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#116574 - 12/19/07 07:13 PM Re: Pet food as food? [Re: dougwalkabout]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2322
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
You could frame it this way: "Doc, I accidentally ate a few handfuls of puppy chow, thought it was trail mix..."
Better be careful saying stuff like this to a doc. They may end up putting you on a 72 hour mental health hold for evaluation! ;-)

#116576 - 12/19/07 07:21 PM Re: Pet food as food? [Re: MichaelJ]
paramedicpete Offline

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Just keep in mind that certain nutrients/components (carbohydrates, fats, proteins, etc.) in pet food can come from sources not under the same level of quality control as human foods. The most recent problem was the melamate contamination of pet food from components shipped from China. Protein sources can often come from fishmeal, which has caused Salmonella spp. outbreaks, when the feed was not properly pasteurized. Aflatoxins can come from fugally contaminated wheat/cereals even if sterilized/pasteurized post production. If you have the choice, stay away from “open formula” diets, which can derive their nutrients from any source (i.e. protein from fishmeal vs. soy beans) and choice a “certified formula” which must define the source of the various nutrients/components.

Also keep in mind that dogs, cats and humans may or may not digest certain components or have the ability to combine nutrients - i.e. the ability of humans, dogs and cats to combine essential amino acids as complete proteins is not the same. Humans, non-human primates and guinea pigs all require an external daily source of Vitamin C, dogs and cats do not, so dog and cat food is not fortified with Vitamin C.

While most brand name dog and cat food companies have well-established departments for nutrient determination and quality control, these foods are design and balanced for dogs and cats, not humans. Short-term use, providing there is no chemical or biological contamination, should not cause harm to anyone, but I would avoid long-term use.


#116579 - 12/19/07 07:39 PM Re: Pet food as food? [Re: haertig]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 3113
Loc: Alberta, Canada
LOL, haertig. Most people would lock us away for even thinking about such a thing. :-)

#116581 - 12/19/07 08:21 PM Re: Pet food as food? [Re: dougwalkabout]
MichaelJ Offline

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 114
This is exactly the sort of discussion I was hoping for. I plan to store corn and grain and other dry food stuffs for myself and my family. If that all ran out though... I'd eat dog food. I'd cook it a lot first. I don't think it would (or could) be more contaminated than Mississippi river carp and there are a lot of people who eat those. I'm glad to hear that other people have thought about it.

#116584 - 12/19/07 08:35 PM Re: Pet food as food? [Re: MichaelJ]
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
I don't know if it's urban legend or not, but for some reason a story of senile elderly lady living on dog food come to mind. Living by NYC I used to hear about crazy stuff like that all the time. There might be an article somewhere.

#116587 - 12/19/07 08:54 PM Re: Pet food as food? [Re: Paul810]
Bear_Claw_Chris_Lapp Offline

Registered: 08/23/07
Posts: 227
Loc: Sector 16
Back before Y2K I did a ton of research into food storage and emergency food sources, storage, shelf life and such, I even made several phone calls and sent emails to many pet food companies, and what I learned was that virtually all domestic dog and cat food made in the USA is safe for human consumption.

Most companies are afraid of lawsuits from small children eating from pet food dishes.

In omnia paratus

#116588 - 12/19/07 09:00 PM Re: Pet food as food? [Re: MichaelJ]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2845
Loc: La-USA
Dry dog and cat food will be the last items off of the shelves, along with the drier canned pet foods.

There are only 3 days of supplies in American Cities' store shelves at any given moment.

It normally takes 3 hours for the "unprepared" to clean out the store shelves when a forecasted event (severe storm, hurricane, etc) warning has been issued.

It takes about 3 to 7 days (normal times) for the stores to order, receive, and restock the shelves.

After an event has come and gone, it'll take more like 7-14 days for supplies to make it from the time of the order being placed, to the shelves being restocked. There will be communications problems, computor problems, fouled roadways, etc; that will add time (days) to the process.

My personal opinion: By the time the "prepared" need to resupply, there will not be any dog or cat food left on the shelves.

Military (National Guard, USCG, etc.) and civilian (Salvation Army, Red Cross, local Churches, etc.) organizations will have become established on scene, providing food (MRE's, hot coffee, etc), clean drinking water (bottled and tanked in), porta-potties, emergency shelters (public buildings, tent cities, or the newly planned "Containerized Family Shelters"), Emergency Medical care (Military and civilian), Law Enforcement (including anti-sniper teams), etc, etc, etc......
The best luck is what you make yourself!

#116590 - 12/19/07 10:11 PM Re: Pet food as food? [Re: ]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 3113
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I recall something similar -- an African nation in crisis turned away a huge shipment of food aid (corn?) because it might have been genetically modified.

Another time, grain (wheat) was rejected because it wasn't #1 grade intended for flour (and so fell into the category of feed grain, though it was perfectly safe to eat). This was a tragedy, because this ship happened to be in the area and could have been diverted, feeding people within days. It took a month for other aid to start arriving.

I don't intend to dump on Africans here, but rather to illustrate how pride and lack of knowledge can prevent people from making best use of resources at hand. I suspect that most Westerners would have the same reaction to being served 'cattle food' even in a crisis. Eating pet food, even if reasonably safe and nutritious, would be such a horrifying indignity that they'd rather starve.

#116592 - 12/19/07 10:22 PM Re: Pet food as food? [Re: MichaelJ]
handyman Offline

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 79
Loc: Massachusetts
I didn't read all the answers to this topic but I would say that in an an emergency it would be good to eat . I remember tasting some of the dogs food when I was a kid and it was awfull . But when you're REALLY hungry I'm sure just about anything would taste good .
There are some good quality pet foods around that are supposed to be " human grade " food .
I'm pretty sure that dry pet food has a long shelf life .

Edited by handyman (12/19/07 10:25 PM)

#116595 - 12/19/07 10:42 PM Re: Pet food as food? [Re: MichaelJ]
LED Offline

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Premium brand canned dog food like Merrick, Organix, Newmans, Wellness, etc, are surely edible and might even be tasty. However, they're also something like $3 a can so unless you're rich I doubt you'll be stocking that stuff up. JMO, but unless I was absolutely starving I wouldn't touch the non-premium stuff. Who the hell knows whats in there. There was a thread about pet food recently and someone posted a link to a company that makes dehydrated raw food. Looks cheaper than the premium canned stuff.


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