Is Pet Food Safe for Humans to Eat?

Is Pet Food Safe for Humans to Eat? Nearly 80 million American households have
a pet, with a majority being a cat or dog. Additionally, 42% of homes have more than
one pet. A lot of food is needed to feed all of these
animals, so it should come as no surprise that pet food is a 21 billion dollar industry. While this food is specially made for our
four-legged pals, the question many have (including this researcher) is- in a post-apocalyptic
world where human food was scarce, could I eat my cat’s wet food? Would I get sick from eating my dog’s milk
bones? For the short answer, while it certainly doesn’t
look appetizing, nor (probably) taste any good, the answer is, for the most part, yes-
humans can safely eat their pets’ food… but there are some important caveats which
we’ll get into. For the long answer, let’s look at a brief
history of pets and their food and what manufacturers put in it today and why. It is theorized that dogs first became man’s
best friend sometime during the Ice Age, between 19,000 and 32,000 years ago. It’s thought that the first dogs were simply
tame wolves. Their domestication likely was associated
with the wolves realizing they could get a quick and easy meal if they hung out near
human gathering sites, feasting on the leftover meat of the humans’ hunt. The domestication of cats came much later,
perhaps about 3000-10,000 years ago, with the first potentially domesticated cat discovered
in a 9,500 year old grave. That said, the mass domestication of cats
probably occurred at least a few thousand years after that and was directly related
to the proliferation of agriculture. The theory goes that as humans started storing
grain and wheat, mice came along to eat it. As we all know, the natural (and cartoon)
enemy of mice are cats. (Aside: as we also all “know,” mice love
cheese… except they don’t actually, and will even sometimes be actively averse to
it.) Over thousands of years, both animals have
evolved or been bred to have certain traits become more pronounced or disappear entirely. In terms of physical characteristics, domesticated
dogs today have smaller skulls, paws and brains than their wolf ancestors. Dogs have also adjusted their behavior, becoming
active during the day as opposed to nocturnal like they once were. Today’s house cats, which haven’t been
so deliberately bred, aren’t that much different than the wild cats of yesteryear, at least
physically. Domestic cats may be slightly smaller than
their ancestors, but it is really their genetic and personality traits that separate them
from their forebears. For instance, present-day cats are thought
to be more docile and have better memories than their ancestors. Essentially, cats over time evolved such that
they’re more likely to purr than hiss, with the latter cats less likely to get food from
humans, providing them a decided disadvantage over cats more comfortable around us. Because of these changes (and a more sedentary
lifestyle due to be domesticated), both animals have developed to require fewer calories and
slightly different dietary requirements than their ancestors, who primarily lived off of
raw meat. This brings us to what these animals should
be eating today, and what is generally included in their commercial pet foods. Dietary needs for a dog differ from other
animals, including humans. Canines need more fat than humans, which is
their primary energy source. While dogs also need protein (which helps
build muscle mass) and some amount of carbohydrates (which helps with digestion), human diets
require more. In addition, dogs produce their own vitamin
C and don’t need it included in their food. Despite the differing dietary requirements,
in the end, today’s dogs eat much like their ancestors – consuming the leftovers of humans,
whether you feed them from the table or not. You see, commercial dog food products are
often simply made from “the byproducts of human food production,” as in what’s left
over after humans have taken what we want of the meat. And this is perfectly fine, according to the
Association of American Feed Control Officials, provided the recipe is formulated specifically
for a dog’s dietary needs. It also means that dogs have adapted to be
able to eat a large variety of foods. On the other hand, cats do not eat like dogs,
nor should they be eating dog food or a typical human diet. For one, cats need to eat more meat due to
the presence of an amino acid called taurine, which is only found in animal-based proteins. Unlike humans and other animals, cats are
unable to manufacture their own taurine and, therefore, need to get it from their food
sources. If they don’t, they relatively quickly,
and permanently, go blind, among other health issues. Additionally, since cats are “obligate”
carnivores – as in, they must eat meat in order to get the nutrients they require – animal-based
proteins are essential for felines. Despite this fact, many dry cat foods use
primarily plant based protein. Dry cat foods are also not typically optimal
for our feline friends owing to the fact that they do not have a strong sense of when they’re
dehydrated. You see, cats at one point were desert animals
and their bodies are still optimized for desert-like conditions- able to withstand temperatures
as high as 126° F to 133° F (52° C to 56° C) before showing signs of being overheated
and their feces is typically very dry and their urine highly concentrated, allowing
them to potentially stay hydrated off nothing but the water they get from eating animals. While cats that eat a dry food diet do drink
more water than their wet food diet compatriots to make up for the discrepancy, studies have
shown that, in the general case, their total daily water intake is generally less than
optimal, likely due to their weak thirst “sense”. Thus, if they are not getting a significant
amount of moisture from their food, as they would in the wild, many cats tend to live
in a perpetually mild dehydrated state. For reference, most wet cat foods are about
75% water (about what they’d get from eating animals in the wild) vs. most dry cat food
at about 5%-10% water. The combination of many dry cat foods primarily
being based on plant-based protein and lacking much in the way of moisture is generally thought
to be why many house cats ultimately develop diabetes and kidney problems, among other
related issues, later in life. That’s not to say all dry cat foods are
inherently bad (some are made of very high quality meat-based proteins and the like,
and simply suffer from a lack of moisture) nor all wet cat foods are inherently good
for your cat (some are packed with unhealthy amounts of fats and the like). In either case, the order of the ingredients
is key here, with the first item on the list being the primary ingredient and on down. Cats also need more thiamine, Vitamin A and
Vitamin C than dogs and humans. Without food that specifically has these elements,
cats will be undernourished. This brings us back to humans. In theory, given the human body’s ability
to adapt to a wide variety of food sources, humans are able to eat both dog and cat food,
whether wet or dry, high quality or not… in a limited quantity. For instance, regular high intake of animal
based Vitamin A (which, as mentioned, pet foods tend to have a relatively high amount
of) in humans can cause a myriad of serious, even fatal, complications. For this reason, good quality vitamin supplements
(which are harder to find than you might think) generally use plant based Vitamin A via carotenoids,
like beta-carotene. In this case, if your body needs more Vitamin
A, it will convert the beta-carotene to Vitamin A; if it doesn’t need it, it won’t. In contrast, a meat-based Vitamin A source
is already in the form your body needs, meaning you can potentially get too much of it in
your system. This is particularly a concern for pregnant
women. So, in the end, while it is possible for a
human to subsist for a time on dog and cat food, there is the general caveat that these
animal foods are specifically formulated for the particular animal and not meant to meet
the dietary requirements of humans, though irregular consumption of these foods shouldn’t
hurt you. In other words, cat food shouldn’t be your
breakfast every day. Of course, this hasn’t stopped other writers
and publications from attempting this very thing as a stunt. Nor did it stop a pet store owner from eating
dog treats for thirty days as a way to promote her store. She was later featured on the Today Show. There’s also the TLC show “My Strange
Addiction” with one episode focusing on one person’s cat food fascination.

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100 Responses

  1. Today I Found Out says:

    Now that you know if it's safe to eat your pet's food check out this video and find out What Happens to Big Food Made to Break World Records?:

  2. LouisC says:

    How the fuck is this video recommended when I just tought about that shit yesterday

  3. ìFåГt Mägîç says:

    I definitely used to eat milkbones as a child…. I already knew the answer to this ?

  4. eedobee says:

    Pet food is not suitable for human consumption. It’s irradiated.

  5. Unforgetable Luncheon says:

    Who's gotten a pet food ad before watching?

  6. Unforgetable Luncheon says:

    Asia be eating tons of pussy daily.

  7. SissyBlackWidowSpider says:

    Not cat food the Calories are extreme . Also dog food is no good 4 dogs all vitamins content is to janky so they are missing there minerals and necessary nutrients so if you want that you got to get another type at least has it or petjoy I'm going there to get the nutrients my cat and dog need

  8. Radical Rainbow says:

    I’ve eaten wet canned dog food,rabbit to be exact,it tasted of nothing. Very plain and smelly like KellyAnne Conway ?

  9. Gene DeClark says:

    Would have liked to have seen a warning regarding disturbing imagery starting at about 8:06 when you started showing photos of dead cats and dogs being cooked / prepared for cooking. That can be seriously disturbing, especially to younger audiences.

  10. Challenge Bros says:

    Welp I eat pedigree chicken and rice canned food I have no idea if it’s cooked or not, hoe many likes can I get before I get salmonella?

  11. Stefano Sterghiou says:

    10 minutes to say a yes or no. wtf?

  12. InnSewerAnts says:

    oooh so many arguments with people and their bonedry catfood and unnatural source of water for them. Some even think there has to be water for a cat 24/7.. Well not if you fed it properly in the first place no (though not a bad idea to have it available). Also people getting worried about heat in summer.. It's not a dog, my cats will sunbathe with 32°c like it's the most normal temp ever (which it is, to them)…

  13. Queenfinger says:

    I heard that cat food, especially fish based, is intentionallyally left to rot a few days before canning. Is seem cats prefer unfresh and stinky fish. Is that true?

  14. Korkrag Steelblood says:

    So… cats can drink energy drinks for taurine?
    (And no, this is probably a terrible idea, if for no other reason, cats are excitable enough as is!)

  15. James Cook says:

    If it's good enough for granny it's good enough for me!

  16. Moonbeam 87 says:

    And Tyler Hanes who was Rum Tum Tugger at The Neil Simon Theater, took a Mouthful of Cat food as a Dare on YouTube.

  17. Joshua Bonner says:

    My thoughts in the first 5 seconds "if I'm hungry enough to eat pet food, I'm eating the pet first"

  18. Jack Eyed Peas says:

    I’ve eaten my dog’s milk bones and I’m not dead

  19. David Krueger says:

    Alpo with top ramen. Skid row treat.

  20. Lego Og says:

    people who eat pets should eat other instead, more nutrition and every sane person hates them anyway, so the world is better off without them

  21. Aaron Seet says:

    So the dogs could be wearing either a "FEED ME!" or "EAT ME!" collar label.

  22. Aaron Seet says:

    Can we have segments regarding fish food and hamster food?

  23. Marc De Cock says:

    when I hear: dogs make their own vitamine C, I imagine somewhere in the forest a chemical plant run by poodles. They produce vitamine supplements… would they be cheaper? how do they distribute the stuff, how is it packaged?

  24. Joe S says:

    How much is that doggie in the window?

    $2.99 a pound.

  25. Bob 357 says:

    When I was a young man my girlfriend asked me to pick up some tuna for a casserole. I went to the corner store where aisles were not well identified. Found a can said tuna and ran home. Only when I got home did I notice was cat food. I told gf I would cook dinner. Plenty of spices and a can of mushroom soup in the casserole, was just fine. Never did tell gf. Thought the 19 cent price was a good bargain though.

  26. Napolion Dynmomite says:

    farm animal pellets are safe, and more nutritious

  27. Napolion Dynmomite says:

    my cat is one year old today.[ August 1] She is partially feral. Given the chance, she will eat raw beef, [including blood], over cooked]

  28. Emy XD says:

    Having three dogs, whom I love very much (they are my pride and joy), those last two images were a little hard for me to take in. To think, someone would actually look at that cute Nureongi and think "Hmmm, I'll have you for lunch".

  29. Marlon Abbott says:

    I have a dog and I secretly eat his pupperoni because it's really good

    Am I a human?

  30. Ropals says:

    I ate like…. 13 milk bones once and not only were they absolutely fucking delicious, I didn't get sick at all and that was like, 5 years ago.

  31. faith over fear says:

    The chinese eat a lot of pussy….

    Cats…. what else would i say??

  32. Mac Hannon says:

    Thanks for this video. And for taking time to answer important questions that others would often find too trivial or too silly to answer. ? Anyway, today I found out too about a recent FDA report essentially alleging that the heart disease DCM is linked to grain free dogfood. Can you shed some light into this? The issue has been raging since late June, and many vets and other pet experts and nutritionists have been offering conflicting advice on what to do. The FDA itself has not issued any recalls nor recommended dietary change, yet it still proceeded to list 16 mostly grain free dogfood brands. Naturally, many pet owners are panicking. Anyway, it would be a great and timely update to this video, imho. Looking forward to your response! I’m linking an article on the issue to give you guys the context. Cheerio!

  33. fartpoobox ohyeah says:

    Dogs did not evolve from wolves:

  34. Stephanie says:

    seriously now I watch this? now just hours after my cat who refused to drink died 🙁 this taught me so much about why he didn`t like drinking and why all these products include taurin which keeps making me wonder why the stuff that`s in red bull is in cat food and cat milk

  35. William Rackham says:

    Fuckin' Hell.

  36. Taterman 02 says:

    What kind of monster could eat such a cute doggo

  37. Banderas Vaduva says:

    People be ignoring that in Asia they actually eat dogs for a living.

    Now that’s something PETA should be worrying about instead of focusing on the most stupid and irrelevant things that could come to mind.

  38. hope dies says:

    So i should stop feeding my cat goldfish crackers. The weirdo loves them.

  39. C Nebula says:

    I have made some pet food reviews myself. Cat and dog foods of several kinds:

  40. Ghettq says:


  41. Robert Huffman says:

    Cats would kill you and eat your face if they could. The first time they got got bored or angry (when aren't they not one or the other? When not sleeping). I have lived with cats literally all of my 53 years. I know what they're really up to. I love the horrid little beasts anyway.

  42. Michael Stewart says:

    I used to eat cat food all the time. it looked like cheerios and tasted better too. I am 41 years now

  43. Mvinceable Sun says:

    I thought It said *"It is safe to eat pet animals*"? ?

  44. IcedFate says:

    a cat's purr is an evolved form of mind control

  45. mob syr says:

    I think some people in poor country donot have the chance even to eat better for than pet food.

  46. Nerissa Crawford says:

    I used to love eating fish flakes.

  47. You Got No Jams says:

    Who else came here after that Jimin, j hope, and V ate dog food and now want to try it… ✋me?

  48. EloquentTroll says:

    Bonus fact
    Thanks I hate it

  49. Client R says:

    Not sure if its the lack of research, but you forgot to mention that rural swiss also still commonly eat dogs and cats.

  50. Tomáš a Anička says:

    Question: Is it safe to humans eat cat food?
    Me: Yes!

  51. ίĆE ίĆE BΛBY says:

    Tell us about food not history of cats

  52. simele mdlalose says:

    All the “animal lovers” in the comments who only care about animals being killed for food when said animals are what they consider to be a “pet” ?
    Slaughter is slaughter

  53. duigamer 384 says:

    Why does channels waist your time and just say no or yes they "have to" go into detail

  54. Bernice Panders says:

    I wish those sick fucks who steal dogs & cats from good pet owners, cage them up like hens & sell them to be boiled/burned alive because of their sick ancient cultural BS, would all march themselves into coffin sized cages & will be held captive in that cage while pets get to slowly eat pieces of them over days or weeks, until they finally die, regretting every minute that they ever treated such innocent, helpless, trusting animals like that!!

  55. Richard Todd says:

    Good enough for mad max, but I’ll wait till famine happens before I test the theory out, thanks

  56. DrEsquizoide says:

    Asking the important questions in life

  57. mr snoop says:

    people are carnivores

  58. Tarras Seaboy says:

    Google this for verification if you like, but some low quality pet food manufacturers do purchase euthanized pets from animal shelters to incorporate into their product, so the lethal chemicals may be present in such pet food. They also purchase roadkill as well. Just fyi

  59. aangita says:

    My cats eat a raw diet of mainly chicken. When I'm lucky, I get rabbit from a local farmer and they love it! Sometimes I'll feed them other meats as I make food for myself. No digestive problems for my cats! I did a study on cat food before I adopter and was simply appalled by their ingredients.

  60. Josephi Krakowski says:

    You see.
    It doesn't really matter if i can eat it or not.
    It tastes like fucking shit, so i just won't one way or another.

  61. Wait says:

    Bald boyinaband

  62. Leo Wightman says:

    I ate dog biscuits. But meat no could catch parasites

  63. JayLuv Designs SF says:

    That’s a cute dog breed none are for eating! That’s not right. And those poor kitty’s.. I’m really bummed

  64. Divine Cursader Gaming says:

    To me cats are less domestic than dogs because yeah you have to feed and water a cat a dog can't go out by themselves for a walk and dogs are in away more intelligent depending on breed and how much the dog has been trained

  65. Aim Bot says:

    This is the longest answer

  66. Amanda Shelton says:

    I share my Turkey meat with my cat. I get fresh Turkey meat so there's no preservatives. She loves it. She also drinks a lot of water because I trained her to drink after eating. She even drinks from the sink when I am showering. I don't mind. She's smart enough to know how to turn on and off the water. I even have to keep her away from the light switches because she likes to turn them off and on in the evening. I wouldn't eat her food though because it's not good for me.

  67. hector meraz says:

    My niece once ate half a box of dog snacks lmao this was years ago when she was like ten

  68. EJSFilms2K says:

    If it is human grade you might be able to eat it. That does not mean you will like it.

  69. Avidcomp says:

    Please take off the images on the end… or at least give a warning of these sickening images.

  70. M Winter says:

    Dog food is not even safe for dogs.. specially made is, that they take dead sick animals and road kill and grind it all up. Then they cook at high temperatures and make it into a disgusting paste. They add some flavorings and a few vitamins. Then they dry it and press it into shapes. It is very unhealthy and countless pets die early due to eating this garbage. Whoever made this video should watch the video Pet Fooled.

  71. balooko31 says:

    My sister once (knowingly) cooked up a Thanksgiving main dish with dog food, served it to our family who unknowingly ate a meal made of dog food, she asked what they thought of it, then she surprise told everyone who were obviously very upset. Thankfully I wasn't there.

  72. iamhungey12345 says:

    Scooooooooby, where are you?

  73. iamhungey12345 says:

    The livestick dogs do not look like labradors. Labs do not have pointed ears.

    More like…now that's messed up.

  74. Hank Kuya says:

    In the late 80’s I worked in grocery . In time I’ve known the regular shoppers. In my curiosity I asked the elders why so much canned dog food or cat cat food, for they bought cases or boxes within the week regularly. I was amazed, and thought they had many pets to accompany them in there old age. But, They informed me that they eat their food also.

  75. kevin4gwen says:

    Bonus fax where too gruesome I could have done without those?????????
    Eating dogs and cats should be illegal around the world

  76. Paul D says:

    I'm deaf. The closed captions ended at the bonus features. Do I want to know?!

  77. Steve Bell says:

    Don’t show people killing and eating pets like cats or dogs you son of a bitch.

  78. ElskaBa says:

    DON'T watch the bonus fact if you love cats and dogs!!!!

  79. El ChanGo Blast says:

    I have 5 cats all wild they catch bird's and mice/ rats

    I only put water for them outside

  80. Ben Ben 49 says:

    Did I just see a dog eating a chicken bone? 3:42

  81. MrJeffcoley1 says:

    Can you? YES. Should you? NO

  82. Fred Smith says:

    And PETA wants cats to be vegan. Did you know while not healthy, humans can eat a single meat as their only food and survive, however you cannot eat a single plant and live a normal life span. No plant has ALL amino acids we need but most meats do. While vegan diets can be very healthy, if you are large or highly active you can't physically eat enough beans to retain strength and your body will consume its own muscle. Have you noticed a certain famous Seattle QB has been injured for months but also bragged about lose 30 pounds since going vegan in February? That wasn't fat, it was needed muscle which is why he was more susceptible to injury and why he hasn't healed

  83. Tod Gallagher says:

    Bonus fact makes sense though. Dogs & Cats dont require vast amounts of grazing land, take up little space. They're Small, compact, easy to transport sources of protein. It wasn't till Victorian times people kept cats & dogs as "pets".

  84. Helenice Chroniger says:

    Why do my dogs prefer to eat my food? Because their food tastes CRAPPY

  85. El Cid Gaming says:

    That Yurongi dog looks kinda like an Akita

  86. Yvelle Bradley says:

    Once tried my cat’s dry cat food.
    OMG gross! Disgusting! Yuck!
    Never again. ???

  87. Seba P says:

    – Nobody:
    – Absolutely nobody:
    – Bonus fact!!

  88. billyc call says:

    Eating dogs and cats??? Wtf asia

  89. Myonexis says:

    Animal cruelty warning at 8:28
    Please don't include such pictures, it's very disturbing…

  90. Evilpimp says:

    I have eaten a can of catfood before and I'm not going to lie, it's not half bad, tasted similar to a can of sardines.

  91. Lieutenant BaconWaffles says:

    Cats get very little nutrition from cheap name brand pet foods, because they lace the necessary enzymes to digest grains & vegetable matter.

  92. unevenspleener says:

    Fascinating video, thank you! You may not be aware that, for decades, America's senior population has incorporated canned dog and cat food into their grocery budget as a way to supplement their meager, often insufficient retirement allowance. Thanks again for your post!

  93. 666LaVey666 says:

    I've seen old alcoholics do it

  94. Jessica Canfield says:

    Why would you want to eat cat and dog food? The wet food smells terrible

  95. Everything batman collector says:

    Simon, is that merch?

  96. Nayeem Haque says:

    If it’s good for Charlie Kelly it’s good for me?

  97. J Wolv says:

    Love the channels. Please, keep doing what your doing. I just have a question. What are the countries dietary requirements for the cats and dogs that they in turn consume? Just curious. Thank you for your time and for what you do.

  98. Axel Lemus says:

    "commonly eaten in Asia". I think it pays off to be a bit more thoughtful and not mislead people into thinking that something is more widespread than it really is. Although it is true that some areas (mainly older generations) still eat dog meat, the practice has decreased dramatically in Korea. If you go to parks here, you'll see a bunch of pampered dogs with clothes on, even in carriages! I'm not even Korean but I can't help but roll my eyes when I hear those type of comments

  99. AnUnnamed3vil says:

    Actually, there is NO dietary requirement for carbohydrates in a human diet. A healthy human can manufacture all the carbohydrates they need to survive from protein. We in fact eat far too many carbohydrates, many of them highly refined. This triggers regular insulin dumps, which causes us to store fat.

  100. ? ꧁Æ♱ℍᴲᮄℜᴲⅅ꧂? says:

    I taste a piece of my cat's dry food and treats whenever we get a new kind. They like the same ones that I think taste best too.

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