Ever put down your cat’s bowl of food, only to have your dog speed over to it and scarf it all down?
It might just seem like that typical dog-vs-cat dynamic — but why exactly are dogs so obsessed with cat food?
The Dodo reached out to Dr. Zay Satchu, cofounder and chief veterinary officer at Bond Vet in New York City, to find out more.
Why do dogs love cat food?
“Cat food tends to be more fragrant than dog food, and that is a common reason it attracts Fido’s attention,” Dr. Satchu said.
According to Dr. Satchu, because cats are notoriously picky eaters, pet food companies use recipes that increase the odor the food gives off — and strengthen the flavor — to entice cats.
Who knew? But it makes total sense why your pup, in all his sniffing glory, would sniff out your cat’s food and eat it up. It just smells — and tastes — so yummy!
Is it OK for a dog to eat cat food?
According to Dr. Satchu, the main nutritional difference between dog food and cat food is that cat food has added taurine.
Taurine is an essential amino acid that helps with vision, digestion and heart function in cats. Since dogs are able to synthesize this amino acid on their own, companies don’t need to add it into their food.
“Long story short, it is not dangerous if Fido sneaks a nibble or two from Fluffy’s bowl,” Dr. Satchu said. “However, all that extra snacking can lead to some extra pounds, which isn’t great.”
So while your dog probably loves stealing some cat food, it’s best for your pets to stick to the distinct foods made specifically for their species — if only to make sure your cat doesn’t smack your dog in the face for stealing her food every day.