Originally Posted by iamgray
Hehe I'm guilty of feeding my cat dog food in the past, but it's only happened a few times when I've run out of cat food and couldn't make it to the store.
With the thing about wet cat food causing tooth/gum issues... what about mixing it with dry food? That's what I've always done with my cat. I worry about feeding dry food only because my cat will NOT drink water from his own dish... and I don't want him to get dehydrated and suffer other health complications due to that. I literally have NEVER seen him drink from his dish. He will only drink the dog's water (and he's lucky if he can get to it without being squished by the dog) or else he will sit on the fish tank and dip his paws in the water as it flows out of the filter and then lick his paws.
As far as feeding the cat dog food in a pinch, the motto seems to be "better some food than no food". lol
Mixing it together is perfectly fine. And wet cat food isnt so bad, even if fed daily, as long as there is some dry food to help get the tarter off the teeth as well as helping to keep the teeth and gums strong by having to eat the crunchy food. I always suggest though, when feeding cats a staple of wet food, to always make sure treats are crunchy verses moist, same with dogs. Although I feel as though only wet food in a dog seems to be harder on their teeth and gums than it is on a cat...especially on the smaller and/or less active breeds.
Some cats are very picky about their water bowls. Some prefer moving water like one of the fountains they sell. Some prefer plastic bowls, others metal, others ceramic. Dogs can be this way sometimes too. For instance, my chihuahua will only drink from one of her ceramic bowls. My mainecoon cat will only drink from ceramic or plastic and is scared of the fountain things or moving water in general. However, most of the time my cat prefers to use the dog's water bowl anyways, lol.
Try a new bowl made of different material or getting some sort of automatic waterer for the dog's bowl. Cats dont always look as though they have drank from their bowls, so he could be drinking exactly what he needs without you knowing. (With your cat dipping his paws in the outflow of the tank filter, I would be inclined to say that he has a high liking for moving water, in which a fountain watere would be a good idea, they are fairly expensive, but if you price around there are some $15-20 models available...Petco use to sell one of the cheaper models. If he doesnt use it, the dog might.)
If you get to the point where you are very concerned you can always take him to the vet. However, another way to tell, and it might not be that easy if you arent sure what you are looking for, but the best way to tell if a dog or cat is dehydrated is to pinch the scruff of the neck, if it bounces back nicely they are fine, if it slowly drags and stays lumped from the pinch, then it probably is dehydrated. (I say pinch as in the way you would grab the scruff of the neck of a pup or kitten when trying to safely transfer them or such as the mother does to her babies to move them.) Also, pale gums are a sign of dehyration, this is easier to tell in dogs as their mouths are darker than cats when normal, cats tend to have a very light pink mouth and gum line which makes this route a bit more difficult for the untrained eye.
As far as brands of pet food goes...it can be said by some that it is based on opinion, pet's reactions, and financial situations of what one is better than the other.
Cheaper brands are full of fat...and one brand that might shock to hear that is used to fatten up skinny or malnurished dogs is Pedigree. Yep, that stuff is pretty high in fat content, but still good dog food, you just have to pay special attention to your dog's diet if on Pedigree.
Purina is pretty good in general. But Purina also makes crappy cheap dog food (VERY high in fat) such as Alpo. But their dog & cat chow lines are good food, as well as their ONE line.
Science Diet is one of those foods that most dogs (some will) wont eat unless started on it as a pup since it has such a bland taste to it compared to others. Science diet is most helpful for dogs with food allergies since they are one of few non-prescription dog foods that have a line made from duck.
Holistic dog and cat foods have become very popular these days, and for good reasons. Comparing them to regular dog food it has a lot more to offer, but they are certainly not a wise choice for someone on a budget as the smallest of bags can be over $20.
My chihuahua (who had a weight issue when rescued, obesity), her staple diet comes from Eukanuba's line...the petite bites for overweight less active small breeds. Even though she is in normal chihuahua weight (took almost 4 years!!! She came to our family at 11 pounds with her belly dragging, waddling, and had to have a special harness to prevent chaffing between her armpits), she is still on the weight management food since she isnt very active now that she is an older dog and it would be very easy at this point in her life to pack the pounds on if she isnt kept on a strict diet.
My cat on the other hand, hates the nicer brands and will refuse to eat them. He LOVES Purina's Cat Chow Indoor Formula. However, it doesnt treat his chronic hairballs, so we use crunchy treats made for hairballs that has worked very nicely over the years (he hates gels and such for hairball control). (Works for my pockets though! lol)
It's always important to compare crude fat and protein as well as other nutrients on dog and cat food's prior to choosing your pets' food. And it is always important to never completely switch their food all at once, it should always be done over a 1-2 week period of mixing the two foods (old and new) until it is all new to avoid stomach upset.
Also, always consult a vet before switching your dog or cat from puppy food to adult food, and from adult food to senior food, as not all dog and cat's mature at the same rate. The general rule of thumb though is that (for dogs) small breed dogs switch from puppy to adult around a year old, and go from adult to senior around 8 or 9 years old, while large breeds go from puppy to adult around 2 years old, and from adult to seinor between 7 and 8 years old. With shorter life spanned dogs, such as great danes, it can vary significantly and vet advice should always be gotten and followed. Cat's are more generalize when it goes from kitten to adult, but a more active cat can stay on adult food longer before swithing to senior cat food.
As quality pet owners, we can only do our best for our pets. And the best you can do is to offer nutritious food, fresh clean water, medical care, and your love and affection (as well as shelter, mind enhancing activities, as well as the needed exercise and such that your particular pet requires).