Written by Ansley Hill, RD, LD top top June 9, 2020 — median reviewed by Kathy W. Warwick, R.D., CDE, Nutrition

In time of emergency or economic uncertainty, people often look for innovative approaches for survival.

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In the wake of food shortages or poor funds to buy groceries, girlfriend may find yourself wondering if her dog’s food is a viable choice to aid get you the end of a bind.

After all, if her dog enjoys scraps of person food indigenous time come time, maybe it deserve to work the other method around, too.

This write-up reviews whether it’s for sure for human beings to eat dog food, including risks to think about if she contemplating chowing down on some puppy chow.

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Short-term intake is i can not qualify to damage you
Dog food isn’t intended for person consumption and also isn’t hosted to the same manufacturing standards as human food, but a small amount is unlikely to cause any significant harm.

Dog food is commonly made indigenous a combination of pet byproducts, grains, soybeans, vitamins, and minerals, producing a nutritionally well balanced diet for your pet.

Animal byproducts commonly found in commercially prepared dog food encompass scraps that meat, floor bones, skin, organs, and damaged animal parts understood unfit for human consumption.

Although these ingredients room unappetizing to most people, they’re no technically dangerous to consume — as lengthy as they’ve been cooked, processed, and also stored properly.

That said, the varieties of vitamins included to her dog’s food space a health concern.

Certain arrays of dog food save on computer a synthetic form of vitamin K recognized as menadione, or vitamin K3. Although it appears perfectly for sure for your dog, research suggests that it’s toxicity to people in high doses (1).

The quantity of menadione in commercial dog food tends to be low, however it’s still not advisable for human beings to consume it on any kind of regular or long-term basis. So, if you unsure whether your dog food contains vitamin K3, call the manufacturer because that information.

Dogs and humans have different nutritional needs

Although dog food is edible, it’s not a great idea to make it a regular part of your diet on a permanent basis.

Humans have various nutritional needs than dogs, and also dog food no contain every the nutrient your body demands to stay healthy.

Take vitamin C, for example.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, an important for great skin health and also immune function in humans. Humans cannot develop the vitamin and must acquire it from food.

On the other hand, dogs deserve to make the in their liver, so that isn’t important to incorporate it in your food (2, 3).

Thus, if you reliant ~ above dog food together your primary source of nutrition, you may be putting yourself at danger of occurring nutritional deficiencies over time.


Certain nutrient in dog food space toxic to human beings at high doses, and the total nutrition composition isn’t sufficient for humans. Thus, it do not do it be on regular basis consumed top top a long-term basis.

Just because you have the right to eat dog food, doesn’t typical you should. Dog food comes through its same share that risks, specifically when it comes to food safety.

Much like human being food, dog food can be contaminated through bacteria that can make you sick.

Proper storage and also handling of dog food is necessary to ensure the it’s as safe to eat together possible. Always follow storage and handling guidelines listed on the package to ensure safety for you and your dog.

Certain types of dog food are totally raw. It’s not a an excellent idea for people to eat life or undercooked meat, regardless of even if it is it’s intended because that dogs or humans.

Eating raw or undercooked meat has been linked to epidemic from harmful organisms, such as Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter, and E. Coli. Symptoms can range from mild come severe and also may incorporate nausea, vomiting, minister cramping, and diarrhea (4).

Though completely cooked dog food like kibble or crate wet food may be safer to eat 보다 raw food, it might still do you sick. That’s since it have the right to be inadvertently contaminated with harmful bacteria throughout processing, for this reason increasing your risk of developing foodborne illness.

When contamination is detected, dog food products may it is in recalled indigenous the market. It’s vital to stay educated of any type of pet food recalls for this reason you avoid accidentally exposing you yourself — or your pet — come unsafe food.

In the joined States, the Food and Drug administration (FDA) maintains one online document of recalled commercial pet food products. You can use this data to make sure the dog food friend buy is safe to consume (5).

Risks are greater for little children

Children are more susceptible come foodborne disease than adults due to the fact that their immune solution aren’t completely developed. Thus, it’s not recommended the you feeding your kids dog food (6).

Another — often overlooked — threat of dog food is the it may be a choking risk for little children.

This is especially true because that dry kibble, which deserve to be difficult for little children to chew and swallow safely.

If you have a young child at home, make certain you keep the bag of kibble out of reach and also keep a close clock on them once it’s time for your dog to eat.

If your son accidentally spend dog food, contact your pediatrician or neighborhood poison control authority for much more information around which procedures to take to ensure your child’s safety.


Dog food has actually the potential to cause illness from bacterial pollution of the food, which could make girlfriend sick. Children are at higher risk of arising foodborne illness and shouldn’t consume dog food.

Dog food isn’t designed because that the distinct nutrition demands of humans, though it is make from ingredients that room technically safe for human beings to eat. Thus, that not naturally toxic for humans and may be safe in an emergency situation.

However, eat dog food may rise your risk of occurring foodborne illness. Kids are at better risk of occurring complications pertained to foodborne illness and also shouldn’t consume dog food.

Additionally, dog food may contain vitamin K3, or menadione, which may be toxic to humans in higher doses.

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All the the same food security practices offered in person food handling and preparation still use to dog food. It might be way to save track of any type of pet food recalls come ensure the highest level of safety if you arrangement on eating it.