How to Stop a Dog from Eating Cats Food


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Our question this week was:

How can I stop my dog from eating the cat's food or vise versa?

Maria Cave


Hi – thanks for your email. Dogs love cat food. If they have access to it – they will try to eat it. The best way to prevent your dog from eating your cat's food is to prevent his access. You can do this by feeding your cat in a separate location, feeding on a counter that your dog can't access; feeding your cat in a room your dog can't get to, or under a chair or surface that your dog can't reach under.

I have friends that feed their cats under chairs, on counters and in separate rooms to prevent this problem.

You can also try to catch your dog in the act and scold him and give him positive reinforcement when he leaves the food alone but in my experience this doesn't work that well. It is a treat they just can't seem to resist.

It is less common for cats to eat dog food. Again, access (or lack of) is key. If your cat has ready access to a constant supply of cat food, he will probably not want the dog food.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.