It may be a common sight to see pets carelessly sharing their treats with each other. However, dogs and cats have very different dietary needs, and certain dog foods, snacks, and treats are not safe for cats to eat. Others, however, are perfectly (or should we say 'purrfectly') fine for our feline friends!
If you're a pet parent to both species, you might find yourself asking if it's okay for your cat and dog to indulge in the same treats. After all, buying one kind of treat for all of your furry friends certainly would make things easier. And, it could save you money, too.
This article will help you determine when it's okay — and more importantly when it's not okay — to share your dog's snacks with your cat.
The difference between dogs and cats and the food they eat
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their diet consists of protein from animal meat. Dogs are facultative carnivores, meaning they can consume both animal and plant-derived foods, such as fruits and veggies. Dogs can also safely eat high levels of carbohydrates found in grains, like oats, which cats shouldn't consume in high quantities.
Cats also have very specific requirements for amino acids such as taurine that, until very recently, was not added to most dog food.
For these reasons, you should never feed dog food to a cat. Sure a few bites are probably okay, but in the long run, it will cause negative effects not limited to obesity, heart disease, and malnutrition.
Can cats and dogs eat the same treats?
So, you know not to feed dog food to your cat, but what about treats? Well, it depends on the treat! Many of them are just fine, especially in moderation.
If you're a dog mom or dad who is very selective about what you'll allow your dog to eat, chances are the treats your dog gets are a-ok for your cat, too. But let's explore exactly what you should avoid feeding your cat.
To determine whether it's okay or not, you'll need to read the ingredients.
Here's what treats to avoid feeding your cat:
- Dog treats that contain propylene glycol, garlic powder, or onion extract. (Honestly, we wouldn't want to feed many of these treats to our dogs either.) These ingredients are often found in soft treats and jerky-style treats. Long-term feeding of these ingredients could cause anemia.
- Treats that are too large or too hard. Look for treats that are an appropriate size or that can be easily broken apart to accommodate your cat.
Feed this instead:
Healthy, natural, low-calorie, limited ingredient, high quality treats that aren't so hard they'll break your cat's teeth or too big for them to even eat. Treats without any chemicals or ingredients you can't pronounce. And, obviously, they need to taste good to a feline's discerning palate!
Einstein Pets dog treats hit all of the above marks and don't contain any of the above "no-no" ingredients. So you can rest assured that if you live in a multi-species home, your cat will be perfectly safe to have a nibble — if your pup is willing to share, that is! They are made in the USA with natural & organic ingredients, no wheat, corn, or soy, and no artificial ingredients. What's more, they are low-calorie and easy to break apart into bite-size pieces for smaller mouths!
If you plan to buy one flavor to share with all the pets in your home, we suggest one of the flavors that have meat, like Turkey Time. You won't have to worry one bit if your dog decides to share a treat with his feline friend!
Other treats that are great for dogs and cats to share include single-ingredient treats, like freeze-dried meats.
In the end, it's best to keep your cat and dog on different, species-appropriate diets. That way, you can be sure that they're both getting the nutrients they need. However, if you do want to give your pets some of the same snacks or treats, be sure to read the label to make sure they're safe for your furry friends to eat. And remember, always supervise your pets when they're snacking - no matter what type of treat is involved!
Have you ever given your cat and dog the same snacks or treats? If so, did anything happen? Let us know in the comments below.