Why Do Dogs Prefer Cat Food Over Dog Food?

Are you raising a dog and cat at the same time? Then you probably know that it’s not as impossible as TV shows make it out to be. With that said, raising these two animals in the same home can lead to a fair amount of complications that can make life as a pet owner harder.

And one of these complications is feeding time. If you’ve fed your dog and cat at the same time, you may have noticed your dog jumping into your cat’s food bowl instead.

Even if you decide to shake up their feeding schedule and move their dining areas, there’s a high chance that your dog still managed to find its way into the cat’s food. So, can dogs eat cat food?

Well, the answer is fairly complicated. But we’re here to help you figure it out. That way, you can better understand your dog and figure out the best way to get them to stick to their dog food.

Why Does My Dog Eat the Cat’s Food?

The main reason your dog is eating the cat’s food is because of taste. Since we don’t eat dog food, many pet owners don’t understand that dog food can be fairly bland. This doesn’t mean your dog doesn’t enjoy it, but compared to cat food, it lacks scent and flavour.

Why is this? Well, cats have fewer tastebuds than dogs, and we all know cats can be picky eaters. So, to entice the cats to eat the cat food, manufacturers make sure to pack it with strong scents and flavours that will make it an enjoyable food for them to eat.

Since dogs have more tastebuds than cats, manufacturers don’t need to put in as much of an effort to make sure that the dogs will be interested in the dog food.

If the kibble is the only food available, your dog will have no problem eating it. But when presented with a more interesting option like cat food, then there’s a high chance your dog will jump to the other bowl.

Is Cat Food Dangerous for Dogs?

While dogs enjoy cat food, these aren’t an ideal treat for your canine. Remember, dogs and cats have very different bodies that require different nutrients. So, what may be good for your cat won’t be good for your dog.

For example, cat food is very flavorful and interesting to dogs. However, it is also packed with a lot more protein and fat than standard dog kibble. Since cats are obligate carnivores, they need this protein and the fatty acids to sustain their body.

On the flip side, dogs don’t need these nutrients as much. In fact, if they eat too much cat food, it can even result in your dog developing obesity, liver and kidney problems, or gastrointestinal upset.

So, while it might be cute to find your dog rummaging through the cat’s bowl, it isn’t the healthiest option.

What Happens When a Dog Eats Cat Food?

When a dog eats cat food, they end up getting too much protein and fat for their body. If this happens once, then you shouldn’t really worry. However, you have to make sure not to make this a regular occurrence.

So, if you see your dog eating cat food, it’s best to train them to not do that. That way, they don’t put themselves at risk of developing a range of different problems.

Protein and fatty acids are necessary for your dog’s diet. However, they don’t need the same type of protein and nutrients you find in cat food. So, while eating cat food once won’t harm your dog, making it a regular thing can result in your developing a range of problems.

How Can I Stop My Dog From Eating Cat Food?

If you catch your dog eating cat food, it’s best to take them away from the bowl as soon as possible. From there, you can train them to avoid the cat’s bowl and only stick to the food you are feeding them. But as many dog owners know, this is easier said than done.

The best way to stop your dog from eating cat food is to find the right food for your pet. You need to find dog kibble that your pet enjoys. So, try out different brands and flavours until you find the one that they enjoy eating and that can benefit their health.

And if your dog is interested in their own food, they won’t have the time to try and get into the cat’s bowl.

Additionally, make sure to separate the eating areas of your dog and cat as much as possible. That way, your pets aren’t even near each other’s food during eating time.


If your dog eats cat food more than dog food, they probably enjoy the flavour more. Since cat food has a stronger scent and flavour than dog food, it’s a very attractive option for canines. However, it isn’t the healthiest option.

So, if you notice your dog eating cat food, it might be best to take it away from them. And from there, you can change your dog’s food until you find an option that suits their palette and nutritional needs.

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