My Dog Ate Wet Cat Food

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In this article, you will know the answer to the query “My Dog Ate Wet Cat Food“.

You would have encountered your dog eating your cat food if you were lucky enough to live in a household with a dog and a cat.

Can’t they just help themselves?

This article will take a very detailed look at how damaging it is for dogs to eat wet cat food.

Nevertheless, I want to share a few statistics that demonstrate just how much we love our dogs and cats.

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No matter how hard I try, I can’t find any figures that indicate how many households in the US or UK own a dog and a cat.

According to a UK study from 2020, more than 10 million adults own either a dog or a cat, but there was no information on households that own both kinds of pets.

The figure of 10 million adults represents about 25% of the adult population in the UK. 

In the United States, 63% of households own a dog and 42% of households own a cat. 

This means that there are about 89 million dogs and 94 million cats in the United States. 

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The most pressing issue is now on my mind.

My dog ate wet cat food? What should I do?

There is no reason to be concerned if your dog eats your cat’s wet food on occasion or if it is an accident.

Wet cat food does not contain any toxic ingredients for dogs. A few days of upset stomach is the worst you can expect.

However, most dogs probably won’t even get that far.

The wet cat food bowl will have been wolfed down by them and no harm will have come to them except that their owner will be cross with them afterward. 

They would have enjoyed it so much, they will look forward to the next time you turn your back on them.

It is because wet cat food contains almost the same vitamins and minerals as wet dog food that it will not harm your dog.

It’s just that each of these has significant differences in quantity and proportion.

As a one-off accident, you should not worry too much if your dog eats a piece of wet cat food, just keep poop bags on hand!

A can of wet cat food, instead of dog food, can be fed to your dog as an occasional emergency.

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Don’t make it a habit because there are important differences between vitamins and minerals.

If you are out of canned dog food and you need an alternative, try boiling chicken and rice.

I hope I have eased your nerves with that information.

I want to discuss the differences between wet cat food and wet dog food in the next section.  

What’s the difference between wet cat food and wet dog food?

There are good ways and bad ways to go about this, and I have done both!

Let me first show you how to find out the key differences between dog food and cat food. 

Next, I will show you how to do it wrong- which might be a bit of fun for those of you who are more detail-oriented!

Differentiating between dog food and cat food the right way

There is an organization in the US called the Association of American Feed Control Officials (or the AAFFCO) that determines what types of nutrients should be included in a healthy dog diet and what types of nutrients should be included in a healthy cat diet. 

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Each nutrient is listed along with how much a dog or cat needs.

In addition, as the nutritional requirements of a dog or cat change as they age, the AAFFCO has developed a list of nutrients for puppies or pregnant dogs, and one for adult dogs.

In the same way, there is a list for kittens and pregnant cats, and another for adult cats. 

I will compare the nutritional requirements of adult dogs and adult cats in this article, as this is a comparison of dog and cat foods.

Nutrition needs adult dog vs adult cat

Adult Dog Adult Cat
Protein 18% Protein 26%
Fats 5.5% Fats 9%
Minerals Includes calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, iodine, selenium Minerals calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, iodine, selenium
Vitamins Includes vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, pyridoxine, folic acid, vitamin B12, choline Vitamins Includes vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, pyridoxine, folic acid, vitamin B12, choline, biotin

A comparison of vitamins and minerals needed by an adult cat or an adult dog

As we can see from the chart, adult dogs require a completely different amount of protein and fat in their diet than adult cats. 

Dogs require their food to contain 18% protein and 5.5% fat, while adult cats require 26% protein and 9% fat.

Additionally, the information in the vitamins and minerals columns is inaccurate.

From a superficial perspective, it appears that adult dogs and adult cats both require the same minerals.

According to the charts, they clearly do.

When you dig a little deeper, however, you will find that the exact amounts of minerals are different for dogs and cats.

It’s true that we’re talking about tiny differences, but if the wrong food is consistently fed to a dog or cat, this will harm them in the long run. 

With vitamins, the situation is a little different.

It is not necessary to add vitamins to the diet of a dog, but cats need two vitamins. 

This vitamin is vitamin K, and this vitamin is biotin.

Nutrition needs puppies vs kittens

Puppies Kittens
Protein 22.5% Protein 30%
Fats 8.5% Fats 9%
Minerals Includes calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, iodine, selenium Minerals calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, iodine, selenium
Vitamins Includes vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, pyridoxine, folic acid, vitamin B12, choline Vitamins Includes vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, pyridoxine, folic acid, vitamin B12, choline, biotin

A comparison of vitamins and minerals needed by puppies and kittens

In comparing the nutritional needs of puppies and kittens, protein and fat content are completely different.

While puppies need 22.5% of their food to be protein and 8.5% to be fat, kittens need food with a 30% protein content and 9% fat.

Cats and dogs, like their adult counterparts, need vitamins and minerals added to their diets, but when it comes to the exact amounts each vitamin and mineral requires, they differ quite a bit. 

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According to recommendations, kitten food should contain 75 mg of zinc per kilogram, and puppy food should contain 100 mg of zinc per kilogram. 

Vitamin A is essential to kittens at 6668 IU per kilogram, and puppies at 5000 IU per kilogram. 

Of course, you can argue that these are tiny amounts and therefore very small differences, but over time.

In my opinion, reviewing the information provided by AAFCO is the best way to determine the important differences between dog food and cat food. 

However, I will show you how to do things the wrong way in the next section.

I tried this way first, and unfortunately, it didn’t work.

The wrong approach to determining the difference between wet dog food and wet cat food. 

Studying the labels of canned dog and cat food is not the right way to do this.

It’s true- I’m nerdy as hell. 

Minerals and vitamins are all I have looked at so far. 

In order to compare the wet cat food with the wet dog food, I will first compare the wet cat food with the wet dog food. 

A second important question I would like to ask regarding wet cat food is whether it contains anything that might harm or be toxic for your dog? 

How does wet cat food differ from each other?

I examined two different cans of cat food from two different companies. Friskies and 9Lives are two popular brands. 

The following chart displays all the important information.

Minerals and Vitamins in wet cat food: Friskies vs 9 Lives

Minerals Minerals Vitamins Vitamins
Friskies 9Lives Friskies 9Lives
Potassium chloride Potassium chloride B1  B1
Zinc sulfate  Zinc Oxide B2 B2
Ferrous sulfate Ferrous sulfate B3
Manganese sulfate Manganese Oxide B5 B5
B6 B6
Copper sulfate  Copper sulfate B7 B7
Potassium iodide B9 B9
Sodium Tripolyphosphate B12 B12
Choline Chloride E E
Carrageenan A A
Calcium iodate K
Sodium selenite D3 D3
Sodium nitrate

Let’s think about the minerals first.

Both cans of food contain three minerals.

The following are their names:

Potassium Chloride

Ferrous sulfate

Copper sulfate

Minerals such as these are in both cans of cat food, so they can be considered essential to its diet. 

Both cans of food also contain two minerals that are very similar (but not exactly the same).

Zinc sulfate and manganese sulfate are found in Friskies cans.

Unlike 9Lives, which contain zinc oxide and manganese oxide. 

Blue highlights these areas. 

What’s interesting is why one manufacturer uses sulfates, while the other uses oxides.

It’s a question I can’t answer!

The last six minerals are only found in the can of 9Lives wet food, not in the can of Friskies.

The following are their names:

Sodium Tripolyphosphate

Choline Chloride

Carrageenan

Calcium iodate

Sodium selenite

Sodium nitrate

These minerals do not appear in either can of food, so they cannot be considered essential to a cat’s diet.

How does wet dog food compare with each other?

As shown in my chart below, I compare two different brands of dog food – Pedigree and Nature’s Recipe. 

Pedigree Choice Cuts vs Nature’s Recipe

Minerals Minerals Vitamins Vitamins
Pedigree Nature’s Recipe Pedigree Nature’s Recipe
Potassium Chloride Potassium Chloride Choline chloride Choline chloride
Magnesium sulfate Magnesium sulfate Vitamin E  Vitamin E 
Zinc sulfate Zinc sulfate Thiamine mononitrate B1 Thiamine mononitrate B1
Copper proteinate Copper proteinate Calcium pantothenate B5 Calcium pantothenate B5
Potassium iodide Biotin B7
Manganese sulfate Manganese sulfate Riboflavin B2 Riboflavin B2
Selenium Vitamin A Vitamin A
Copper sulfate Copper sulfate Vitamin D Vitamin D
Zinc protein Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12
Ferrous sulfate Vitamin C
Iron proteinate Niacin B3
Manganese Proteinate Folic Acid B9
Calcium iodate B6
Sodium Selenate

Taking a look at the minerals first, both brands of canned dog food contain the same six minerals.

The following are their names:

Potassium chloride

Magnesium sulfate

Zinc sulfate

Copper proteinate

Manganese sulfate

Copper sulfate

Minerals are a vital part of a dog’s diet, and since they are in both cans of food, it is safe to conclude that they are an essential part of it.

Eight more minerals can be found in either Pedigree food or Nature’s Recipe, but not both. 

The following are their names:

Potassium iodide

Selenium

Zinc protein 

Ferrous sulfate

Iron proteinate

Manganese proteinate

Calcium iodate

Sodium Selenate

The fact that these minerals aren’t in both cans of food suggests that these minerals are considered essential in dogs’ diets. 

Regarding vitamins, there are eight that are contained in both food cans. 

Here they are: 

Choline chloride

Vitamin E

B1

B5

B2

A

D

B12

Since these are both food cans, these vitamins should be an important part of a dog’s diet. 

Besides the five vitamins in the Nature’s Recipe and Pedigree food cans, there are five more vitamins not found in both.

Here are the five vitamins:

B7

Vitamin C

B3

B9

B6

Due to the fact that these five vitamins only appear in one can of food, they cannot be considered an essential part of a dog’s diet. 

What is the difference between wet cat food and wet dog food?

Now we reach the crux of the matter, the most important question.

Therefore, in order to get some sort of answer, I will use only the minerals and vitamins that both brands of wet dog food and wet cat food provide.

Minerals Minerals Minerals Minerals
Wet  Dog Food Wet Cat Food Wet  Dog Food Wet Cat Food
Potassium Chloride Potassium chloride Thiamine mononitrate B1 B1
Zinc sulfate Zinc sulfate  Riboflavin B2 B2
Copper sulfate Copper sulfate Calcium pantothenate B5 B5
Manganese sulfate Manganese sulfate Choline chloride B6
Magnesium sulfate Ferrous sulfate B7
Copper proteinate B9
B12 B12
E E
A A
D D3

The chart above shows that both canned dog food and canned cat food contain lots of vitamins and minerals.

Compared to the differences, there are more similarities. 

Of the seven minerals in either wet dog food or wet cat food, four of them are included in both.

Here they are:

Potassium chloride

Zinc sulfate

Copper sulfate

Manganese sulfate

The other three minerals can only be found in canned dog food or canned cat food.

There are only two found in dog food- magnesium sulfate and copper proteinate.

The only one that appears in cat food is ferrous sulfate. 

As far as we are concerned, is ferrous sulfate toxic for dogs if it is not in dog food but is in cat food?

The answer to this is that in the amounts found in cat foods, it is not toxic to dogs. 

Are magnesium sulfate and copper proteinate toxic for cats since they aren’t in cat food?

That’s not true. 

Looking at the chart, it is clear most vitamins can be found in both wet cat food and wet dog food.

Among the eleven vitamins found in canned dog and cat food, seven are found in both kinds.

There are seven vitamins in total: A, B1, B2, B5, B12, D, and E.

The only source of choline chloride is dog food.

However, the amount that is present in canned dog food is not toxic for cats

Only cat food contains vitamins B6, B7, and B9. Vitamins are not toxic to dogs in the amounts that are found in canned cat food. 

Does anyone regulate what goes into pet food?

Pet food is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. 

There seem to be four elements to it. 

Safe to eat

Produced insanitary conditions

Contain no harmful substances 

Labeled truthfully 

In almost every state, the department of agriculture is responsible for more regulation than the FDA. 

Indeed, these departments appear to play a much more active role in making sure pet foods are safe on a daily basis. 

Food Standards Agency is responsible for regulating pet food in the UK. 

However, I was unable to find any clear guidance on what is and isn’t allowed in the manufacture of dog or cat food. 

We have discussed who regulates the industry in this section, but we haven’t discussed who decides what a healthy diet for dogs and cats should contain.

This is the responsibility of AAFFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).

Cats and dogs need specific nutrients in their food, which is listed by the ASPCA. 

Each nutrient is listed along with how much a dog or cat needs.

In addition, as the nutritional requirements of a dog or cat change as they age, the AAFFCO has developed a list of nutrients for puppies or pregnant dogs, and one for adult dogs.

In the same way, there is a list for kittens and pregnant cats, and another for adult cats. 

In an article comparing dog and cat foods, I will compare the nutritional requirements of adult dogs with those of adult cats and puppies with those of kittens.

Adult Dog Adult Cat
Protein 18% Protein 26%
Fats 5.5% Fats 9%
Minerals Includes calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, iodine, selenium Minerals calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, iodine, selenium
Vitamins Includes vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, pyridoxine, folic acid, vitamin B12, choline Vitamins Includes vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, pyridoxine, folic acid, vitamin B12, choline, biotin

As we can see from the chart, adult dogs require a completely different amount of protein and fat in their diet than adult cats. 

Dogs require their food to contain 18% protein and 5.5% fat, while adult cats require 26% protein and 9% fat.

Additionally, the information in the vitamins and minerals columns is inaccurate.

From a superficial perspective, it appears that adult dogs and adult cats both require the same minerals.

According to the charts, they clearly do.

When you dig a little deeper, however, you will find that the exact amounts of minerals are different for dogs and cats.

It’s true that we’re talking about tiny differences, but if the wrong food is consistently fed to a dog or cat, this will harm them in the long run. 

With vitamins, the situation is a little different.

It is not necessary to add vitamins to the diet of a dog, but cats need two vitamins. 

This vitamin is vitamin K, and this vitamin is biotin.

Puppies Kittens
Protein 22.5% Protein 30%
Fats 8.5% Fats 9%
Minerals Includes calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, iodine, selenium Minerals calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, iodine, selenium
Vitamins Includes vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, pyridoxine, folic acid, vitamin B12, choline Vitamins Includes vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, pyridoxine, folic acid, vitamin B12, choline, biotin

In comparing the nutritional needs of puppies and kittens, protein and fat content are completely different.

While puppies need 22.5% of their food to be protein and 8.5% to be fat, kittens need food with a 30% protein content and 9% fat.

In general, cats and dogs require the same vitamins and minerals added to their food as adults do, however, when it comes to the amount of each vitamin and mineral to be consumed, the amounts differ quite a bit. 

As an example, every kilogram of kitten food should contain 75 mg of zinc, whereas each kilogram of puppy food should contain 100 mg of zinc. 

Vitamin A is essential to kittens at 6668 IU per kilogram, and puppies at 5000 IU per kilogram. 

Of course, you can argue that these are tiny amounts and therefore very small differences, but over time.

Can you describe what a complete diet is and how it relates to wet food?

The majority of the dog (or cat) food cans are described as “complete”. So, your dog only needs to eat a small amount of canned food to survive and thrive.

Nothing else needs to be fed to them. 

Hence, wet dog food contains added vitamins and minerals to make sure that a dog gets everything it needs. 

The majority of dry dog foods (kibble) are also complete and contain added minerals and vitamins.

If you want to read more about dog food tips, read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.

My Dog Ate Wet Cat Food (Watch Video)

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