Only if pets could talk, people wouldn't have to taste-test cat and dog food. We love our dogs and cats but we never realize that somebody has to make sure their food must be tasted...
Dog food taster! Sounds awful! But Simon Allison's job is to eat pet food for a living.
To make sure the flavors are just right, a group of adventurous eaters chow down on pet food, remarking on everything from texture to tartness. But they only go so far: Simon Allison, a senior food technologist for Marks and Spencer, admits to spitting out the pet food after tasting it and keeping a glass of water on hand to rinse with.
Pet Food Tasters evaluate the nutritional value of pet food and taste-test it to make sure the food is not unhealthy for the pets. Pet Food Tasters don't spend every day sampling it though. Moat days, they're writing reports and thinking up new ideas on how to put a nutritional spin on a new line of food. Taste is important, but nutrition is the key to health pets.
Though dogs will eat anything , that doesn't mean they should. Pet owners want flavorful, immune-boosting pet foods. Smell is also important when choosing the best options. No homeowner wants a house that stinks of fish.
The average salary for Dog Food Tasters is $40,000 annually. Average Dog Food Taster salaries can vary greatly due to company, location, industry, experience and benefits.
Mr. Allison who has three cats at home - Pants, Socks and Vest -has a favorite pet food: the organic luxury chickn dinner with vegetables for cats.
Sniffing the product a bit like a professional wine taster, he said:" It has the taste and aroma of chicken and some of what you call the red flavors - things like heart and liver; gusty; savory notes. Then you get a mealy, green pea, pulse aroma and occasionally a sweeter note from the carrot.
Simon gets to eat and taste chicken dinners, beef strips or campfire jerky bars and it's a dog's dinner (or cat's breakfast), he eats it. What's more, he enjoys it.
"You have to chew it a bit. I have trained my palate to look for materials that we will not allow in the recipe, such as tripe -pet owners react badly to the smell of tripe."
-Simon Allison, Dog Food Taster
What do you need?
So what exactly you need to become a Dog Food Taster (if you really decide to)? Other than passion for food and have a strong sense of smells and taste, you should have a master's degree or higher and share these personality traits:
- Logical Thinker: You should take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
- Detail Oriented: You must pay close attention to all the little details.
- Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas. So definetly you have to be really creative with the ingredients and aroma.
So would you like to know how your pet's food tastes?