Although dog and cat foods may seem similar, their nutritional composition is very different. Swapping feeders is not a good idea.
Dog and cat foods may seem very similar, both in appearance, texture, and smell, but they share hardly any nutritional similarities. Kittens require a diet rich in fat and protein, while dogs require an extra supply of vitamins and fiber. For this reason, we must pay special attention to what our colleagues eat… and this includes preventing them from “stealing” food from the plates. In this article, we explain what foods dogs should eat and what cats should eat to ensure their well-being. We also give you some tricks so they don’t get stuffed with other people’s culinary delights.
That a cat and a dog living under the same roof implies that, in addition to space, they share certain routines: feeding is one of them. Offering food to both animals at the same time not only simplifies the task of the human in charge but also prevents the furry ones from suffering anxiety before the arrival of the daily ration. So, can we speed up the process by pouring the same food into the feeders? We should not, although sometimes we are tempted and almost forced to do so (for having run out of feed for one of them, for example).
This Is The Canine Diet
Dogs’ diets should be balanced. It must include proteins (between 18% and 25%), mainly of animal origin ( meat or fish ), although it can also have vegetable origin; fiber (4%), useful to facilitate digestion and the intestinal tract, preventing constipation; fats (4%), which provide them with a high caloric intake and keep hair and skin healthy; carbohydrates (15%), mainly complex and of good quality intended to supply energy to the animal; and vitamins and minerals for the dog to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Regarding the presentation of the prepared food, as reported by the Affinity Foundation, it can be:
I think dry, is recommended by most specialists since it is the one that best covers the nutritional needs of the animal. It has a high protein content, more than 25%. It is the cheapest and the easiest to maintain.
Semi-moist, with a more pleasant texture. Its amount of protein is lower, around 21%, as are the kilocalories, so you will have to fill your plate more. It is more expensive and breaks down more easily.
Moist, very tender and juicy. These foods are preferred by dogs, but their protein content is really low, between 8% and 10% (the food contains three-quarters of water). The animal will have to receive a larger ration to be satisfied and cover the necessary amount of protein.
It is the most expensive food and the one that is worst conserved, being necessary to refrigerate it.
This Is The Feline Diet
Cats are strict carnivores, which means that their diet is made up mainly of protein of animal origin ( meat or fish ). Depending on the age of the animal, the percentage intake should be between 25% and 40% (when they are adults). From protein consumption, they obtain taurine, an essential amino acid for the proper functioning of their cardiac, digestive, visual, and reproductive systems.
The feline diet should also include fats and fatty acids (about 20%); fiber and carbohydrates ( 5%), to facilitate digestion; and vitamins and minerals, mainly calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium chloride, and magnesium, to guarantee strong bones and an efficient metabolic system.
Like dogs, cats can consume food presented in different commercial formats: dry or feed, semi-moist, and wet food. To all of them is added homemade food that we can cook at home.
Can Dogs And Cats Eat The Same?
As we have seen, the diets of dogs and cats are quite different. For this reason, we cannot offer them the same food, since we would not cover their basic nutritional needs and could cause them health problems. These are the main differences:
The amount of daily protein is not the same for a dog and a cat. In dogs, excessive protein intake can lead to kidney and digestive problems, in addition to favoring the gain of kilos.
Cat foods also add much fatter. Dogs need less amount of fat. It is not good to supply dogs with more than they need: in addition to causing digestive disorders and weight gain, it increases the risk of suffering from pancreatitis.
Vitamins, Minerals, And Amino Acids
In the case of dogs, they must receive the correct amounts of zinc and vitamin E.
For their part, kittens require vitamin A and taurine, about 500 mg daily, which they obtain from protein intake (if this is not adequate, supplements must be used).
How To Prevent Cats And Dogs From Eating Food
Other people’s food always looks more appetizing than your own. For a dog, often willing to fill his stomach, it is difficult to respect the content of the cat’s fellow feeder. And vice versa. Here are our tips to avoid these culinary “thefts”:
To avoid unintentional mistakes, choose two types of containers for each animal. Since the dog eats more food than the cat, it is better to have the largest bowl.
Getting used to each animal eating at different times of the day helps them not to be hungry at the same time, decreasing the probability (and temptation) of taking food from each other.
Use Automatic Feeders
They are activated with a microchip that the animal wears on its collar. They only open when the dog or cat approaches the container, closing automatically when it moves away.
Do not allow the dog to eat from the cat’s bowl and vice versa; nor does he drink water. In coexistence, education is a fundamental part and includes rules for eating habits.