Can Humans Eat Dog Food? Let’s Find Out?

The thought of whether humans can eat dog food appears to be a silly one. But we all have it when we pour down dog food in a bowl.

The curiosity increases even further when the dog starts eating it like it is the most delicious thing in the world. But can a human stomach break down dog treats and digest them? Is it safe for us to eat?

Yes, humans can eat dog food, but in low quantities. The problem arises when you eat it in excess. So, if you taste it and like it, don’t get too over-excited.

Consuming dog food in more quantities can lead to a number of health complications which will make you regret the decision to try this food for the first time.

Wondering how much can you eat and what happens to your body if you “over-feast” on dog food? Then stay till the end.

How Much Can Humans Eat Dog Food?

You should not eat more than one tin of dog treats. No matter how much you like the taste of it, pet food can cause problems for you in so many ways.

But a modest quantity of dog food is unlikely to hurt you. Also, you should not make a habit of consuming food meant for your dogs. Eating it every day, even in low doses, can damage your health.

What Happens When You Eat Dog Food In Excess?

Your body will become a victim of different diseases if you eat a lot of dog treats every day.

It is self-evident that dog food was never designed for human consumption and is not produced to the same standards as human food. Therefore, if you consume it in excess, be prepared to experience the following complications:

1.   Heart Problems

Your dog might not mind you sharing its treats, but your heart will.

Dog food is nutritionally balanced, keeping in mind the metabolism of dogs. Therefore, it contains a high amount of fat and less protein than our requirement.

The high fat is stored in the arteries, which disrupts the smooth blood flow. If more fat is clogged, then the heart will receive less blood, and chances of strokes and a heart attack go way up.

2.   Vitamin A Toxicity

Dog treats are also abundant in vitamin A, which can be toxic to humans in excessive amounts in the long run. If this happens, you will have dry skin, cracked lips, and less hair on your head (Yep, you will go bald).

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But that’s not the worst part. Vitamin A toxicity can damage the liver, which could be life-threatening.

3.   Brain Damage

Menadione (Vitamin K3) is also found in some dog diets. Although it appears to be completely safe for your dog, studies show that slightly large doses can impact your brain.

Menadione toxicity can also cause Hemolytic anemia, a disease in which the levels of red blood cells drop significantly.

4.   Foodborne Illness

If humans consume dog treats, they run the risk of contracting foodborne illnesses. Dog food, like human food, is susceptible to bacterial contamination and can make you sick. Generally, Salmonella and Listeria Monocytogene are the two bacteria that infect the food.

You will face Salmonellosis, Listeriosis, and different gastrointestinal diseases after eating bacterially contaminated dog food.

5.   Extremely Harmful For Children

Children copy what they see adults doing. If they see you eating dog treats, they will try them too when you are not looking.

 Small children are more vulnerable to all of the negative consequences of eating dog food. There are some dog foods that are fully uncooked and should not be consumed by humans, especially small children. Their stomachs are weaker than adults and cannot deal with such food.

Moreover, dog treats, particularly dry kibble, can be a choking hazard for your kids.

So, if you have youngsters at home, keep dog meals out of their reach and keep a watch on them when you feed your dog.

If you discover that your dog’s food is contaminated, you can have it recalled from stores. Furthermore, to avoid unintentional poisoning of your pet or yourself, stay informed about any other pet food recalls as well.

Important Note: If your child inadvertently consumes dog food, you should contact your local poison control center or your pediatrician for advice on what steps to take.

True; adults will not face any health complications if they eat a little bit of dog treats, but still, we recommend not to eat it at all.

Here’s why.

Why You Should Not Eat Dog Food (Even a Low Dose)?

Just like we cheat on our diet by saying a little bit won’t hurt (but it does actually), a few kibbles of dog treats is not good for you either. Although a low dose of dog food does not affect health, we suggest you still keep your hands off of it.

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Why? Here are the two main reasons:

Quality Control Is Not Strict

The major reason you should avoid eating pet food is that it does not go through the same level of quality control as human food before reaching your plate.

Our processed food is subjected to multiple layers of examination. This guarantees that no dangerous compounds are present. As a result, consumers are protected against foodborne illnesses such as salmonella.

Pet food, on the other hand, is not subjected to the same level of scrutiny as human food. When it comes to the kibble that our pets eat, the safety requirements that apply to food do not apply.

Here Is an Example.

Animal by-products are frequently used to provide a nutritionally balanced meal for your dog. These are meat scraps, pulverized bones, organs, skin, and damaged animal parts which are unsuited and inappropriate for humans.

Food Design Is Different

Our meals are designed for omnivores, whereas our pets, such as dogs and cats, are mostly carnivorous by nature. We eat a high-carbohydrate diet, while they eat a high-protein diet.

We would be making a mistake if we tried to live solely on pet food for long periods of time. It would make you sick by the time it was over.

Now, let’s answer one of the most asked questions regarding eating pet food.

Will Eating Pet Food Kill You?

Yes, eating contaminated pet foods in high doses can kill humans. But this is a rare case.

A component called Melamine is there in pet food that is bad for us. It affects the performance of kidneys and can also lead to kidney stones. If the conditions worsen, then kidney failure can also happen, and deaths can occur too.

But did you know that the deaths of dogs are more than humans after eating contaminated pet foods? Yes, you’ve read that right. Dogs can die from eating contaminated pet food.

Recently, USDA reported that 110 dogs died and 210 fell sick due to the contaminated food manufactured by Midwestern Pet food Inc. They got Aflatoxin poisoning which led to a loss of appetite, jaundice, vomiting, and eventually death. Had a low immune human eaten this food, he might die too.

These unfortunate deaths of dogs reignited the emphasis on giving the best and healthiest treats to your pets.

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Which Dog Food is Healthy? (For You And Your Dog)

After knowing Can humans eat dog food, it is important for you to know which foods are the best.

The majority of pet treats are made up of food that humans can’t digest. Plus, the slaughterhouse by-products, including organs, blood, and offal-like skin trimmings, are added to pet foods which can make any normal human gag and then faint.

Such kinds of foods might not be digestible to the dogs either if manufacturers don’t treat these by-products the right way.

Out of many types/forms of dog foods available, go for these three as they are the healthiest:

Wet Canned

Wet canned food goes through the canning process, which warms the food to a high temperature and then seals it in a sterile container, killing any germs or viruses that may be present.

Canning also eliminates the need for preservatives and offers a several-year shelf life.

Dry Kibble

Dry kibble is prepared and preserved with preservatives to extend the shelf life. Also, you don’t need to store it in the refrigerator to protect its quality.

But that’s not the best part about it.

Dry kibbles are chewy and crunchy. Therefore, they keep the dog’s teeth healthy by not building up tartar.


Freeze-dried dog food is usually cooked before freezing, and the freezing process removes nearly all of the moisture from the product. This prevents bacterial growth and mold contamination, making it a relatively safe food to eat.

Given these possibilities, canned dog food is the best choice because the canning process almost eliminates the risk of bacterial or fungal contamination as long as the cans remain intact.

Final Thoughts

So, can humans eat dog food?

Yes, humans can eat dog foods but in all low quantities. If you eat it more, you are bound to face some extreme health complications like heart problems, Vitamin A toxicity, brain damage, and foodborne illnesses.

One tin is the limit here. However, we still suggest you not eat dog treats at all as the Quality control for pet food is weak, and the food design is different. Plus, the dog food tastes horrible and can make you gag.

We already have so many delicious foods to eat, then why go for something that is specifically designed for dogs.