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Need help concerning a dog and cat being fed the same food

jaclmickles
October 24th, 2007, 06:03 PM
I'm going to be house-sitting for my neighbor when she goes out of town. We went to the store the other day to get some items, one of which was pet food. She reached for a bag of Beneful (or however you spell it) from Purina. At this point I started questioning her about her choice of dog food. By the end of the conversation she had given me money to go to the store where I buy Athos' food and get some for her. Though I feed EVO to Athos, I was thinking Canidae or something similar for her. One reason being, she just puts a big bowl of food out and leaves it there for her dog AND cat!!! When I say big bowl, I mean large mixing bowl size. This is fine when I'm feeding my dog his measured amounts, as he is a great dane. However, her dog is small, smaller than her cat. Yeah, her cat is overweight, but her feeding plan would account for that. Needless to say, I'm pretty sure this amount lasts a few days.

I was thinking while she's gone to go ahead and feed her dog and cat as I would mine: twice a day, the correct amounts. If she goes back to her way when she gets home that's for her to decide.

How do I approach the subject of why cats and dogs have different foods? She commented while we were there at the store, "It's all the same." Anyway is this that big of a deal? Also, is there anything you would recommend specifically that might be okay for both animals?

Oh, her dog has some allergies. She thinks it's seasonal types, the dog has been okay, showing no signs for a bit. My neighbor does take her to the vet whenever there's a problem, so the dog was on allergy meds. I haven't been told anything yet about her needing meds while I'm gone, so maybe the season is over?...

Anyway, any thoughts and suggestions you can share will be greatly appreciated.

Christy

rainbow
October 24th, 2007, 06:32 PM
Thank you for trying to educate your neighbour. :thumbs up I hope she continues to feed the Canidae for her dog and the Felidae for her cat. Dogs must be fed dog food and cats must be fed cat food as they metabolize things differently:

http://www.thepetcenter.com/imtop/catsaredif.html

A dog can be fed cat food but it would certainly be alot more expensive but she certainly should NOT be feeding dog food to a cat....especially a brand like Beneful. :eek:

http://www.royalcanin.us/articles/feeddogfoodcatfood.html

Her dogs allergies are more than likely food related are I think they will disappear once it is on a premium brand dog kibble. If they continue, her dog could have an allergy to chicken (if Beneful actually has some in there) and she will have to change to a premium/holistic kibble with a different meat protein. But, one step at a time. :D

sugarcatmom
October 24th, 2007, 07:26 PM
How do I approach the subject of why cats and dogs have different foods? She commented while we were there at the store, "It's all the same." Anyway is this that big of a deal? Also, is there anything you would recommend specifically that might be okay for both animals?

Yikes, yes it is that big of a deal. Not only do cats have much higher protein requirements than dogs, they also need several very specific nutrients that dogs don't. Taurine is the biggy: an essential amino acid that is rarely added to dog food. Cats fed a taurine deficient diet will eventually go blind and develop dilated cardiomyopathy. Cats also need about twice the amount of B vitamins that dogs do, and since they can't convert beta carotene to vit A like dogs can, there's yet another difference. Tell your neighbor that if she thinks she's saving money by feeding her cat dog food, she'll find the inevitable vet bills will more than make up the difference. And while there are some high end canned foods that can intermittently be fed to both cats and dogs, I doubt that's what she wants.

But hey, like rainbow said, good on ya for "showing her the light"! Hopefully both her cat and her dog will benefit from your intervention (by the way, Beneful has sugar and sorbitol and enough grains to practically make both her pets instantly diabetic! Blech!)

jaclmickles
October 24th, 2007, 09:17 PM
Okay, I got Serengetti (sp?) cat food. When I took it over there I let her know that I got cat food instead of dog food because it's better for a dog to eat cat food than for cat to eat dog food, if doing either. I also mentioned there was a big difference between cat food and dog food and she said, "Not their's," as she tore opened the bag and poured it all into the bowl.

Oh well, baby steps....

The animals did seem to like it.

jaclmickles
November 10th, 2007, 07:57 PM
The neighbor came over today and said that the food bowl is almost empty and she is going to need more. She said her pets really liked it. I told her I had to go get my babies some more food on Tuesday and she can go with me. Hey, getting good food is a start. Maybe while we're there she might get the idea to try species appropriate foods.

Luba
November 10th, 2007, 08:20 PM
Print some documents off the net and leave them for them to read. Is all pretty much what you can do. Goodluck