Can you blame him? Savory and deliciously scented, some dogs simply love the taste and aroma of their feline friend’s meal. However, many cat foods are super rich in protein and fat, which can lead to unwanted weight gain in Fido.
While it will take some time and tools, it’s totally possible to get your dog to stop eating the kitty food. You can either train him to ignore it completely or remove the opportunity altogether.
Here are five simple tricks and tips to help you get your dog to stop eating cat food.
Why Does My Dog Eat Cat Food?
Dogs adore the aroma and taste of cat food, as well as the high fat and protein contents. Additionally, if you free-feed Fluffy, your pup probably appreciates that there is food always available. Most dogs want tasty treats all of the time. If he has access to tempting tidbits of cat food, who can resist?
Can My Dog Eat Cat Food?
While cat food is not toxic to dogs, your pooch should not be getting into the kitty’s dinner. Your cat is an obligate carnivore and her food is specifically designed to cater to her unique dietary needs. That means food that is brimming with protein and fat.
A dog that gets into cat food one time may have an upset tummy or be gaseous. But if he eats it continuously, he won’t be getting the right nutrients that his body needs and will put on excess weight. Plus, your feline will be missing out on meals!
5 Tips for Getting Your Dog to Stop Eating Cat Food
In order for your dog to live his best life, you need to break his cat food addiction. Here are five easy tips to do just that.
1. Elevate Your Kitty’s Food
One of the easiest ways to keep your dog from getting into the cat’s food is to put it in a place where he can’t reach it. Once it’s out of sight, it’ll be out of mind. Put your cat’s bowl on her cat tree, a table, or the kitchen counter. If your cat doesn’t have any health issues, she should be able to easily jump up and get to her food.
One ingenious product to help elevate your cat’s food is K&H Pet Products’ EZ Mount Up & Away cat food bowls. If your kitty enjoys her spot on the window perch, why not allow her to eat there too? The suction cup on the back of the bowl easily attaches to any clear window.
2. Use a Safety Gate
Another option for preventing your dog from eating the cat’s food is to block off the feline’s feeding area with a safety gate. Your cat can effortlessly jump over the gate while most dogs simply cannot scale them.
The Carlson Pet Products Extra Wide Walk-Thru Gate makes it easy for you to get through the barrier too.
3. Opt for a Feeding Schedule Over Free-Feeding
While many pet parents choose to free-feed their cat to allow her to graze at will, this can be tough in a multi-pet household. Consider serving your cat several meals a day at the same time, as your pets need a daily routine. Stay close by to ensure your dog doesn’t sniff out and get into the cat food.
4. Teach Your Dog “Leave It”
If you don’t want to put up barriers or monitor your cat as she eats, the “leave it” command could work wonders for your life. Each time you catch Fido sneakily making his way toward the cat’s food, use this command to get him to leave the food alone.
Be sure that you are consistent when using this command and keep a continuous eye on your dog so that you can use it whenever he starts wolfing down the wrong food.
Positive reinforcement training, such as clicker training, should do the trick.
5. Get an Automatic Feeding Bowl
The answer to your troubles may be as simple as changing out your current bowl for an automatic feeder. One such feeder is the SureFeed Microchip Small Cat Feeder. This innovative product is programmable to a designated pet’s microchip and will keep the food securely stashed away from any roaming dogs.
While it’s cute to catch Fido gobbling up Fluffy’s food, this ongoing behavior can lead to some health issues down the road. Use these five simple tips to keep your dog from eating cat food for happy, and healthy, pets.
Featured image credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock