Dr. Andrea Middleton - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Andrea Middleton

Is Dog Food Bad For You?



Short answer

Unfortunately short-term and long-term effects on the body from eating dog food are unknown. What is known is that dog food is not created with human consumption in mind and may contain several ingredients that would make most people's stomach cringe.



Long answer

The good news is that eating your pooch's food probably won't kill you and it does, in fact, contain several nutrients, with ingredients largely looking similar to that found in human food. The bad news is that those ingredients aren't exactly the same. Dog food is made from scraps - which includes animal byproducts such as bones, blood, brains, and udders. Also, while you will find protein, carbs, and fats in dog food, the amounts are designed for a dog's metabolism, not a human's. 

Perhaps the worst thing is that you quite simply will not know what you are eating. Unlike human food, dog food is not subject to the same standards and regulations imposed by the FDA and it is not uncommon for rats and other critters to run around in a dog food factory. So, while it may not make it to the ingredients list, there could very well be some rodent feces or ground up bugs in the dog food you buy. 

Another risk is that dog food is not controlled for bacteria as strictly, meaning your chances of catching harmful microorganisms such as salmonella are greater if you consume dog food. The dry dog food may also be a choking hazard for young children. 

The actual long-term effects of human dog food consumption is not known, but considering you don't know what is really inside, it's best to avoid it completely. Just as people don't tend to give their dogs the best portions of meat and eat the scrap themselves, dog food doesn't contain any grade A meats either.

Possible short-term side effects

  • infection from microorganisms

Ingredients to be aware of

  • animal byproducts
  • bacteria
  • "other"

Big is dog food bad for you 2

Healthier alternatives

  • human food

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Written by Jeff Volling | 03-20-2016

Written by Jeff Volling
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