Don’t give your pet any food that’s meant for a different animal
If you’re someone who owns several furry (or scaly) friends, you may be inclined to give them the other’s food when one runs empty. This is usually a terrible idea.
This is because all animals have individual methods of processing different nutrients, says Heinze.
For instance, while giving cat food to a dog might not be immediately toxic, over time, the dog’s health could suffer from not eating food designed for their species. Heinze notes that some dogs who primarily eat cat food have a chance of running into some weight gain and possible nutrient toxicity.
She told INSIDER, “In general, the risks to dogs [that are] fed cat food are much less than to cats [that are] fed dog food because cats have more required nutrients [in their food] and the minimum amounts of them are usually higher for cats.”
Basically, if a cat tries to subsist on dog food, they’re more likely to suffer from weight loss, muscle loss, and other serious complications.
But this rule doesn’t apply just to cats and dogs. You shouldn’t be handing rabbit pellets to your parrot, either.