If you’ve ever wondered if humans can eat dog food, don’t be ashamed! It’s natural to be curious about random things like this. Dog food might not look tasty or appealing, but it’s still edible. And if dogs can eat home-cooked meals now, why can’t humans eat dog food? Eating kibble might not be a normal behavior, but it can be good to research it in case your kid accidentally eats it or maybe if there’s an apocalypse one day. The first scenario is much more likely, but some people just want to be prepared for anything.
Can Humans Eat Dog Food?
Yes, humans can eat dog food. But should they? Probably not. Eating small amounts of kibble probably won’t cause any noticeable problems, but you should never consider it for a meal. A high-end dog food might have the essentials like protein and nutrients, but there’s one clear reason why it’s not good for humans: it’s made for dogs.
Dogs and humans have different nutritional needs. While both are omnivores, dog food lacks some nutrients that humans need while human meals might lack some items that dogs need. For example, vitamin C is important for humans. We can’t produce it on our own, so we need to include it in our diets. However, dogs can make vitamin C in their liver, so dog food could lack the portions of nutrients that humans require.
Also, dogs require a more protein-heavy diet than humans. While most kibble brands are lacking in quality animal protein, an ideal diet for dogs should have around 56% protein with minimal carbs since that’s closest to their ancestral diet. For humans, only approximately 12% to 20% of our daily calories should be protein, depending on our body weight. So, this also makes dog food unbalanced for human life.
Risks of Humans Eating Dog Food
First of all, dog food isn’t appetizing to humans. It’s bland due to lacking the salt and sugar that we crave. There are some human-friendly dog treats that are meant to be shared between humans and dogs, but other than that, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to stomach eating dog food. It might cause digestive problems solely because of how unappealing it is.
Eating dog food once might not have any negative effects on you, but eating it long-term sure will. If you eat nothing but dog food for your meals, you will likely experience vomiting, drowsiness, or other signs of illness due to improper portions. The longer you stay on a dog food diet, the more health concerns you’ll likely run into. So, it’s best to avoid it.
Even if you can stomach eating dog food, there’s still an even riskier side to it. Dog food is often stored in storage containers where bacteria and other unhealthy germs could build up over time. It’s actually safer to keep the dog food in the bag it came in because most dog food bags were made to protect the food from dangerous bacteria. If you scoop some of your dog’s food out of another container and eat it, you could easily get sick.
Also, most kibble goes bad fairly quickly once opened. If the food is sitting around for too long, it could be bad without you even noticing. Expired kibble often looks the same as a new bag of kibble because it’s so processed. The food might look normal, but it could quickly cause sickness for a human. Dogs are more tolerant to these issues, but for most humans, it can cause extreme discomfort, followed by vomiting.
What to Do if You Accidentally Eat Dog Food?
An adult probably won’t eat dog food without thinking it over first. But a kid or infant might eat it out of curiosity. For some kids, choking hazards alone could be enough of a concern. If your baby grabs a handful of dog food, they could easily choke on the hard pieces. So, always keep dog food out of reach from small children.
If your child ate dog food, but doesn’t appear to be choking, you should still proceed with caution. It might be a good idea to contact your pediatrician or poison control for advice. You’ll also want to closely observe your child for any unusual symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or stomachaches. If your kid develops symptoms after eating dog food, take them to the doctor for further examination. Kids will often be more sensitive to the unbalanced diet of dog food than an adult would.
In most instances, there’s no need to worry if a human eats dog food. But it’s better to be cautious just in case, especially when a child is involved.
Stick to Your Own Food
All living beings require different foods to survive. So, as much as we love our dogs, we aren’t the same as them. Instead of getting curious and tasting your dog’s food, stick to your own meals and let your dog snack on their food in peace. As long as you’re both getting a high-quality and well-balanced diet, you can both live happy, healthy lives together.