Working as a Dog Food Tester
By Eric Hammer
If you've looked at Fido's canned dog food and wondered if
it tastes good or not, then you might just be interested in becoming
a dog food tester. Yes, you read that right. Amongst weird jobs,
dog food testers are definitely up there right along with breath
odor evaluators and dice inspectors.
Very few people work in this profession (after all, how many
people really are willing to make a career out of tasting dog
food all day) and most are also nutritionists who work not just
on taste tests but also on making sure the stuff is actually
healthy for dogs to eat (according to one web site we looked
at for this article, the leading cause of animal death in the
United States today is cancer due to poor quality dog food).
Generally, the taste testing part of the job is actually quite
minimal and most of your time will be spent writing reports on
the nutritional value of foods that a research department has
developed. You will work with the major pet food companies such
as Alpo and Purina in order to learn about this business.
How Much Can You Make?
While we found no salary data specifically for dog food testers,
pet nutritionists typically earn between $12-$15 per hour so
it's nothing to bark over and you shouldn't be running to fetch
the paper in exchange for this kind of job.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
While you don't need to be a veterinarian in order to work
as a dog food tester, it does help quite a little bit to know
a lot about animal health. This way, you can better evaluate
how dog food will taste to the audience that's actually meant
to be eating it (i.e the dogs).
Remember that most Americans do love their pets and there
is nothing that most people won't do for them so you can potentially
make a business out of recommending and selling assorted dog
foods if you get turned down by Purina for the job of dog food
Qualifications / Requirements
You'll obviously need well developed taste buds and a strong
stomach, but more importantly, you should have a college degree
in nutrition and you should know something especially about pet
Contact veterinary schools and ask if they offer a certification
program in pet nutrition. Once you know everything there is to
know about it, contact the pet food companies and ask if they
employ a dog food tester. If the person you initially speak to
doesn't know or says no, ask to speak to the research and development
department and they will be able to give you more guidance.
Check out these helpful resources to find out more about becoming
a dog food tester:
Search: Dog Food Tester - This is an overview of the job
of a dog food tester, though as previously noted, in most cases
this is part of a larger job of being a pet nutritionist rather
than being only a dog food tester.
Schools in the USA: Animal Nutritionist - This
is a description of what's involved in becoming an animal nutritionist
(which is really what a dog food tester is).