Hi! I just adopted a dog last week. I had thought keeping the dog out of the cat food would be the hard part, but one of my cats will not stop eating his food. The dog refuses to eat normally. Today is the first day he's finished a bowl of food in a day. Free feeding him seems to be the only way to get him to eat. The dog, who the shelter described as having "food aggression" sits and watches the cat eat his food, and will even stop eating and walk away if the cat tries to eat his food while he's eating. I know my cat hates his food, but he has FLUTD and has to eat special food. This is why I am especially concerned about him eating the dogs food. Does anyone have any ideas on how to free feed both the dog and the cats without them getting into each others food? Keeping the cat food from the dog is easy, but the cat can, and will, go everywhere.
I had similar problems. Dogs can eat cat food, but dog food is not balanced for a cat, and will do major harm to a cat with special health concerns. I spent mega$$$ with urinary tract problems and vet bills. It doesn't take much of the wrong kind of food to cause a problem. Free feeding is out. You should really feed a dog once or twice a day anyway. They both need access to water at all times, but lock up the dog for meals,then you have a win - win situation for everybody.
I am not sure how large your dog is, but mine is fairly large and what helped me keep the kitties out of his was to get him elevated feeding dishes. It's not a flat surface that the cats can just jump up on. It's more like a stand with 2 rings that hold 2 stainless steel bowls about a foot off of the floor. The cats can still stand on their back legs and fish out some kibble with their paws but it is much less convenient for them so they don't bother very often. Max does not always eat his whole meal at once either and when I first brought Allie home as an eight week old kitten, she was eating his food and getting an upset tummy. The elevated bowls were my solution and 2 years later the only one who still bothers to even try is Chelsea. But with her it's more of a challenge to see if she can get some and how quickly I will catch her and yell at her. I got mine on sale at Petco and I didn't pay as much, but you can see what I have on the attached website. http://www.pet-dog-cat-supply-store.com/shop/index.php?page=shop-flypage-734
"One cat just leads to another" - Ernest Hemingway
The elevated food dish is a great idea. Sadly, my dog has short Dachshund legs. He is a Dachshund cockerspaniel mix. My cats are huge and are a little bigger than he is! The cats can put their paws on the counter top without much effort. I have been trying to get him to eat his food all at once, but short of starving him all day nothing gets him to eat more than a few bites at a time.
There you go then. You already got the answer. when all else fails, the simplest approach would do just fine.
He won't let himself starve to death. place the food 1-2 times a day for your dog for 15 min at a time. If your dog rather go hungry all day instead of eating on your schedule, then that's his problem. Sooner or later, he will adjust.
If I seem to have a superiority complex, it is because you make it so easy.
I also have that problem. My year old kitten Loki would rather eat my rat terriers food then his own... I have the dog kennel trained so at night when he get supper i just feed him in the kennel. Anything left in the dish gets put up til morning.
You don't know how good a headbut is until you get it from your cat!
One of my 5 cats do the exact same thing! Gordan loves Gracie's dog food. He'll still eat his own food a lot, but I guess whenever he's in the mood for dog food, he just eats it! I just got a food ball for my dog. It's better for the both of them. It holds a LOT of food in it. The food only comes out when the dog rolls it around. When dogs are hungry enough, they will hunt for their food, so don't worry about them starving to death, because they'll find the food, and find out how to get it out. It keeps my dog from getting too fat, and my cat from eating the dog's food. Just remember to hide the fod bowl, without food in it, so the dog won't have any other option than to roll the food ball around, thus releasing some food. (It's a rubber ball that can't be chewed apart, so don't worry about plastic getting the dog's throat, or if your dogs a chewer.)
Gee all I know is that it's bad if a dog eats cat food, not a at eating dog food but it's prob just as bad.... An idea I have is to try and find a dog food the cat doesn't like, that way you don't have to worry about forgetting about it. Start buying different brands and different flavors, The make this more practial use some coupons and buy something cheap and small, or get a free sample. Purina coupons might be a good place to start, unless you all ready use that. This site has coupons for Purina, and others so it's a place to start. http://www.dogfood-coupon.com/page/purina.com.
Sorry NateKerra, but I would not suggest to feed Purina. That is a HORRIBLE food! It may be cheap, and have free samples, because it is crap. There are way better natural and holistic food such as California Natural, Innova, Merrick, are just to name a few.
To tell if it is not full of filers, you can do a water test. Drop some in water, and if it expands, it has fillers. If it stays the same size, or shrinks after a while, it has no fillers.
A lot of these bad foods are also full of by-products and corn (which have shown allergies, and cannot be digested all the way).
All the OP has to do is keep the cat away from the dog when they feed it.
Animals, what animals? My children just have alot of hair!
Opposite to that here in our house my dog is the one who likes to eat the food of the cats. And i discover that because one day I noticed a scratched on his nose and i found out that it was the cat who was responsible as he always want to eat cat's food.
Just want to share this cats and dogs video i found its funny <a href="www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv9QPXAtok0">funny cats and dogs</a>
Thanks for all the great ideas! The food ball sounds pretty cool. My dog still refuses to eat a normal amount in one sitting, even if I don't feed him all day. Luckily the cats have started to lose interest in his food and only eat it occasionally. Since the dogs gotten used to living here he's started herding the cats away from the food.
I put the cat food on a counter so the dog cannot even see it so that poses no problem. Cat however eats her food and the dogs too, and is getting chubby They get along great but the dog will chase her away if he sees her in time. My dog is a graizer which I think is the best for his health and keeps his weight in check. Really do not want to train him to attack the food as soon as it is put down. I like the idea of the elevated dog dish which may help .......but there is a chance my cat may climb right in there. I will try it however, thanks!