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Eating cat food

Pomeranian Eating Cat Food

Question: I have a Pom, Brook Lyn and a 1 year old cat named Tarr. Brook loves to eat Tarr's cat food, even more than her own food. Is eating cat food harmful to her? Will it cause any kind of health problems? Is she still getting the nutrients she needs? What can I do to make her stop eating Tarr's food? Owner: Reeta, Pomeranian: Brook Lyn

Answer: Hi Reeta.

Many dogs prefer to eat cat food if they have the opportunity. This is usually because the cat food is higher in protein, fat and calories, therefore making it more tasty. 

Cat food is not the best thing for your Pom to be eating. While it is not toxic and will not directly cause specific health issues in the short term, it can have a negative effect in the long term. A dog that ingests cat food on a regular basis will not be receiving the right balance of nutritional elements that are needed for optimal health.  

The nutritional needs of cats and dogs are much different, and their foods are formulated to meet those specific needs.

Cat food contains more:
  • Protein
  • Taurine- An aminio acid that cats need to metabolism food, but dogs do not need
  • Fat - Usually 9% compared to 5% in manufactured brands
And less:
  • Carbohydrates - Canines need more than cats; it is needed to fuel the body
  • Zinc - Aids toward growth and the immune system
  • Vitamin E - An important antioxidant
Although it is not usually harmful if a small amount of the wrong food is eaten, nutritional imbalances affecting your dog’s health could occur if this continues long term.

Dietary changes can also cause gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea.

There are some things that you can do to keep your Pomeranian out of the cat's food:

1) Since cats can climb and your Pom cannot, you may wish to place your cat's food at a level that your Pom cannot reach it. 

2) Gating off the cat's eating area (i.e. a laundry room or pantry) with a standard baby gate should help to keep your dog out., if your cat can jump high enough to enter as she wishes.
little Pomeranian and big cat
Best friends: Pom Likinia, 8 months old with cat, Walter
Photo courtesy of owner: Kyrsten
3) Feed both pets at the same times every day so they they stay focused on their own meals, and put away both bowls after you're done. If you can have both pets on a schedule , they may not actively seek out food at other times.

4) If your Pom is really resisting eating his food, reassess what brand and variety you are offering. Some Pomeranians can be a bit picky. He may be craving fish when you are feeding chicken or vice versa. 

5) Offer your Pomeranian a top quality food; inexpensive brands contains tons of fillers. A dog will be full for a short amount of time after eating but then hunger will kick in as those fillers quickly pass through the body without offering any nutrients. If this is the case, your Pom may be going after the cat food to gain subsistence that is lacking from his own meals.
See also:

Pomeranian eats poop - Also known as Coprophagia, it's always disturbing when a Pom eats either his own poop or that from another dog.
Can a Pomeranian eat cheese - Details as to whether or not this is a good snack for a puppy or dog.
Can a Pomeranian eat eggs - Packed with protein and easy to make, should eggs be part of your Pom's diet. 
Can a Pomeranian eat broccoli - We know that vegetables play an important role in a healthy diet and green veggies are especially healthy for humans, but what about our Poms?
Can a Pomeranian eat pork - While there is a huge focus on chicken and fish, there are other meats that dogs can eat.  Lamb and bison are two other healthy choices. This article discusses pork and whether or not it's a good idea to feed this to a Pomeranian. 
Can a Pomeranian eat shrimp - This is low in calories and high in protein. Learn if this can be a good food addition to your dog's meals. 
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