Home Dogs Can Dogs Eat Cat Treats? – Everything You Need To Know

Can Dogs Eat Cat Treats? – Everything You Need To Know

by Lucy

It is fairly obvious that cat treats are made specifically for cats, but cats and dogs often enjoy similar foods, and cat treats and dog treats look nearly identical most of the time. 

You have probably also noticed that your dog prefers cat treats to their own dog treats and will choose the cat treats when presented with the option of both!

However, can dogs eat cat treats? Cat treats will not necessarily be bad for your dog, but they have been made to meet very different needs. A cat treat once in a while should not do your dog any harm, but you should not make a habit of feeding your dog cat treats.

Cat treats are just that – treats made for cats. They are formulated for a specific diet, one that differs from what dogs should be fed. There is nothing harmful in the cat treats that would make your dog sick instantly, but constant feeding of cat treats could cause harm.

If you have been giving your dog cat treats, or are thinking of using it as a reward, read on to find out why it is not such a great idea, and why it seems that your dog prefers cat treats to dog treats!

The Difference Between Cats And Dogs

The reason that cat treats are not suitable for dogs is that cats have quite a different diet to a dog’s diet. The treats made for the two animals are formulated to suit different needs, which is why dogs should stick to dog treats and cats to their own.

Cats and dogs have unique dietary requirements. Cats are carnivores, which means that they must eat meat, and it is a biological necessity to keep them healthy. Dogs are omnivores and enjoy a diet of both meat and vegetables.

Dogs require a more varied diet than cats, and this is all taken into consideration when dog treats and dog food is made.

Cat treats (such as these ones), and cat food is made with a much higher meat-based protein content than dog treats and dog food and is why cat treats might be so appealing to dogs. They are more than likely drawn to the strong meat smell and flavor. 

Your dog can enjoy meat once in a while, and their food usually does contain some meat-based protein, but their diet is much more varied than that of a cat, and cat treats do not offer this variety of ingredients.

Unless you are otherwise recommended to do so by your veterinarian, it is best to just provide good-quality dog food to your dog, along with some balanced and tasty dog treats for when they need a little bit of a reward!

What Happens If A Dog Eats Cat Treats?

If your dog has accidentally stolen one of your felines treats, don’t be too worried. There should be no serious side-effects or life-threatening conditions. A cat treat once in a while should not do any harm.

However, if you are giving your dog cat treats on a regular basis, and if it is the only treat you do give them, there are complications that may arise. These cat treats do not have the right balance of protein, fiber, and other nutrients suited to a dog’s diet, and do not see to these needs.

If really in a tight spot, dogs can survive on cat food and cat treats for a short amount of time, but then this could lead to obesity, gastrointestinal upset, and pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a serious condition that requires urgent veterinary care and could be life-threatening.

The imbalance of nutrition in these cat treats can cause serious damage to your dog’s health if they are fed them often enough. Some of the symptoms you can look out for include weakness, appetite loss, vomiting, and diarrhea. These are symptoms that show the cat treats have affected your dog’s health.

If you feed your dog cat treats and they do not display any of these symptoms over time, the cat treats and high protein content could be damaging their liver and kidney, and these can show up as health problems later on.

Are Cat Treats Bad For Dogs?

Cat treats contain some great nutrients, but these are specific to cats, and not necessarily provided in the quantity that dogs might need.

Cats have a biological need to consume taurine, which is an amino acid that is found in animal flesh. Cats also need to ingest arginine, which is found in meat sources, along with arachidonic acid. Being obligate carnivores, cats need protein to survive and have a dietary requirement to consume meat.

Dogs on the other hand, even though classified as carnivores, are omnivores. They are attracted to meat, and this is probably why they enjoy cat treats so much, but they do not need meat as much as cats do.

Being omnivores, dogs are able to survive on plant material and have the ability to digest carbohydrate-based foods. They do not have a strict need for taurine and are able to create their very own arachidonic acid from vegetable oils. 

Dogs do not need meat-specific protein and do not need a high level of protein to reach their basic dietary requirements. They have adapted over time to digest starch-rich foods, due to domestication. All of this is not provided for in cat treats!

So while cat treats might not contain any harmful ingredients, the high level of meat-based protein, and the missing nutrients that dogs need in their diet, can lead to an imbalance, and could cause intestinal problems for dogs.

The high amount of protein in cat treats can be dangerous to dogs and not sit well with their stomachs. Cat treats also tend to have high doses of fat, which once again is not completely dangerous for dogs to consume, but if eaten often, these high levels of fat can cause obesity, which brings its own health problems!

Do Cat Treats Make Dogs Sick?

Your dog eating cat treats on occasion should not have any serious complications. However, the cat treats might cause your dog to experience some vomiting and diarrhea, but this does vary from dog to dog, with some dogs not being affected at all.

If your dog manages to steal a few cat treats, keep an eye out for signs of intestinal discomfort, and call your veterinarian if you notice any.

Long term, the cat treats can lead to obesity in your dogs, as well as a poor coat condition and even allergies. These allergies can cause itchiness and even lead to ear infections.

These cat treats do not provide your dog with the nutrients they need in order for their bodies to perform properly, and this could lead to them developing life-threatening complications overtime.

So yes, cat treats can make dogs sick. This can vary from loose stools and vomiting if your dog steals a few cat treats, or it can lead to lifelong illnesses and health complications if they are fed cat treats on a regular basis.

Are Cat Treats Good For Dogs?

It is not so straightforward as to whether cat treats are good for dogs or not. There are no harmful chemicals or ingredients which are outright dangerous for dogs, but the high level of certain proteins and fats can be harmful if eaten often.

You can give your dog one or two cat treats once in a while if they perform a special task, as a very yummy reward, but avoid doing this too often. The protein will be beneficial to your dog, as well as the animal fat, but only in very small doses.

It is also a good idea to chat with your veterinarian about this, to discuss the nutrition of cat treats, and whether you can give one or two to your dog every now and then. Your veterinarian will have a better idea of how the treats will affect your dog, and if they are fine or not.

Cat treats are made for cats, and no reputable cat treat brand will put harmful chemicals in these delicious little nuggets, so while cat treats can be harmful, in very small doses they can give your dog some great meat-based protein and fat content that they might not get from their diet.

Can Dogs Eat Temptation Cat Treats?

Temptation Cat Treats are 100% nutritionally complete and balanced to suit a cat’s diet and should be given to cats who follow a well-balanced meal plan. As explained above, a cat’s well-balanced diet is quite different from a dog’s!

There are no harmful ingredients in Temptation Cat Treats, and if your dog steals one or two treats on occasion, it should not have any lasting harm. Temptations are high-quality cat treats, and these are much better to give to your dog than cheaper cat treats.

However, it is still better to avoid these often, and your dog will benefit much more from being given proper dog treats which are made specifically for their diet.

Can Dogs Eat Catnip Treats?

We are all familiar with how cats are absolutely besotted with catnip, but does catnip have the same effect with dogs, and is it safe for dogs to eat catnip treats?

Catnip is in fact safe for dogs to eat, but it actually has the opposite effect on dogs than it does on cats. When a cat ingests catnip, it acts as a stimulant, whereas it acts as a sedative for dogs. So while catnip is safe for dogs, it is best given to them under the right circumstances.

When giving your dog catnip, make sure that the treat form it is in does not contain too much meat-based protein or fat, and is as close to pure catnip as possible. This way you know what you are giving your dog, and you know that it is a safe treat for them.

There are some good benefits from feeding your dog some catnip now and then. It contains some great minerals such as magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as flavonoids and tannins. Catnip also contains some essential oils, which help keep your dog’s digestive system healthy. 

Catnip can actually help relieve gastrointestinal upset in dogs! Here are some uses for catnip for a dog:

  • Catnip can be used to help calm dogs who might experience anxiety. This could be for a dog who does not like loud holidays, going to the vet, or going on holiday.
  • It can help with sleep in dogs, helping to create better-sleeping patterns for them.
  • Catnip can be used as an antiseptic, as it contains antibacterial and healing properties.

If you are wanting to give your dog some catnip, you should do so safely. If you have dried catnip, you can sprinkle 1/8 to ½ a teaspoon of it onto their food.

For fresh catnip leaves, you can place these into your dog’s drinking water. Remember though that this should not be done every day, and you should always check with your veterinary first.

Related Questions

Can dogs eat cat food occasionally?

Dogs have a habit of eating most things they find – including shoes, couches, corn cobs, and leaves. They are fairly hardy, and eating a small amount of cat food occasionally should not actually have any negative effects on their health.

A small amount of cat food now and then, such as if your dog manages to get into the cat’s bowl when you aren’t looking, should not cause any serious problems. They might show symptoms of an upset stomach, but this should go away fairly quickly.

Can dogs eat bananas?

Dogs can eat bananas, but much like everything else, this needs to be done in moderation. Bananas are actually a low-calorie treat for dogs and are high in potassium, certain vitamins, biotin, copper, and fiber.

They are low in cholesterol and sodium, but high in sugar. Because of this, they can be given to your dog as a treat, but should not form part of your dog’s main diet.

What can dogs drink other than water?

Dogs do not need to drink anything other than water. They do not get pleasure from drinking coffee, milk, soda, or fruit juices like we do! There is no substitute for water for dogs, and dehydration can cause serious health problems as well.

If your dog consumes a good amount of water a day, there is no reason to offer them any other liquid, they do not need it at all!

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