How to keep a dog away from cat food

Dalmatian dog eating from bowl and kitten sitting closeDo you find it hard to keep your dog out of your cat’s food bowl? Many owners of both dogs and cats struggle with this. We know people who lock the doors to the second floor to keep dogs and cats separate, or who decided to give the dog away. Sad, and completely unnecessary.

We also have had this problem, as we are owners of a dog and three cats. However, it has been a long time since our dog was able to steal any food from our cat, because we have implemented three of the tips below. And now you can, too.

  • Feed your cat on an elevated surface. A cabin or countertop, or even a cat tree, should do the trick. This is great advice regardless of whether your dog steals from your cat’s bowl or not. Cats are natural climbers, and a wild cat must always be aware of whether someone is coming to take his food away, or even take him as a meal instead. Dogs, however, do not climb. Most dogs don’t, that is. Your cat will feel secure, and your dog won’t eat out of his bowl. Learn more about how to modify your house according to your cat’s needs here.
  • Scheduled feeding has several benefits. It can reduce stress in your cat (though this feels contradictory); it can turn food into a perfect behavior modification tool; and also, if you schedule your cat and your dog to eat simultaneously, it can keep your dog out of your cat’s bowl. Success! Check this page for more benefits of scheduling your cat’s meals.Pet gate - a good way to keep dog out of cat food
  • Install a baby gate to prevent your dog from accessing a part of your house. Block a room, or maybe two. Now you can place your cat’s bowl in this area to keep it safe. Don’t forget to cut out a small opening in the baby gate (or use a gate with a cat door instead) so your cat can get through. Your cat might not have a problem jumping over it now, but as he gets older, or if he acquires an illness, he may have trouble doing so. Alternatively, you can arrange furniture nearby so your cat has a shorter distance to jump. Just make sure your dog won’t take advantage of this path as well.
  • Pet doors work similarly to baby gates. Install a cat door in the room where you feed your cat. Now you will be able to close the door and keep your dog out of the cat food, while the cat will still have constant access to it. If you have a smaller dog which would fit through the opening, you can try an electronic cat door, which opens only when your cat is next to it.
  • Train your dog not to eat from your cat’s bowl. It is possible, but not easy. Why? Because it’s food…the biggest motivator in dog training. When you can’t get your dog’s attention to do tricks, you use food. Even more, this isn’t just any food, it’s cat food, delicious and forbidden. In our opinion, any of the methods above will be easier and less stressful for you, your dog, and your cat. If you do train your regularly, talk about this with your dog trainer. The technique will be similar to training a dog not to take food from the ground.

Keeping a dog out of cat food is not only about avoiding extra expenses in order to fill and refill your cat’s bowl. It’s also about the wellbeing of your pets, because dogs and cats have different nutritional needs. You should not feed cat food to your dog or vice versa.

It’s not a big deal if it happens once or twice, but talking to cat and dog owners, we found this occurs all the time for most. Therefore, implementing above tips to keep your dog out of cat’s food is essential for both. You will save on cat food and ensure the wellbeing of your pets.