Can Dogs Have Diarrhea from Eating Cat Food?

Can dogs have diarrhea from eating cat food

As a pet owner, living with both cats and dogs, it’s not uncommon to see these pets venturing into each other’s food bowl. However, does this call for any concern? Can dogs have diarrhea from eating cat food? Keep reading this blog post to get the answer to these queries.

Although the occasional stolen bite of cat food by dogs is unlikely to cause diarrhea in dogs, consistently feeding them cat food, even as a treat can lead to health issues including diarrhea.

Cats and dogs have different dietary needs. Cats are obligate carnivores i.e. their diet mainly consists of meat while dogs on the other hand are omnivores, this means that they require both meat, fruits, leafy greens, and veggies to obtain an all-round nutrient.

Aside from the fact that introducing cat food into a dog’s diet can disrupt the balance in their diet, this act can also create an appetite for dogs, making it challenging to break this habit later on.

In this blog post, we have revealed all you need to know about this query “Can dogs have diarrhea from eating cat food?”. You’ll also get to know how to identify if your dog is allergic to cat food and what necessary steps to take if you notice any concerning symptoms.

Without any further ado, let’s proceed!

Is Cat Food Bad for Dogs?

Yes, cat food is bad for dogs especially when fed to them repeatedly or in large quantity. Cat food lacks the right balance of nutrients that dog needs.

Cats are obligate carnivores and they feed mainly on flesh or meat; this is because the key nutritional need of felines is protein. Meanwhile, dogs need protein incorporation with other nutrients such as carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in the correct proportion.

Additionally, cat food typically contains taurine, a crucial amino acid essential for feline vision, digestion, heart health, and immune function. While cats require this nutrient, dogs do not, and their digestive systems may struggle to process it efficiently. As a result, consuming cat food containing taurine could potentially harm a dog’s health.

Below are the common health issues that can arise from feeding dogs with cat food:

  • Sensitive stomach
  • Pancreatitis
  • Obesity
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems

Why Do Dogs Love Eating Cat Food

A dog eating cat food

Have you ever wondered why your dog can’t resist sneaking a bite from the cat’s food bowl? It’s not just a random act of mischief – there are reasons behind it.

Cat’s food usually has a strong scent and enticing aroma because it is predominantly made of meats and dogs are naturally curious creatures with a great sense of smell.

Your pup’s initial interest in the cat’s food might simply be because it smells so good and once they get a taste, it might be hard for them to resist coming back for more.

Aside from the scent, dogs are opportunistic eaters. If there’s food available, they’re likely to give it a try, regardless of whether it’s meant for them or not. Cat food left out can be too tempting for them to resist.

How to Keep Dogs from Eating Cat Food

If you are looking forward to preventing your dog from eating your cat’s food, the first thing you should do is try feeding them in separate areas to prevent temptation. You may also consider using a pet gate or door to restrict access to the cat’s feeding spot.

Another trick is to feed your cat on a raised surface that your dog can’t reach, like a washing machine, fridge, cat tree, or counter. However, this method doesn’t apply to old cats or cats suffering from Arthritis.

Additionally, training your dog to obey commands like “leave it” or “stay” can help redirect their attention away from the cat’s food. And don’t forget to praise and reward your dog when they listen! Top of Form

The Dangers of A Dog Eating Cat Food

Although the occasional bite of cat food is not likely to cause any harm to your dog, you should not feed your dog cat food regularly because long-term feeding is likely to cause unintended consequences.

A major reason for dog owners to avoid feeding their dogs cat food is that it contains more fat and protein than dog food.

As an obligate carnivore, cats need to eat large quantities of protein. Unlike dog food, cat food contains a lot of proteins, including taurine which dogs usually find hard to digest properly. It also contains Vitamin A and vitamin D, making it an excellent source of energy.

With that being said, feeding a dog food formulated for cats can cause imbalanced nutrition and a variety of problems. As a result, your dog should never be able to eat cat food regularly.

What Should I Do If My Dog Accidentally Eats Cat Food?

A dog and cat eating in separate bowls

Cat food is not toxic to dogs, and it might not necessarily cause any gastrointestinal issue if your dog accidentally eats it. However, this is not in all cases. Sometimes, your dog’s digestive tract might not be able to process the food properly, leading to gastrointestinal issues such as stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.

Ideally, these symptoms are always acute, and they usually resolve on their own. However, if the gastrointestinal issue persists for more than 24 hours, we advise you to contact your vet for help.


Can Dogs Have Diarrhea from Eating Cat Food? It’s clear that while the occasional nibble of cat food may not cause harm, regular consumption poses risks for dogs.

Dogs and cats have different dietary needs and understanding these differences is responsible for pet ownership.

Cats are obligate carnivores which means they feed mainly on meat and dogs are omnivores which means they require meat, fruits, leafy greens, and veggies to obtain all-round nutrients.

By keeping dogs away from cat food and providing them with a balanced diet tailored to their specific requirements, pet owners can ensure their furry friends stay healthy and happy. Top of Form

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Cat Food Give My Dog Diarrhea?

Yes, cat food can give dogs diarrhea, especially when they eat it repeatedly or in large quantities. The protein content in cat food is very high and feeding dogs with only these foods will expose them to high-protein issues such as Liver damage, Pancreatitis, and Kidney problems.

Dogs also have a very sensitive stomach, and their digestive tract can find it hard to process cat food properly due to the unusual nutrients it contains.

What is in Cat Food That Makes Dogs Sick?

Cat food can make dogs sick due to its high fat and protein content, lack of essential nutrients for dogs, and inclusion of taurine, which dogs don’t need.

Aside from that, potential allergens in cat food may trigger adverse reactions in dogs, leading to digestive issues and other health problems.

Home Remedies for Dog Diarrhea

To treat dog diarrhea at home, consult a vet to confirm if it’s acute or chronic diarrhea. For acute cases of dog diarrhea, you can try several home remedies.

Start by fasting your dog for 12 to 24 hours to give their digestive system a break. Then reintroduce small amounts of bland food like boiled chicken and rice. Ensure they stay hydrated by offering plenty of fresh water or electrolyte solutions.

Additionally, you can try feeding them small amounts of plain canned pumpkin, which can help firm up stools. Probiotics or over-the-counter medications like kaolin and pectin may also aid in resolving diarrhea. If symptoms persist or worsen, consult your vet promptly.

If it’s chronic diarrhea, seek veterinary care as home remedies may not be effective.

Before you go, you can also read: Can Rabbits Eat Dog Food?


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