Here at BarxBuddy, we get a lot of questions about dog food, like one of our faves, “Can I eat my dog’s treats?” After receiving a few inquires about whether canine cuisine is safe for human consumption, we thought it was time to address this question and others like “What exactly is gourmet dog food?” Hold that kibble! Let’s first take a close look at your pet’s food and learn why you might want to think twice before partaking.
What Does “Gourmet” Mean on Dog Food or Treats?
What makes dog food or dog treats gourmet? Some say it is food prepared to the highest culinary standards, whereas others hold it’s the use of special or rare ingredients or a combination. The way food is presented could also classify as gourmet. One look at the dog food section of your favorite retailer, and you can’t help but notice several “gourmet” options. These types of culinary delights (based on exotic fare humans enjoy) come in a range of flavors and are created to meet the nutritional needs of our canine friends.
Keep in mind that some gourmet foods are intended as snacks or supplements to your regular dog food. You might want to consider adding a water-based vitamin and nutrient supplement to your dog’s water. This type of supplement ensures your dog gets a healthy, balanced diet.
Types of Gourmet Dog Food
Gourmet dog food comes in both wet and dry forms with clever names and flavors. Some brands focus solely on one cuisine like TikiPets, which is all about the flavors of Hawaii, while others offer various flavors of comfort food. You can find gourmet dog food that contains a single- or multiple proteins or a combination of proteins and veggies that deliver a nutritional balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Here’s a glimpse at some of the more distinctive flavors you might expect to see on a 5-star restaurant menu:
- Hilo Luau is a blend of shredded tuna loin with whole prawns.
- Kauai Luau contains shredded chicken in a lobster consomme.
- Lahaina Luau features shredded chicken breast, kale in a crab bouillabaisse.
- French Country Cafe is a french duck stew.
- Venison Holiday Stew contains venison, potatoes and other vegetables.
- Wilderness Blend features a combination of duck, venison, buffalo and vegetables.
- Green Eggs and Chicken is a blend of chicken, eggs and spinach.
- Wok the Dog is a stir fry of chicken, beef, and pumpkin.
- Marbella Paella contains mackerel and pumpkin in an aspic.
- Hasen Duckenfeffer is a mixture of duck, rabbit, and potatoes.
- Lamb & Lentil is a lamb and lentil flavored with olive oil dish.
- Chicken au Frommage is a combination of chicken, cheese, and an assortment of vegetables and fruits.
How to Introduce Gourmet Dog Food to Your Pet
Before you go throwing in bags of Brats n’ Tots or Turducken (combo of turkey, duck and chicken with veggies) in your cart, you should speak with your vet, as any changes in your dog’s current diet can cause a host of issues including diarrhea and vomiting. Introducing the diet over a 5 to 7 day period can give your pet’s tummy time to adjust. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) an ideal transition would follow:
- Day 1: 25% new diet and 75% old diet.
- Day 3: 50% new diet and 50% old diet.
- Day 5: 75% new diet and 25% old diet.
- Day 7: 100% new diet.
With that said, if your dog has a sensitive stomach, food allergies, or gastrointestinal troubles, the transition period can be longer. Slow down the transition if your dog has a change in appetite, or shows other adverse food reactions such as vomiting, diarrhea, skin inflammation, rashes, itching, or hair loss.
Can I Eat My Dog’s Food or Treats?
Ready to bite into some tasty morsels as you’re serving up gourmet food to your dog? Compared to what you would pay for human dishes with these fancy names and ingredients, your dog’s cheaper morsels sound like a delicious experiment that can’t go bad. Palatability aside, eating a bit of your dog’s food probably won’t harm you. However, there are a few reasons you should refrain from delving into your pet’s food bowl.
Yes, gourmet dog foods and treats are made from many of the same ingredients like chicken and vegetables that we would consume. On the other hand, dog food may contain animal byproducts, including ground-up animal bones, skin, and organs considered unfit for human consumption. If that isn’t enough to deter you, how about this: Dog food doesn’t have to follow the same strict food health and safety guidelines set for human food, which help prevent illness from contaminated or improperly handled foods. The proportions of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in dog food could further be harmful to you if ingested in large quantities or for an extended time because humans and dogs have different nutritional needs. Although you may be tempted to partake in your pup’s grub, we recommend sticking with your human food and leaving canine food to the dogs. Besides, your dog says, “Get yer own.”