According to Matt Davies Harmony Communities, when there is a recession, emergency, or time of uncertainty, people come up with all kinds of innovative ways of surviving. If you run out of money for groceries or if there’s a food shortage, you may find yourself in a tough spot where you consider eating your dog’s food. Let’s check out if it’s safe for people to eat pet food.
- Short-term consumption may be fine – While pet food isn’t intended for human consumption and isn’t produced at a factory with the same production standards as human food, consuming it in a small amount may not be harmful. Dog food is usually manufactured by combining grains, soybeans, vitamins, minerals, and animal byproducts and is intended for a balanced diet for your pet.
However, animal byproducts often contain ground bones, skin, scraps of meat, and damaged internal parts that are unfit for human consumption. While those ingredients are unappetizing, they aren’t dangerous for consumption as long as they have been cooked, processed, and stored properly.
- Different nutritional needs – While dog food is technically edible, it shouldn’t become a part of your regular diet in the long term. Humans and dogs have very different nutritional needs and that’s why dog food won’t be able to help you maintain a healthy body. For instance, humans require vitamin C to maintain good skin and a healthy immune system.
Humans can’t produce it and food is the only source. On the other hand, dogs can make it in their liver and that’s why vitamin C isn’t a part of their diet. So, if dog food becomes your primary source of nutrition, you’re at risk of developing nutritional deficiencies.
- Risks of developing foodborne illnesses – Just because something is edible doesn’t mean you should put it in your mouth. When it comes to food safety, dog food comes with its own share of risks. Similar to human food, dog food may be contaminated with bacteria to make you sick. That’s why proper storage and handling are crucial to making sure it’s as safe as possible. Moreover, certain pet foods are completely raw. The human digestive system has evolved not to process raw and uncooked food, whether it was intended for you or your pet.
Eating uncooked or raw food has been linked to infections from harmful bacteria and organisms like Salmonella, campylobacter, Listeria, and more. Symptoms range from mild nausea and vomiting to diarrhea, intestinal cramping, or even death. So, if you have to eat pet food, make sure it’s wet canned food or kibble that has been thoroughly cooked. Also, keep yourself informed about contaminated pet food that may have been recalled. You don’t want to consume that under any circumstances.
Matt Davies Harmony Communities suggests that you don’t consume pet food unless it’s the last option for survival. The nutritional needs of pets and humans are very different. While eating pet food may not be inherently toxic, you’re at risk of developing food-borne illnesses.