Can Dogs Eat Cat Treats?

If you are a dog owner who also enjoys the company of felines, one great temptation is to feed your dog cat treats. After all, dogs seem to enjoy cat treats more than their own. But is it a healthy practice? Can dogs eat cat treats?

Yes, dogs can eat cat treats, but they shouldn’t do so often. Cat treats don’t have the ideal balance of nutrients dogs need to stay healthy. In fact, offering your dog cat treats can cause gastrointestinal issues in the short term and pancreatitis in the long term.

If you’ve been thinking of introducing cat treats in your pup’s training sessions, think again. There is a reason why the manufacturer adds the name “cat,” not “dog,” on those treat packets. And yes, that’s our discussion topic today. 

In this article, we answer many of the questions dog lovers frequently ask concerning feeding dogs cat treats. First, let’s review the differing nutritional needs that make too many cat treats dangerous for dogs.

Is It OK For My Dog To Eat Cat Treats?

Image from Darwin’s Pet

No, it isn’t okay for your dog to regularly eat cat treats. Cat treats contain high amounts of fat, protein, and calories that are unhealthy for dogs. As such, we recommend to avoid giving dogs treats specially made for cats.

Before we get deeper into today’s topic, let us point something out. The question of whether dogs can safely eat cat goodies is a popular question among animal lovers with both pets. After all, the two pets share many similarities.

For instance, both cats and dogs make loyal friends, are fun to have around, and even belong to the same animal class of Mammalia. As we look at the similarities, we mustn’t forget the wide biological gap between the two lovely pets.

And yes, nutrition is a case in point. The two animals have many different nutritional requirements. While cats need treats extremely rich in animal protein, dogs do not. That’s only where the variation begins.

Cats are obligate carnivores. They must make meat part of their regular diet to survive. But that’s not the case with dogs. Contrary to popular belief, dogs aren’t carnivores. They are omnivores. Dogs still need protein, but they thrive just as well without meat in their diet. 

Can Dogs And Cats Eat The Same Treats?

No, dogs and cats can’t eat the same treats. Cat treats are higher in some nutrients than is healthy for dogs. On the other hand, dog treats don’t come with enough of some necessary compounds for cats, for instance, vitamin A and taurine. So, dog treats may cause nutritional deficiencies for cats.

As established, the dietary needs of these two popular family pets don’t totally overlap. What your dog needs to stay healthy isn’t what your cat requires and vice versa. To be on the safe side, don’t offer pets treats not meant for them.

Sometimes dogs may show greater interest in cat treats than their own snacks. But that shouldn’t lure you into thinking that feline treats are good for them. No, they aren’t. Don’t fall into that trap!

What Happens If A Dog Eats Cat Treats?

Image from Darwin’s Pet

The result of a dog eating cat treats depends on the amount they eat. An occasional cat treat or two for your pup shouldn’t harm them. But when you turn cat treats into regular “dog” treats, you can expect your dog to develop health issues like pancreatitis in the long term.

Cat treats don’t contain anything toxic. Otherwise, they could be unhealthy for consumption by felines as well. As such, dogs may not develop any problems from sneaking into a bag of cat treats.

But that doesn’t mean you should risk your dog’s health and comfort. The ingredients in cat treats are well-suited for cats’ dietary needs, not dogs’. So they’re more likely to cause issues in canines.

Will My Dog Get Sick From Eating Cat Treats?

Yes, your dog can get sick from eating cat treats if they eat a large amount. Too much too often is sure to cause dog obesity and other issues. Otherwise, dogs may enjoy the occasional cat treats.

Basically, whether dogs will face issues from cat treats depends on how much they eat. Cat goodies are fine for most dogs if given sparingly. But in regular large amounts, dogs can experience long and short-term negative effects.

In the short term, dogs can develop gastrointestinal issues characterized by stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. That’s especially true if your dog is among those with super-sensitive stomachs.

In the long run, negative effects increase. Dogs can develop pancreatitis from excess fat. Obesity is another likely condition, especially if your dog belongs to a breed more susceptible to weight gain.

Symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs include lethargy, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, and several others. You may also notice your dog taking a “praying position” more often: lifting their rear in the air and placing their front legs and head down onto the floor.

Can Cat Treats Kill A Dog?

Yes, cat treats can kill a dog. But that’s not likely. Provided you are quick enough to call the vet when your dog develops issues after they eat cat treats, your adorable Fido’s death is almost impossible.

Actually, cat treats seldom cause serious short-term problems for dogs, let alone death. But in the long term, these tidbits can indirectly contribute to your pet’s loss of life. That’s especially true if the regular treats lead to a fatal condition such as pancreatitis.

That’s why if you notice any of the above signs (or any other problematic symptoms), it’s best to find your way to the vet immediately. The dog expert will conduct a test and tell you whether it’s pancreatitis or another condition. The expert will then determine an appropriate treatment strategy.

If your dog develops obesity from cat treats, their susceptibility to cancers, heart diseases, urinary bladder stones, diabetes, and other conditions increases. All these conditions can be deadly. As such, it’s safe to say that cat treats can indeed kill your pup but indirectly and over the long term.

Why Does My Dog Love Cat Treats?

Your dog loves cat treats because they come with more meat-based protein than their treats. But as we’ve already said, your dog’s cravings for feline treats don’t mean the snacks are healthy.

Though dogs are omnivores, they still share instincts with their cousins – wolves! For instance, they love meat. It was their staple food in the wild before they developed a strong bond with humans and adapted to domestic life.

So meaty cat treats take your pup back to the days of their ancestors. That’s fine. However, with their digestive system’s evolution to support a wide diversity of foods available at home, dogs aren’t as good at handling high-protein food as they used to be.

While the high protein content can make cat treats appealing to dogs, the tasty fats could also be the reason your pup keeps sneaking into that bag of cat treats. Cat treats are fat bombs.

After all, cats need fat to deliver the high kJ value necessary for their healthy growth. Since dogs love fatty snacks, that’s another source of attraction to cat treats.

Whether the tasty fats or the high meat-based protein draws your dog to cat treats, always keep cat treats for kitties. The nutrient combination in cat treats causes dog obesity when they eat too much too often.

Image from Darwin’s Pet

How Can I Keep My Dog From Getting Into Cat Treats?

Prevent your dog from getting into cat treats by separating your two pets’ feeding areas. Dog-proof your cat’s feeding area to keep the dog away when it’s time for your kitty to enjoy some snacks.

Dogs more often use their sense of smell to explore their surroundings, leading their notes into that hidden bag of cat treats. The novel smell of cat treats may also alert them to the possibility of a new snack.

That’s why you can always expect your dog to try and sneak some cat treats from your kitty’s bowl. To avoid that, keep these two pets far from each other when your cat is enjoying their treats.

You can also have someone take the dog out when it’s time for your cat to enjoy their delicacy. That will even make the cat less anxious than when a canine lurks nearby. 

In addition, get your dog tastier treats. Perhaps you haven’t stocked up on healthy dog treats. Begin by discovering the healthy dog treats your canine loves. And as usual, training your dog a few cues, like “stop” and “leave it,” is a reliable way to keep them from unhealthy food.

As for cat treat storage, find a durable, airtight container. If the food is not well-protected, even the most trained dog may fall into the temptation of exploring that sweet-smelling bag. And when they bow their head into those treats, you can be sure the next time they lift their heads, there will be nothing left.

Are Greenies Cat Treats Safe For Dogs?

No, Greenies cat treats aren’t safe for dogs to eat. Generally, they’re intended for better dental health. However, they are designed for the needs of cats, not dogs, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.

Like other feline treats, cat Greenies don’t contain anything toxic to dogs. As such, dogs can still have them, and some may not develop any negative side effects. But that doesn’t make them entirely safe for dogs. Some canines can still develop diarrhea and vomiting from these treats, especially when they eat large quantities.

Nevertheless, most of these gastrointestinal issues are mild and more often than not pass on their own. But generally, we don’t support the idea of giving cat Greenies to dogs. Instead, opt for the version of these treats formulated with dogs in mind.

Are Catnip Treats Bad For Dogs?

Catnip treats aren’t bad for dogs when administered under the right conditions. Actually, the catnip in these treats offers magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, tannins, flavonoids, and other essential compounds to dogs’ health.

But before you give your dog catnip treats, know this: catnip treats have an opposite effect on canines than on felines. While it’s a popular cat stimulant, catnip helps calm dogs experiencing bouts of anxiety. Only use catnip treats on relevant occasions.

Will Temptations Cat Treats Hurt My Dog?

It’s possible Temptations cat treats can hurt your dog. It depends on the quantity your canine eats. Like most cat treats, Temptations won’t hurt your dog if they ingest one or two occasionally.

But in large amounts, you can expect these treats to cause gastrointestinal disturbances to dogs in the short term.

Temptations cat treats are specially formulated 100% to suit cats’ nutritional requirements. The ingredients aren’t well-balanced for safe eating by dogs. Keep these treats far from your canine, as much as you would for anything harmful to dogs.

Image from Barkbox

Can Dogs Eat Cat Food?

Dogs definitely can eat cat food but only on occasion when in a tough spot. But like treats, avoid offering cat food to dogs. The nutritional imbalance between the two types of pet foods can cause issues such as weight gain when dogs eat cat food.

Though dog and cat food may look or smell the same, that doesn’t mean they are exactly the same. The nutrient proportions in cat foods are only healthy for cats, not dogs. Avoid offering cat food to dogs or mixing it with dog food.

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Pete Decker