If you are a doting pet parent to a cat and dog, lucky you! Cats and dogs can be the best of friends given the right introduction and training. But if they can be best buddies, does this mean they can share their food like treats?
Are cat treats bad for dogs?
No, cat treats are not bad for dogs but it would be ideal for them to stick to dog treats just as cats should stick to cat treats. This is because cats and dogs have different nutritional needs and should only consume food that is specially formulated for them. While an occasional cat treat may not be harmful, it is ideal to keep cat treats away from dogs. Similarly, dog treats should not be given to your cat due to different nutritional requirements.
Veterinarians agree that it is not good for dogs to eat cat food and treats since they are not well-balanced for dogs when it comes to fiber, protein and certain nutrients. It may also be hard on their liver and kidneys because of too much protein and it is not the same quality protein as dried 100% meat dog treats. While cat treats may consist of all the right nutrients for cats, it is not suitable for dogs.
Also, cat food has dense kilojoule or calorie content which is high energy per gram and if your dog eats the same amount of cat treats as he would normally eat his food, he may get fat. Being overweight makes a dog more prone to chronic health conditions. Thus, dogs should stay away from cat treats although a once-a-week treat should not be harmfull. However, a steady diet of cat treats may result in skin problems and allergies due to too much protein.
Can cats eat dog treats?
Yes, they can eat dog treats but it is best not to give dog treats to your cats. According to Dr. Heinze, an assistant professor at the Department of Clinical Sciences at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, there may be ingredients in dog treats that are harmful to cats like ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in antifreeze. It is sometimes added to dog foods in small amounts to retain moisture. Eating dog food and treats on a steady basis may cause major problems such as kidney stones and other kidney problems. Felines also need taurine, which is lacking in dog food, as this is vital for their cardiac health.
Are there treats that are suitable for both cats and dogs?
Yes, there are brands nowadays that offer treats suitable for both cats and dogs. Despite differences in their diets, there are also similarities and some manufacturers have come up with treats that are both high in protein and flavor for cats and dogs alike.
Here are some of these multi-pet treats:
1. Halo Liv-A-Littles Grain-Free Freeze Dried Natural Dog & Cat Treats
This multi-pet treat is made with freeze-dried whole meat and may also be given as a meal topper. It is highly digestible and great for pets with sensitive tummies. It is high in protein and made with no meat meals, wheat, sugar, molasses or tapioca.
2. The Honest Kitchen Bone Broth with Turmeric Liquid Treats for Dogs & Cats
This liquid treat for kitty or fido is the perfect refresher to quench their thirst. You can also mix it with dry food to add moisture and palatability. It has no GMO, corn, wheat or soy ingredients. Just add water, mix and serve to your pets to keep them hydrated.
3. Primal wholesome Dog & Cat Treats
This treat for your cats and dogs only has beef as its ingredient. This crunchy and high-protein treat is made from human-grade and single-sourced beef liver that is freeze-dried. It has no added preservatives, salt or sugar and completely grain-free and gluten-free.
Healthy dog and cat homemade treats
Here are some healthy homemade treat alternatives that your dogs and cats alike will also enjoy:
1. Frozen bone broth
Surprise your cats and dogs with a frozen “pupsicle” which is frozen bone broth. Frozen broth with a bit of raw goat’s milk is a proven favorite among pets.
2. Dried sweet potatoes
This is another pet favorite because it is tasty and chewy. Aside from being nutritious, it is great for digestive health since it is high in dietary fiber. It is also low in fat, rich in beta-carotene and contains manganese and Vitamins B6 and C.
3. Frozen banana slices
Frozen banana slices and are both delicious and healthy. They are full of potassium, fiber and vitamins but also contains sugar so just limit it to a slice or two.
4. Chicken liver slices
This treat may be given raw or cooked to your pets. It is high in protein but also in fat so give only a bite or two to your pets. Be sure to get it from a safe source or your trusted butcher.
Cat treats are specially-formulated for cats so if you have dogs and they happen to eat them make sure that it is only occasionally or a once-a-week treat. This is because it may contain too much fat and not well-balanced for dogs. However, certain homemade treats that may be enjoyed by both cats and dogs include frozen bone broth, raw or cooked chicken liver and frozen banana slices.
Image: istockphoto.com / cheryl4luck