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It’s True: You Can Earn $70K Tasting Pet Food!

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Kanvi

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I have a cousin who worked for a major pet food manufacturer. He visited me once to hand over a bag of a new dog food that they had recently started selling. My dog absolutely loved it; he ate three servings in one go! I doubt dogs would like eating food that doesn’t taste very good. So I asked my cousin: who tests these foods and makes sure they taste good? I mean, I know dogs have the final say on the taste, but surely someone has to taste-test it first, right?

My cousin gave me a knowing grin… dude must get asked that a lot. Turns out, people are the first ones to test their dog foods. When I turned pale, he laughed and reassured me that pet food was perfectly safe. Safe for doggo, safe for owner. Food technicians are usually the first ones to test it, he said. But they also have a list of… uhm, regular taste testers. These are regular people who earn money by tasting dog food.

I thought he was pulling my leg, then I found this article. Simon Allison, who is profiled in the article, is probably the most famous pet food taster on the planet. The guy does this full-time. This piqued my interest. Can tasting pet food actually be lucrative? And what exactly does the job entail?

So I did some additional research, and I’m sharing my findings here. You’re probably wondering if I ended up giving this a try? Read to the very end of this article to find out! I’ll also be sharing my recommendations later.

Earning Potential

The US pet food industry is worth over $28 billion! A lot of that money goes into research and development, which is where food tasting falls under. Now, you won’t become a billionaire doing this, but surprisingly there’s still a lot of money to be made.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that the average pet food taster made over $70,000 a year! No, I didn’t add a few extra zeroes by mistake. That’s 70,000 cool, crisp dollars to eat pet food. The job pays better than most office jobs out there.

The more I thought about it, the more the salary made sense. The pet industry is ultra-competitive, and when a person tastes the food, they can provide more detailed feedback. That feedback could help the company make their product better than the competition.

Also, there’s bit of a stigma attached to doing this. And that’s why pet food companies pay so much: it’s to incentivize tasters.

We often hear the words “human grade” or “pet grade” which implies that there are foods only fit for animals. But to a taste-tester, these labels are meaningless. The food is clean and safe, so what’s the problem? Also, they actually make more money than regular officer goers, so they get the last laugh.

Doing the Job

It’s really no different from taste-testing people food. The pet food company sends you samples of food to taste. Your job is to provide feedback on the food before the company mass-produces it.

You’ll note your opinion on things like taste, texture, and yes, even mouthfeel. Most taste-testers don’t swallow the food.

But what isn’t like other tasting jobs is that you’ll have to analyze the food from a pet’s perspective. As a person, you might not like the food, but would a dog like it? It helps to understand the psychology of the animal the food was meant for. For example, dogs aren’t very picky about their food, which is why dog food is slightly bland. As a taster, you’ll have to take that into account.

And that’s it, pretty much. Taste food, record your opinions, send back to pet food company.

Job Requirements

While the food technicians my cousin mentioned all had fancy science and nutrition degrees, their taste testers had all sorts of backgrounds. One lady was a theater actress who did this during the off-season.

The only hard requirements are the ability to “experience” the food the way a pet would, and to be able to write down findings clearly.

It may sound easy (once you get past the ick factor) but this is a highly demanding and specialized job. The pet companies wouldn’t pay so much if just anyone could do this!

Where to Find Pet Food Taster Jobs

If you’ve made it this far, chances are you’re curious about the job. Maybe you’d even like to give it a try!

Pet food companies don’t always publicly advertise these jobs, and for good reason. While there’s nothing inherently wrong or harmful with tasting pet food, it could give the company some bad PR.

The best place to check is with the companies themselves. Contact their HR department and be upfront about your inquiry. Don’t worry; it may seem strange asking them for pet food tasting jobs, but they’re probably used to hearing about it. I would recommend being professional with your inquiry. This is a serious matter.

The Verdict

This is a legit way to make big money! How do I know? Yep, I gave this a try! For a year, I tasted dry cat food. In case you were wondering, it tastes really salty and fishy. That was a very lucrative year for me, and I earned enough to start my own (non-pet-related) business. It’s not for everyone, but I still recommend it.

Your Turn

This article is based on my experiences as a pet food taster. Now it’s your turn to share. Have you given this a try? How did you find the job, and how much have you earned?

Let’s hear your stories!
 

alexa_ot

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LOL is this for real? I don't know if I'd be able to get myself to taste dog food but at 70k a year I'm tempted. Can one be drunk while doing this job? Just thinking it might be one way to get over my gagging reflexes :eek:
 

Kanvi

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LOL is this for real? I don't know if I'd be able to get myself to taste dog food but at 70k a year I'm tempted. Can one be drunk while doing this job? Just thinking it might be one way to get over my gagging reflexes :eek:
Probably considering they will ship the food to your house. So don't see how they would know if you are drunk or not.
 

skalentoman7

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#5
Actually pet food and human food are practically the same thing. It’s just labeled different and maybe processed differently but in pet food ingredients, we have chicken, shrimp, fish, cow, pork and turkey meat or broth and all of this is precooked . You just need to change the perspective of the way we look at food. I already tried dry cat food and it taste like bland crunchy cereal. I wolud like to try this out for myself. :D:coffee:
 

Kenshin

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#6
Actually pet food and human food are practically the same thing. It’s just labeled different and maybe processed differently but in pet food ingredients, we have chicken, shrimp, fish, cow, pork and turkey meat or broth and all of this is precooked . You just need to change the perspective of the way we look at food. I already tried dry cat food and it taste like bland crunchy cereal. I wolud like to try this out for myself. :D:coffee:
Can you take a selfie when you try one and post it here? :LOL:
 

skalentoman7

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Can you take a selfie when you try one and post it here? :LOL:

i already tried dry cat food;)..... well:unsure: i could take a selfie:cool: but it all depends on how many ETB$$$$:giggle: points are we talking :unsure: about if i doo it????
It’s not that bad, I already tried Larvet’s BBQ flavored larva worms and nacho cheese grasshoppers and recorded it, but I haven’t posted the video yet.

I think canned Dog food with some spices and seasonings would go great inside a Empanada and nobody would know the difference.
And by the time i tell you dude its dog food the empanada is gone already.:ROFLMAO:.......................and this will be the face of that person:sick: and then it will get posted to youtube or facebook.:sneaky:100.0000 likes(y)... lol:D
 

Kanvi

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i already tried dry cat food;)..... well:unsure: i could take a selfie:cool: but it all depends on how many ETB$$$$:giggle: points are we talking :unsure: about if i doo it????
It’s not that bad, I already tried Larvet’s BBQ flavored larva worms and nacho cheese grasshoppers and recorded it, but I haven’t posted the video yet.

I think canned Dog food with some spices and seasonings would go great inside a Empanada and nobody would know the difference.
And by the time i tell you dude its dog food the empanada is gone already.:ROFLMAO:.......................and this will be the face of that person:sick: and then it will get posted to youtube or facebook.:sneaky:100.0000 likes(y)... lol:D
LOL agreed. I think there was a tv show where they did this, serving fancy appetizers at a castle and nobody knew it was cat and dog food. Same with the wine, they bought the cheapest ones and nobody knew the difference.
 

skalentoman7

Active member
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#9
LOL agreed. I think there was a tv show where they did this, serving fancy appetizers at a castle and nobody knew it was cat and dog food. Same with the wine, they bought the cheapest ones and nobody knew the difference.
do you remember anything about the shows name ??? it would be cool to find it:cool:
 

msmoneybags

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I wouldnt go all out and eat canned food *yerk* But I have tried a tiny piece of milkbone dog biscuit just tastes like a bland hard cracker, and also a tiny piece of one of those liv-a-snaps which taste very much like charcoal. From what my aunt told my she caught my cousin eating the dogs kibble more then once lol
 

Cassandra

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#17
Tasting dog food is one thing. Eating it as a steady diet is another. Your body needs the kind of nutrients that dog or cat food doesn't have.
 

Holden

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#19
I tried dry cat food once, out of curiosity. It was the saltiest, fishiest-tasting thing I've tasted. It's technically food, and thus edible by humans. But the flavors and nutritional content aren't suitable for us.
 

Burt Maklin

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Man, the Earn Dat Buck community is awesome. I’ve joined a bunch of money-making forums, but none of them have the type of unique info you find here on ETB. Like eating pet food… that’s pretty unique.

Okay, I’ve gotten paid to test cat food. It actually started as a joke, but pet food tasting ended up being a real gig for me. I lost a bet with some of my buds and emailed a local cat food brand. Part of the bet was, I had to appear serious with my inquiry. Well, the joke’s on me. I was asked to report for a screening (i didn’t eat cat food yet at that point).

The interview was pretty serious. They wanted to make sure that I was serious about the job. At that point, I knew it wasn’t just a joke anymore. Anyway, long story short, I got accepted to taste pet food. They paid me so, I thought “why not?” and took it seriously.

I thought I’d write a general pet food tasting review and answer a few common questions in the process:

“Is pet food tasting a real job?”

Yes, because you get paid to do it. And when you get paid to do something, you gotta be professional about it. Technically, my job was part-time, since I had to be in their food lab (that’s what they called it) to test the food – they weren’t just going to send food via courier and trust that I was indeed tasting the food.

I got paid $3.50 an hour, which was a little less than half the minimum wage. So pet food tasting is definitely a real job, but it won’t pay the bills. I looked at it as a way to make a few extra bucks a month, and it definitely fulfilled that need.

I’m sure you read about the dude who makes $70k a year. That’s on the extreme high end of the scale and I never saw offers that paid anywhere close to that amount. So don’t get your hopes too high when considering pet food tasting as a way to earn moolah.

“Anything people need to know about pet food tasting?”

This takes a lot of work. There’s a process I had to follow – I didn’t just open a can and start scarfing pet food down. I showed up at the food lab about three times a week, and then would spend a few hours. There were times, usually when a new product was in its finalization phase, that I had to stay the entire day. I did get compensated for those additional hours.

The work process was pretty complex. I was given samples of food to taste. I tried to grade the food according to looks, texture, “mouthfeel”, and of course, flavor. I didn’t have to get into the mindset of a cat, unlike other people. All I had to do was give my opinions as a human-person-being. And it made sense – humans were the ones making the buying decisions for their pets, so the appearance of the food had to appeal to them.

“So how did it taste?”

It was… not bad. For starters, I wasn’t the first person to try a particular food. By the time it got to me, an in-house team of food technicians and nutritionists would have already tried it. So by the time I tasted the food, some tweaking had already been done to make it somewhat palatable.

It tasted just like regular food, but the flavor levels were out of whack. For example, if you’d expect saltiness to be in the background, cat food brings it to the foreground. Also, the food doesn’t try to mask the animals-y taste. Does that make sense? Like, if the food is fish, it doesn’t try to mask the fishy flavor. That sorta thing.
 
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