Can dogs eat cat treats? A vet’s guide to safe treats for dogs (2023)

Can dogs eat cat treats? A vet’s guide to safe treats for dogs (1)

Can dogs eat cat treats? If you have more than one type of furry friend in your home, this is a common question you might be asking yourself

Dogs are pretty intelligent creatures. Even if you give your dog one of the longest lasting dog chews to keep them busy, with their keen sense of smell and nose for adventure they can track down these morsels of goodness in the most unexpected of places. Whether it’s in a dedicated cupboard, your cat’s food bowl or a rogue treat has found its way onto the floor.

But can dogs eat cat treats? What should you do if you find that your dog has eaten some? And what are the differences between the two types of pet treats? To make sure the health of your pets isn’t compromised, we asked Dr Joanna Woodnutt (opens in new tab) to discuss what’s safe for dogs to eat and what ingredients you should avoid. Here’s what she had to say.

Dr Joanna Woodnutt

Dr Joanna Woodnutt graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2016 with a degree in veterinary science. Shortly after, Dr Woodnutt went to practice companion animal medicine in the Midlands, UK. She quickly developed a love of consulting and helping clients with medical problems such as dermatology, behavior and nutrition.

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What is the difference between dog treats and cat treats?

Firstly, let’s look at where the best dog treats and cat treats differ. Of course, there are lots of different types of treats on the market for both species, but the range tends to be greater for dogs.

Dog chews, dried natural treats, and bones tend to be created for dogs alone – cats have no equivalent. This is because cats aren’t natural chewers – they tend to eat freshly killed prey, of a small enough size that their teeth can quickly crunch through bones. Whilst dogs often prefer long, chewable stick-like treats, cats prefer something they can eat quickly and move on.

Dog training treats, on the other hand, are similar in size and content to the best cat treats. They’re often meat-based, although many cheaper brands will include plant materials and grains to produce a kibble-like treat.

If you look at the ingredients in dog training treats and cat treats at the supermarket, you’ll see they’re pretty similar. Cat treats are slightly more likely to contain chicken and fish rather than beef and lamb, and they’re also often smellier than dog treats. Dog treats are often larger than cat treats and may contain more calories per treat. Lastly, cat treats tend to be more expensive than dog treats when you compare similar products.

Can dogs and cats eat the same treats?

So, let’s look at whether dogs can eat cat treats. Luckily for owners of both pets, the answer is yes. Cat treats are generally safe for dogs. But what about cats – can cats eat dog treats? The answer is a little more complicated. Whilst a one-off dog treat is unlikely to harm a cat, it’s important to be aware that dog treats can sometimes contain small amounts of ingredients that are toxic to cats. For instance, they might contain ethylene glycol, onion, or garlic. These treats will have been manufactured to be safe for dogs and tested thoroughly – but they won’t have been tested on cats.

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Whilst cat treats are generally safe for dogs, there are a few basic rules you need to apply in order to safely feed cat treats to your pooch:

1. Don’t make a habit of it!

It’s not a good idea to feed cat treats to your dog on a daily basis. After all, they are different species with different nutritional needs. Cat treats are often too small to be interesting to most dogs – many will be happier with one of the best longest lasting dog chews.

2. Stick to the 10% rule

Treats, whether dog or cat, are nutritionally incomplete – they don’t contain all the nutrients required to thrive. This means that, alongside other incomplete sources, they should never make up more than 10% of your pet’s daily calorie allowance. When you’re working out how many cat treats your dog can have, look at their total daily calorie allowance, then find 10%. Now, take off calories for any table scraps, dog treats, dental chews, or other snacks they get. What’s left is how many calories they can have in cat treats – and it’s probably not many!

3. Check the ingredients

It’s a good idea to check the ingredients list for red flags before feeding anything to your pet. Although cat treats are unlikely to contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs, they can be extremely high in fat, which may cause pancreatitis in susceptible dogs.

Can dogs eat catnip?

Can dogs eat cat treats? A vet’s guide to safe treats for dogs (2)

Catnip is a favorite with many cats. It’s sometimes included in cat treats as a natural calming agent. If your dog has eaten catnip from the garden, dried catnip, or a catnip treat, you might be wondering whether it’s safe for dogs to eat catnip.

Luckily, catnip is thought to be safe for dogs, although they don’t have the same reaction to it as cats do. However, some people claim there’s still a calming effect and, whilst there’s no scientific evidence of this, there’s no harm in trying catnip treats with your dog to see whether they work.

What happens if my dog eats cat treats?

If your dog eats one or two cat treats, there’s nothing to worry about. Cat treats are generally safe for dogs as they don’t contain any toxic ingredients. However, you should be more cautious if your dog eats lots of cat treats. Whilst it’s not good for your dog to gorge on any food, even his own, cat treats are often higher in fat than dog treats are, meaning they’re more likely to cause pancreatitis if your dog eats a lot.

Unless you are concerned about your dog, it’s usually fine to monitor your dog at home after eating cat treats. Look out for signs of stomach upset, including abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, and call your vet if you become worried about your dog at any time.

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So, can dogs eat cat treats?

Cat treats are generally safe for dogs to eat, but dog treats are not always safe for cats. It’s fine to feed your dog the occasional cat treat as a reward if they enjoy them but make sure you aren’t feeding them too many, or you could cause pancreatitis, obesity, or a nutritional deficiency.

Can dogs eat chicken bones? The resounding answer is no. But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what a vet had to say.

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Can dogs eat cat treats? A vet’s guide to safe treats for dogs (3)

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Dr Joanna Woodnutt MRCVS

After graduating as a veterinarian from the University of Nottingham, Dr Joanna Woodnutt went on to practice companion animal medicine in the Midlands. She quickly developed a love of consulting and helping clients with medical problems such as dermatology, behaviour and nutrition - anything that involved helping clients understand their pets better. Jo started writing about pet health in 2017, realising that it meant she could help even more pet parents. Since then, she has written for countless online and print publications and is a regular contributor for Edition Dog Magazine. Jo now lives in the Channel Islands with her husband Ian and terrier Pixie, and they are expecting their first child very soon.

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FAQs

Can dogs eat cat treats safely? ›

Yes, dogs can eat cat food. Cat treats aren't necessarily harmful to your dog, but they're designed to cater to quite different needs. A cat treats every now and then should not damage your dog, but it should not be given in large quantities and you should not make it your dog's habit.

What happens when dogs eat cat treats? ›

Can dogs eat cat treats? Again, technically, yes. Cat treats shouldn't contain anything toxic, so it is unlikely that your dog will get sick should they hoover up a cat treat or too. But again, they're meant for cats and they aren't very healthy.

Can dogs and cats eat the same treats? ›

Cats and dogs don't have the same nutritional needs, meaning that not all treats are created equal. Dog treats aren't made with cats in mind, and cat treats aren't made with dogs in mind. Cats have different nutritional requirements than dogs, and vice versa.

Are Temptations cat treats good for dogs? ›

Temptations cat treats for dogs? Sure, as a treat once in a while. They are not complete nutrition for a dog and should be kept for special occasions, not as a regular diet.

What happens if my dog eats Temptations cat treats? ›

Unless you are concerned about your dog, it's usually fine to monitor your dog at home after eating cat treats. Look out for signs of stomach upset, including abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, and call your vet if you become worried about your dog at any time.

Why does my dog like cat treats? ›

While dogs often LOVE the taste of cat food or quality cat treats, because they are loaded with tasty fat to get the KJ value high for cats, and they might have relatively high (compared to dog food) amounts of protein, BUT CAT FOOD AND CAT TREATS typically are still often not 100% meat. BECAUSE PLANT MATTER IS CHEAP.

Why can't dogs have tuna? ›

Fresh tuna has much higher levels of mercury than other types of fish, such as salmon and tilapia. Consuming too much mercury can result in mercury poisoning, which can cause severe, or potentially fatal, health complications.

Can dogs get food poisoning from treats? ›

Recalled Dog Food or Treats

You should also keep an eye out for recalled dog foods or treats, which can cause your pup to get sick.

Can dogs have catnip? ›

Catnip can also prevent fleas and mosquitos from bothering both your dogs and cats, keeping your pets happy and healthy. If you see them scratching and biting at themselves, give catnip a try. Not only is catnip safe for your dog but it is also incredibly effective at dealing with a wide variety of health issues.

Can dogs eat CBD cat treats? ›

CBD Treats for Cats and for Dogs Are a Game-Changer

If your dog is totally enamored with your cat's CBD treats, it's OK to let your dog have a few here and there. There's no reason to panic over that.

Can you use Temptations cat treats as food? ›

These TEMPTATIONS™ Cat Treats are a perfect addition to your cat's normal feeding routine: Use them as a treat, a meal, or a cat food topper.

What if my dog ate cat treats with catnip? ›

Luckily, the curiosity is relatively harmless, and if your dog eats catnip they should be fine. In fact, a small amount of catnip may even have some health benefits for your canine friend.

Why do dogs think he's a cat? ›

Research shows that dogs who are familiar with other dogs or humans mimic the behaviors more. While there is no definitive research or even hypothesis as to why your dog is acting like a cat, it could be that he is mimicking the behavior he sees.

How do you tell if a dog likes a treat? ›

We refer to the rewards that matter most to your dog as “high-value” and the ones that are less motivating as “low-value.” The easiest way to figure out which treats your dog likes the most is to see how excited and motivated he gets around said treats. Try taking your dog to the pet store to sniff around.

What is the safest treat for dogs? ›

11 Healthy, Natural Treats for Dogs in Your Kitchen
  • Apples. An apple a day doesn't necessarily keep the veterinarian away, and a whole apple would be a bit much for a dog anyway, but they are good for dogs just like they are people! ...
  • Green Peas. ...
  • Carrots. ...
  • Green Beans. ...
  • Watermelon. ...
  • Cooked Sweet Potatoes. ...
  • Bananas. ...
  • Broccoli.

Can dogs eat cheese? ›

Yes, dogs can eat cheese. In fact, cheese is often a great training tool, especially for puppies. But should dogs eat cheese? While some dogs can eat cheese, and most dogs love it, many dogs can be intolerant of cheese.

Can dogs eat hot dogs? ›

Because they contain so many added ingredients that are not healthy for dogs, hotdogs are not a good choice for your pooch. If you want to give your dog a treat at the barbecue, it's best to give him some plain beef, pork, or chicken that has no salt or other seasoning on it.

What meat should dogs not eat? ›

Common meats to avoid are any processed meats like sausage, bologna, hot dogs etc. Also avoid giving your dog any rib bones as they are extremely brittle and can damage your dog's stomach and throat.

Can dogs eat scrambled eggs? ›

Eggs should be cooked before given to a dog. Cook or boil eggs plain without oil, butter, salt, seasoning, spices, or other additives. It doesn't matter how your dog likes their eggs — sunny side up, scrambled, or hard boiled — as long as they are cooked.

Why does my dog throw up white foam? ›

Vomit that looks like white foam or foamy saliva instead of chunky or yellow vomit is often because of excess gas and air in the stomach. In most instances, your dog is throwing up white foam because there's nothing much left in his stomach to eliminate.

Can chicken make dogs sick? ›

The Infectious Dangers of Eating Raw Chicken

Eating raw chicken falls squarely in the "not good for dogs" category as a result of these dangerous bacteria. Raw chicken meat can be a source of certain kinds of bacteria that can lead to gastrointestinal salmonella infections in both humans and dogs.

Does milk help a poisoned dog? ›

No. Milk is unlikely to be helpful in the vast majority of poisoning situations and can sometimes make things worse. Most pets are lactose intolerant and giving milk can cause or worsen stomach upset symptoms.

Is Doggijuana the same as catnip? ›

Doggijuana is a non-addictive catnip. There are no added ingredients that are harmful for your pet.

How does Doggijuana work? ›

Nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip, binds to the receptors and induces a response that is so relaxing, it's drool worthy. Dogs don't get “high” from catnip like cats do. Instead, it is a calming agent when eaten and a great way to encourage your dog to play longer through smell!

What is the dog version of catnip? ›

Anise is sometimes called "catnip for dogs" because it causes some dogs to become excited and playful. However, it is completely unrelated to the catnip plant. Aniseed can be used ground or whole but is also available in essential oil form.

What CBD treats are safe for dogs? ›

  • CBDfx - Stress and Anxiety Pet Treats (450 mg) ...
  • Holistapet CBD Treats. ...
  • CBDistillery - Zesty Paws CBD Mobility Bites Soft Chews (225 mg) ...
  • Extract Labs - Fetch CBD Dog Treats (300 mg) ...
  • Zatural - CBD Dog Chews. ...
  • Joy Organics - CBD Dog Chews (60 mg) ...
  • Just CBD - CBD Oil for Dogs - Bacon-Flavored.

What happens if dogs eat CBD? ›

Q: What are the most common signs reported in pets after the ingestion of CBD products? A: Vomiting, lethargy, inappetence, and diarrhea are the most common clinical signs reported. Ataxia can occasionally occur with large ingestions.

Is CBD really OK for dogs? ›

CBD products are perfectly safe for your furry friend as long as they're derived from the hemp variety of the cannabis plant. Products derived from the marijuana variety of cannabis, however, are NOT safe for animal consumption, as they typically contain high levels of THC and can thus be toxic to animals.

Can Temptations cat treats cause urinary tract infection? ›

Beware, these treats may cause serious health problems. Why take the chance. see less Our cat was recently fed a lot of Temptations treats for several weeks by visiting friends, who can say no. He started to urinate frequently but peed very little, his ears were warm, took him to the vet that said he had a UTI.

Are Temptations cat treats high in sodium? ›

What is the sodium level in these cat treats exactly? Temptations Mixups Surfers' Delight Cat Treats has a sodium content of approximately 0.46% on an as fed basis.

Do Temptations cat treats have grain? ›

The Temptations treats are not grain free as they contain Brewers Rice.

Can dogs have cat nip treats? ›

Yes! In addition to being safe for dogs, it is also nutritious! Catnip contains a wide variety of important nutrients including: Vitamin C.

Are pet treats safe for dogs? ›

While dog treats can contain essential nutrients, your dog's should consume food for their primary nutrition. 2) Do not feed human snacks and junk food to treat your dog. Just like such foods provide more calories than necessary to your body, feeding too many treats can harm your dog. Avoid giving your dog chocolate!

Does Meowijuana work for dogs? ›

We have 3 Dogs in our home and 2 of them suffer from anxiety this time of year (fireworks). 1 of them can't take any meds because he has a heart condition, so I thought we would give meowijuana a try. It works great to mellow them out so they (and us) can sleep at night!!! Thanks guys, this stuff is amazing!!!!!

What is the healthiest snack for a dog? ›

11 Healthy, Natural Treats for Dogs in Your Kitchen
  • Apples. An apple a day doesn't necessarily keep the veterinarian away, and a whole apple would be a bit much for a dog anyway, but they are good for dogs just like they are people! ...
  • Green Peas. ...
  • Carrots. ...
  • Green Beans. ...
  • Watermelon. ...
  • Cooked Sweet Potatoes. ...
  • Bananas. ...
  • Broccoli.

Can dogs have cheese? ›

Yes, dogs can eat cheese. In fact, cheese is often a great training tool, especially for puppies. But should dogs eat cheese? While some dogs can eat cheese, and most dogs love it, many dogs can be intolerant of cheese.

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