If you have both a cat and a dog, you might have run into the problem where your pup eats the cat’s food. It’s seldom the other way around. Dogs tend to be a lot less picky when it comes to food and generally eat anything they can get their paws on.
Is it a problem that your dog is eating cat food? There are several reasons why this could be a problem. Let’s take a look at that first before providing you with several great solutions, from complete dog proof cat feeders to DIY solutions. Your dog’s cat nipping days are over.
Why It’s Not Good For Dogs To Eat Cat Food
Let’s start by looking at why you want to keep your dog from eating cat food.
1. It’s not healthy for your dog
Dogs and cats have very different dietary needs, and that means food manufacturers use different ingredients. In most cases, a dog won’t get ill from eating cat food for a day. But, eating it regularly can have some nasty side effects.
The biggest difference is that cat food contains a lot more fats and proteins. Dog food usually contains more carbohydrates and fewer proteins.
The increased fat and proteins will cause your dog’s stomach to get upset. And, over time, will lead to all kinds of health issues.
Because cat food is higher in calories, your dog is bound to start gaining weight as he or she steals more cat food. On top of that, most dogs will still also eat their own portion, increasing the calorie intake even further.
Obesity in dogs leads to high blood pressure, hard problems, joint problems, bad fur, and other dogs’ jokes. OK, maybe not that last one, but you get the point.
Dogs can also have allergies to some of the ingredients in cat foods. Because cat food never gets tested on dogs, the manufacturers really can’t know whether it’s safe to eat. So if you value your dog’s health, you want to keep it eating dog food and out of your cat’s feeding station.
2. Potential for conflict
Food is often a sensitive topic for pets. When a dog starts stealing the cat’s food, stress, anxiety, and fights are often the results. Stress and anxiety can really affect your pet’s mental and physical well being.
Some cats can lick themselves bald from being stressed. Dogs can develop allergies and become stressed or withdrawn. Either way, it’s best to avoid these types of conflicts. During fights, they can also get injured, which can lead to infections and require a vet.
3. Forming bad habits
When your dog gets a taste of eating other food than what is designated to eat, it can quickly become a habit. This is the same thing as feeding at the dinner table. It seems innocent at first, but after a while, it will be tough to change the behavior once it’s become a habit.
Personally, I think keeping obvious boundaries around food is one of the best starting points for a good relationship between a pet and owner. It’s just such a basic and instinctual thing. When you get this part right, a lot of other things will fall into place.
4. It can lead to health problems for your cat
If your cat isn’t getting the food and nutrition it needs, it can become skinny and develop health problems. It can also start to look for other forms of food. If you find your cat raiding the trash can, this could be caused by your dog eating his or her food.
The 4 Best Dog Proof Cat Feeders You Can Buy Right Now
There are many reasons to keep your pooch out of your cat’s food, as we looked at before. So let’s take a look at what we can do.
The quickest and often most reliable option is to buy a dog-proof cat feeder. Several manufacturers make some great options with very innovative solutions. These cat feeders have been tested on many different dogs and cats and won’t require any experimentation.
On the other hand, I’m always a fan of trying stuff myself. So below, we also looked at a couple of DIY solutions for dog-proof cat feeding.
You can choose whatever option seems most appealing right now. But please don’t think that the problem is just going to go away by itself. I’ve seen this in a couple of my friends. They thought they could wait or tell their pooch that it shouldn’t eat the cat food, but in the end, it only got worse.
And once they had to do something about it later, it was a lot harder. Not trying to scare you, just trying to help you tackle this problem once and for all.
SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder
The SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder offers a simple yet elegant solution to keep your dog out of your cat’s food. The food is covered with a lid that only opens when the pet with the correct microchip or RFID chip comes near it. This does mean that your pet needs to be chipped for it to work, though.
But, most people chip their pets by now, and if you haven’t, this is a great opportunity to do so. The SureFeed Microchip works with 9, 10, and 15 digit microchips covering nearly all possible chip implants.
This feeder has a stylish design and is made of sturdy white plastic. It’s recommended by veterinarians and comes with a 3-year warranty. The lid closes securely and can’t be opened by a curious or nosy pup.
And the added benefit of the cover is that it keeps the food fresh for much longer. It seals tightly and can also help to keep flies or bugs out of the cat food.
This cat feeding station is designed specifically to keep dogs out of the food, even while your cat is eating. The side flaps make it very difficult for your pup to quickly steal a bite when the cover is open.
We did find that it takes a while for the cover to close after your cat walks away. An alert dog might be able to still get a few bites during that window.
Overall though, this is the most complete dog proof cat feeder that we could find. It works perfectly as long as you have a cat that’s microchipped; with premium materials and a small footprint, this is our top recommendation. Check price here.
Felines Only Purrrfect Cat Dish
The Felines Only Purrrfect Cat Dish provides a completely different solution to keep dogs out of the cat food. Instead of an electronically moving cover, this feeder has an opening that will only fit a cat’s head. This means that there are no moving parts, no batteries, and no electronics that can fail.
The Purrrfect Cat Dish it’s also incredible value for the price. It prevents your cat from spilling its food and can easily be cleaned in the dishwasher. You get 2 food bowls, so it also works if you have two cats or feed with separate dry and wet food.
The feeder is stable and won’t move around because of the rubber feet gripping the floor.
One problem with the Felines Only Purrrfect Cat Dish is that it doesn’t work for small dogs. As long as your pup can fit its head through the hole, it can get to the food. This is the most affordable and simple dog-proof cat feeding solution for any dog with a bigger head. Check price here.
Feed-Safe Feeding Station
The Feed-Safe Feeding station provides yet another solution to keep dogs out of the cat food. It works by portioning the food, so your cat is likely to finish instead of leaving it as a temptation for your pooch.
The Feed-Safe cat food dispenser has five bowls that you can preload with your cat’s favorite food. At set times, the feeder rotates, so a bowl of food becomes accessible.
This has many benefits. This doesn’t just help make your cat feeder dog proof; it also helps keep your cat more healthy. Just like with humans, eating smaller portions is a great way to lose weight and avoid diabetes.
Your cat will be more excited to eat when it’s time and not leave anything that can be stolen. If your cat is on a diet that requires it to eat different foods at different times of the day, you can easily set this up, so you don’t have to be home.
While we did find that this reduces the amount of food that a dog can steal, it’s not a fool-proof solution. A determined canine can still try to steal food or even be there before the cat when the feeder opens. If you are also looking for a solution to feed your cat in smaller portions, this is a great solution. Check price here.
OurPets Wonder Bowl Selective Feeder
Instead of using a microchip, this works with a special tag. The electronic tag can be attached to any collar and is recognized by the feeder. If your cat comes near, it opens, and he or she can eat. There OurPets Wonder Bowl features a food bowl made out of stainless steel that can be removed and is easily washable in a dishwasher. It holds up to 1.5 cups of dry or wet food.
The electronic tag is fed by a CR2032 battery, which unfortunately needs to be replaced quite often. It’s easy to see when the battery is empty, though, because the tag comes with an integrated battery life indicator.
Overall, the wonder pets is a simple and reliable dog proof cat feeder. It will surely keep your dog out of your cat food for years to come. Check price here.
Do-it-Yourself Solutions To dog-proof Your Cat Feeding Station
Now, you might not be ready to buy an electronic cat feeder or microchip your cat immediately. There are still a bunch of things that you can do. I personally really enjoy trying homemade solutions to improve the lives of my pets. Let’s look at some of the DIY solutions to creating a dog-proof cat feeder.
Feed Your Pets In Separate Rooms
The first option a simple yet effective. It does require some work on your part, though. By feeding your pets in different rooms and making sure they can’t sneak into the other one, you can make sure your pup can’t eat your cat’s food.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you will need to maintain this situation every time you feed. And that can easily become a bit of a drag.
Pet Door With Chip Lock
Many pet doors can be configured to only open when a certain microchip is near.
If you are feeding your cat and dog in different rooms, and you’re tired of having to make sure the right pet is in the right room and keep the doors closed, you can automate it with two pet doors.
All you have to do give each room its own pet door, and program the pet doors to only let the right animal in. Whether this is going to be easy or cheaper than buying a dedicated feeder is the question.
Pet doors aren’t cheap. And, you will also need to cut holes in two doors. That being said, this can still be a great option if you also want to provide your pets with their own private space.
Build Something Your Dog Cannot Get Into
If your pup is considerably bigger than your cat, you can make an exclusion feeder. All you need is a cage or crate that you can give a small opening.
Make this small opening so that only your cat can get in. Now you can easily feed him or her from within this space and not have to worry about your dog stealing from your cat’s food bowl.
If both your pets are of similar size, this is not going to work, unfortunately. In that case, you might like the next solution.
Put The Food High
Most cats are a lot better at jumping and climbing than dogs. You can use this to your benefit.
If you place your cat’s food on the countertop or a high table, your dog can probably not reach it.
Now generally, it’s not very hygienic to have your cat walk around on your countertop or the table. A better way would be to use a cat tree or a designated table.
If you have a large enough cat tree, you can place the food on one of the top shelves, and it will be out of reach. You have to make sure that your cat doesn’t throw the food off the shelf.
Another solution can be a cheap and simple utility table that you use only to feed your cat. Make sure it’s safely accessible by him or her and not in a position where your dog can throw it over.
There you have it; these are our top recommendations to create a dog-proof cat feeding station. We are always open to suggestions since we have to keep our own dogs out of our cat food. So if you have any suggestions or improvements, feel free to reach out.