Have you been feeding the cat in the same way you always have done, with exactly the same food, yet somehow she seems to be losing weight? To make matters worse, at the same time your dog is steadily piling on the pounds even though he isn’t being fed any extra! You, like many thousands of others, are probably housing a dog that has discovered he can sneak in an extra meal or two if he thieves from the cat.
This might seem humorous at first, but apart from the price of double the cat food, it’s unhealthy for both your dog to be eating too much and your cat not to be eating enough. Fortunately, training him not to eat your cat's food can alleviate these problems and may even reduce your cat's resentment of the dog!
"No!" is probably a word you have shouted far too many times when you’ve caught the dog deep in the cat's food bowl. Training him not to do that will require obedience commands and steps to reduce his access to your cat's food. Cat food is richer in protein and fats than dog food, making it rather appealing. But that protein and fat can quickly lead to weight gain, so if you want a healthy weighted dog and cat, it’s important you get this training right. Overweight dogs can quickly develop a range of health conditions, including arthritis.
It will always be easier to train a puppy not to eat the cat's food because they are more receptive than older dogs, who may be stuck in their bad habits. Fortunately, the training itself is relatively straightforward and within just a couple of weeks, you may be back to only feeding your cat the once.
Before you get going with your training you will need to get your hands on a few things. You will need clearly distinguishable food bowls for both your dog and cat. You will also need a quiet space in the home, free from distractions.
You will also need some treats for your dog or his favorite food broken into small chunks. An optimistic attitude and a significant amount of patience will also be required. Apart from that, you will just need 10 minutes a day to invest in daily training.
Once you are fully equipped with these items, your work can begin!
I have tried ALL suggested methods to keep Diesel out of the cat food. I have 8 cats so feeding the cats on a specific scedule doesnt work well at all. I currently have a baby gate between the cat area (food and litterbox room.. laundry room..) but as soon as the gate gets left open by a child or while I am even in the laundry room and turn my back to put something the dryer for just a moment he is chowing down on the dang cat food. I am wasting so much money on cat food because out of my 4 dogs he is the only one I cannot get trained to leave the cat food bowl alone. He gets fed plenty with his normal food but I am at my wits end with him and eating ALL the cat food in 2 seconds (about 3 cups worth) any other ideas.. the baby gate is on the laundry room door way (there is no door, just like an archway from kitchen to laundry room.. at times I am in and out of there quite a bit in just a few minutes where opening and closing the gate gets to be a hassle at times) please help!!
Hello Mariah, First, I suggest moving the cat food a bit higher if you can, like on top of something dresser height - so that the cats can easily jump up but it will slow the dog down - even if it won't prevent especially athletic dogs completely. Second, invest in a pet barrier devices such as this one; https://www.chewy.com/petsafe-pawz-away-outdoor-pet-barrier/dp/48581?utm_source=google-product&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=hg&utm_content=PetSafe&utm_term=&gclid=CjwKCAjwvtX0BRAFEiwAGWJyZCE8huC4zxs6gzG66du6UZuSkYOlyRYq28mSpUSP6Jcs_Rj2uXHM0xoCEb4QAvD_BwE These types of devices have a collar that pup wears, similar to the concept of an electric fence and corresponding electric collar. The device is set to a radius you choose, and whenever pup gets within that radius the collar stimulates and corrects pup - deterring them from the area, even when you are not present. Place the barrier device near the cat food - make unobtrusive enough that the cats won't mind it being there. I suggest combining this device with the Leave It command, and practicing leave it around the cat food on leash first so that pup understands that he isn't supposed to go near that area, then once the collar is added, have him wear it around for a couple of days without it correcting him - just to get him used to the collar and help him to not associate the correction with wearing the collar but with being near the cat food. After that, spy on pup, have the cat food high enough to slow down his approach, then let the collar correct him for approaching the food that he knows he shouldn't bother when he thinks no one is looking. As soon as he is corrected, enter the room and calmly tell him to leave the room. Set up this scenario several times throughout the week - so that every time he tries to get the food he is corrected and never succeeds at going back to eat it. You want the consistency of corrections combined with not receiving any food reward to finally convince him that the cat food is just not worth it anymore. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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