Keeping Your Dog From Eating Your Cat’s Food
If you share your home with dogs and cats, your dog eating cat food is probably a very common issue. Dogs love cat food. It smells better due to its large protein and fat content, and it’s usually sprayed with additional fats to entice finicky cats to eat it. Basically, cat food tastes and smells much better than dog food, so what’s not to love, right?
Well, cat food is terrible for dogs. Cats require higher protein and fat levels, so cat food can make most dogs very sick, especially if eaten long-term. As you probably already know, upset tummies, horrible gas and dreaded diarrhea usually follow occasional cat food raids if you’re lucky. Some dogs even require emergency veterinary care soon after.
How to Stop Your Dog From Eating Cat Food
In a perfect world, dogs would possess tremendous willpower to turn their noses away from tempting cat food, but it’s not going to happen. Can you always turn away from pizza, cupcakes, fried food or Doritos? It’s impossible. Prevention is key.
Store Cat Food High
Keep your cat’s food up high, so it’s out of your dog’s reach. Feed your cat on top of the washing machine, dryer or table, or create a kitty feeding station about five feet high, depending on your dog’s size. Your cat’s feeding area should be safe and in an easily accessible area. Please, refrain from feeding your cats on a moving washing machine and dryer—either turn it off or feed when not in use.
For older cats, create ramps made with non-skid or carpeted material. If made correctly, 90 percent of dogs won’t be able to scale a kitty ramp due to their size and agility. However, small dogs can easily figure it out, so it’s best to add a baby gate to keep them out.
Prop a Gate
If your dog is persistent and cat food is out at all times, it’s best to block your cat’s feeding area with a baby gate. Some dogs will spend hours trying to figure out how to scale the dryer. They’re determined to indulge in cat food. I firmly believe, if given plenty of opportunities, dogs will figure it out.
Choose a sturdy baby gate that can be easily hopped over by your cat. Most baby gates offer small openings made especially for cats to easily fit through, yet keep most dogs out. Sturdy is key because your dog may be able to and will push it down.
Hide Cat Food Bag
Cat food bags can easily be hidden behind closed doors. This will prevent most doggy gorging sessions. For persistent dogs, keep cat food in a tightly lidded container and place in a high cabinet with a closed door.
What Doesn’t Work
Punishing your dog while he’s swallowing mouthfuls of cat food doesn’t work. You may think punishment works, but in reality dogs will learn how to access cat food when you’re not around. They’ll learn punishment only happens when you’re around. Plus, most dogs will learn to eat cat food faster, as you approach because they know you’ll take it away. Punishment may seem to work at first, but it’s a slippery slope that usually backfires every time. Also, punishment can most certainly destroy the bond between you and your dog. Management and prevention work.
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