If you have a dog at home, you may wonder if you could survive on dog food. While this may seem like an odd question, it is one posed by many pet owners.
You may also wonder what would happen if your children accidentally intake dog food. Others may decide they like the meaty taste of dog food, but is it still safe for human consumption?
Let's discuss this and your many questions about dog food consumption among humans. Read on!
Is Dog Food Safe For Human Consumption?
The first question you may ask is, "is dog food safe for human consumption?" The short answer is, yes, it may be safe but in small quantities only, and it also depends on the food.
Dogs have different dietary needs than humans. Therefore, dog food is made to fulfill their unique dietary needs and won't hold the same nutritional benefits for you.
The base ingredients in dog food are similar to those you may eat, including chicken, meat, and vegetables. However, it may also contain additional products that are not safe for humans.
You want to look out for labels such as "meat-by products especially"- this refers to clean parts of a mammal other than the meat, such as ground-up bones, spleen, kidneys, lives, brain, and intestines or stomach.
Such feed-grade additions are not safe for human consumption.
Can Humans Eat Dog Food Long Term?
No, dog food is not safe for humans to eat in the long run. While dog food may be edible, it won't be safe for you if you eat it for more extended periods.
As we discussed earlier, dog food is not made for human consumption since most dog food items contain meat add-ons and by-products. These add-ons are not necessarily dangerous to consume (if manufactured, cooked, and processed correctly) but aren't appetizing either.
The primary concern is the proportions of macronutrients a dog's food has, particularly the vitamin content.
You will find many dog foods contain a large quantity of menadione, a type of vitamin K.
In high doses, this vitamin can be toxic for humans and has been associated with liver damage. In low quantities, this can be bearable, but if you consume dog food for more extended periods, it can prove to be highly unhealthy.
Can Humans Eat Dog Food In An Emergency?
Would dog food be a safe food alternative for survival? Yes, it would be okay for you to eat dog food in the case of an emergency, although you may find it very unpalatable.
But, again, it should be kept in mind that dog food is not formulated for human consumption.
Dog food usually contains by-products, such as bone, liver, brain, spleen, etc., that are not a normal part of the human diet. You may experience some discomfort and indigestion, however.
Putting these limitations aside, dog food has some overlapping macronutrients that humans need to survive. This makes it an acceptable source of nutrition in the case of emergencies.
Differences In Dogs And Human Nutritional Needs?
Dog food is not considered a healthy form of nutrition because it caters to your dog's nutritional needs, not yours. In addition, there are many differences in the makeup of dog food and everyday human foods, primarily in the type of vitamins they have.
We already discussed how dog food tends to store higher amounts of menadione, a form of Vitamin K that can be toxic for humans. But it can also lack specific vitamins that you need. Vitamin C is a prime example of this.
Dogs can produce vitamin C in their liver, which is not considered a core part of their dog food makeup. On the other hand, humans cannot make their own vitamin C and need to get it from their dietary intake.
This is why if you are eating dog food, you won't be fulfilling your nutritional needs. Over time, this can lead to serious nutritional deficiencies.
What Dog Food Is Similar To Human Food?
Human-grade dog foods are generally much more similar to human foods regarding their processing. Compared to feed-grade dog foods, these only use ingredients and processes in their manufacturing that are approved for human consumption.
You will want to avoid feed-grade dog foods at all costs. These use animals and plant ingredients that are not safe for human consumption and are only allowed to be served to your pets. In addition, these pet foods contain bones, cartilage, and organ meats.
On the other hand, human-grade dog foods are manufactured using the FDA's human standards. They only use safe ingredients and processes that are usually similar to foods we humans consume.
It doesn't necessarily mean that such dog food is nutritious or beneficial for humans, but it does label dog foods as being safer. This is why human-grade dog foods are considered more similar to human foods than feed-grade dog foods.
Can Humans Eat Dog Snacks?
Dog snacks are edible, but making them a part of your daily diet is not a good idea. They tend to be safe to eat because the FFDCA regulates dog treats, so they are produced under sanitary conditions and do not include harmful substances.
In addition, most gourmet dog foods are made from the same ingredients we consume, such as chicken and vegetables.
Let's talk about some specific types. Can humans eat dog jerky? Technically you can, but it won't be healthy for you. It won't be processed the same way jerky is done for humans.
What Do Dog Biscuits Taste Like?
Next, you may be wondering what dog treats taste like. To put it short: they tend to have a meaty or bland taste, not exactly sweet as you would expect "treats" to be.
While they are manufactured using eggs, flour, and milk, these are some of the essential components of any biscuit. They contain additional flavorings and smells that make them suitable for dogs' taste buds.
For example, dogs are more inclined towards treats that taste like meat; this is why dog biscuits and most dog treats have a meaty flavor.
Can Humans Eat Dog Cake?
While this may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, most dog cake mixes are made using human-grade ingredients. This makes them safe for human consumption.
The real difference is that dog cakes tend to have little to no sugar and use healthier ingredients such as applesauce, pumpkin, yogurt, and peanut butter.
If you are looking for dog cake recipes that humans can eat, check out this recipe that uses natural peanut butter, applesauce, and pumpkin puree, along with staples such as flour, baking soda, oil, and eggs, to create a puppy-friendly cake.
However, like most dog cake mixes and recipes, this one lacks sugar so it won't satisfy your sweet tooth.
Here is another easy peanut butter dog cake recipe with oats. Oh, and this one also lacks sugar.
Can Humans Eat Dog Ice Cream?
Yes, you can eat dog desserts such as dog ice creams. Most dog desserts are not made for human intake, but they carry many of the ingredients used in our desserts.
These ingredients are not harmful to humans, so eating dog ice cream won't necessarily pose a health hazard.
You may have also come across some ice cream brands such as the Doggie Desserts by Ben & Jerry's ice cream that is suitable for canines and equally safe for humans too!
Can Humans Eat Grass?
No, we would never recommend eating grass. But why can't humans eat grass?
While grass is non-toxic and generally edible, it is not an ideal form of nutrition. Eating grass wouldn't kill you if you were to eat grass, but it will wreak havoc on your digestive system since human stomachs are not built to digest raw grass as herbivores do.
This is why it is never recommended that you eat grass.