep the dog out of the cat food.
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How To Keep The Dog Out Of The Cat Food: Dog in Disguise
Some dogs love cat food. Picture this story. First, your dog will eat their food at lightning speeds in the morning. Next, they will proceed to knock the poor cat over and eat their food in record speed as well. Hoping, that you don’t catch them in the act. By the time you notice what your dog is up to, they are already licking the cat feeding bowl clean. Naturally, they will begin begging to go outside since their so bloated and they have to immediately use the restroom. Furthermore, cat food and dog food typically have a lot of the same ingredients but they have different dietary needs.
What is the difference between cat food and dog food?
Dogs are considered omnivores, although still carnivorous, and feed on a mixed diet. Meaning, that their diet is fiber heavy and they need more than just meat in their bodies. Cats are carnivores and have a heavy meat-based diet. Both animals share a need for proteins and an amino acid-rich food choice. According to PetMD, roughly 66% of a cat’s diet should come from meat.
Curbing The Behavior
Curbing the behavior may be easier than you think. Once your dog is finished with their meal and you catch them heading over to the cat bowl, you quickly command: “No”. They may back off immediately, knowing that they were caught red-handed. Anytime you catch your pup even sniffing the cat food dish, clap loudly or snap or tell them “No” to distract them. Show them their own dish, petting them and praising them appreciatively.
Prior training commands may also prove extremely effective in helping with this situation. Your dog knows what they did already, and showing them their own dish with praise allows them to realize that you don’t mind them dining out of their own dish, but the cat food is off-limits.
Additional Steps You Can Take
Additionally, you can keep the cat food away from the dog food or water dish. This is mainly because not only is the temptation less likely for your dog, but also it makes it less likely for you to mistake your dog crunching on their own food for dining on cat food.
You may mistakenly berate your dog for heading toward their own dog food or the water bowl when you thought they were going after the cat food.
“Chewing” your dog out for eating their own food or taking a drink of water just confuses them, so placing cat food somewhere else ensures that you know the food your dog is eating is their own, so you don’t accidentally yell at them.
It may also help to not keep your cat food bowl full constantly. You may, like some people, have one of those feeder bowls for the cat, which would ideally give them about a weeks’ worth of food at a time, but when it’s left full it provides only one meal for the cat and then a bloat fest for the dog.
Feed your cat and dog at the same time so each can dine on their own meals, and what your cat fails to finish, place it back in their bag until the next feeding to prevent your dog enjoying leftovers when you’re not looking,
If your canine just can’t curb their behavior or gets so sneaky that you don’t even notice half the time that they are in the cat food, by all means, place that cat food dish somewhere up high. If you have a dog such as the Great Dane this may prove to be a little tricky.
Train your cat to eat elsewhere, like on top of the dryer or on a shelf, where your dog can’t reach. Or, you can do what some often do, feed the dog outside, where they can enjoy her meal without bothering the cat indoors.
Besides getting your dog some fresh air, feeding your dog outside also keeps your dog from begging for your food if you eat meals the same time your dog does.
Some people may even opt for feeding the dog outside which will further avoid confusion when it comes to the topic of feeding bowls. This is a viable option to keep your dog out of the cat food. Out of sight, out of mind. There are many ways on how to keep the dog out of the cat food. You are sure to find the perfect option for you.