Heroic Wall Street Journal Columnist Eats Dog Food for a Week

Anne Kadet shopped at PetSmart instead of a grocery store. After all, she was already eating paleo.

Michael Leaverton  |  Nov 5th 2014


Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on a can of your dog’s food and thought, “Wow, look at all this great stuff! And it’s all so cheap. I’m going to eat dog food from now on.”

No? Meet Anne Kadet, Wall Street Journal financial columnist.

Kadet was on a paleo diet, and she literally did just that, writing in a post on OZY that she “couldn’t help notice that my dog’s high-end kibble — like my paleo diet — is high in protein, grain-free, and gluten-free. It’s fortified with omega-3 and omega-6 and antioxidants. The best part? Canidae is an expensive dog food, but at 85 cents a meal, it’s a lot cheaper than eating paleo.”

So, screw it, she switches to dog food. High-quality dog food, to be sure, but still, she has to buy her dinner at PetSmart. On day one, she eats breakfast kibble with her Border Collie and munches Milk-Bones on the run, hustling through NYC’s East Village. The city never blinks.

On day two, she visits a neighborhood pet store and asks the maitre d’ to show her his best dog food. He presents a can labeled Chunky Colossal Chicken Dinner.

“The flavor is metallic and disturbingly bland,” she writes in “I Did It: 6 Days of Eating Dog Food.” “If North Korea produced a canned chicken dinner, it might taste like this.”

On day four, she walks the scared food aisles of the local PetSmart, marveling at “the astonishing array of snacks — bacon chews, dried sweet potato slices, deer antlers.” Her knees go weak. “It’s all very tempting and a bit overwhelming,” she writes.

She selects a couple cans of Simply Nourish and a tube of refrigerated food, which you squeeze out, called Freshpet. The Simply Nourish — chicken and carrot bisque with pumpkin and quail egg — is “very tasty … It’s chock-full of chicken; the broth is rich and flavorful. The quail egg is a bit rubbery, but I can deal.”

She returns to the PetSmart to buy more. If you buy 10 cans, you get two free. Kadet really hit the jackpot with this one.

On day six, she reflects:

“The canned food is so delicious, I don’t feel deprived. My digestion is fine; my energy level is through the roof. And is it just my imagination, or do I have brighter eyes and whiter teeth?”

Later that night, her thoughts turn to the refrigerated tube of Freshpet, there in the refrigerated section of her kitchen. Yummmmm. She squeezes — the “pink paté, flecked with carrots and peas, looks a bit like olive loaf.” She cuts some slices, gently lays them in a pan, and turns on the heat.

“Surprise! It tastes like meatloaf. I could serve this at a dinner party, and no one would blink.”

Note to future party guests of Chez Kadet: Just move the olive loaf around your plate a little bit.

In the end, Kadet has to go and talk to an expert, which is really not a good idea if your thesis is that you can survive just fine on dog food. Naturally, the expert — Dr. Angele Thompson, chair of the Pet Food Institute’s Nutrition Task Force — tells Kadet she should stop eating dog food. She’s not a chair for nothing. She says: “When it comes to optimal nutrition, our needs are different. Dogs make their own vitamin C. Humans do not. Dogs and people require different amino acids. Humans have a more efficient metabolism.”

You know, blah blah blah.

In the end, Kadet loses “nearly two pounds” and her blood sugar levels drop into the “ultralow end of the ideal range.” Despite all that, she decides to return to human food — at least until she loses all her money.

“If I were broke? I’d choose to live on kibble over Kraft dinner or ramen noodles,” she writes.

Read Kadet’s article at I Did It: 6 Days of Eating Dog Food.”

What about you? If you were broke, would you eat dog food instead of ramen? Have you ever sat down next to your dog and shoved a spoon into her bowl? Why do keep those Milk-Bone biscuits in your car’s glovebox, really? Let us know in the comments!

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