If you think of all the jobs in the world that you would never want to have, dog food taste tester probably doesn’t even cross your mind. Many people don’t realize that companies like Lily’s Kitchen hire humans to taste test their dog food. Philip Wells is one person who eats dog food for a living, and he’s very passionate about what he does.
Although dog’s palates are different than humans, dog food companies need to make sure that each ingredient in their pet food is perfectly balanced in the right proportions; that’s where human taste testers come in. But how much dog food does Wells actually eat?
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He samples every batch of every recipe that Lily’s Kitchen produces each day. His actual title is Technical Director, not Dog Food Taste Tester, and he says that he enjoys the Lovely Lamb with Peas and Parsley variety the most of all the dog foods he has tasted.
There is more to the job than just tasting the food as well. Wells first looks it all over to make sure he can see enough green beans, blueberries, or whichever ingredients should be prevalent.
Then he smells the food. He says that you can actually tell a lot by the way a product smells. If it smells bad, there is something wrong and he doesn’t even need to taste it to find out.
Lily’s Kitchen recipes only use botanical herbs and freshly prepared meat, so they don’t smell or taste like other commercial dog food brands. Wells is passionate about his job because he believes that taste testing the food is the only way to pick up on all the nuances of the cooking. He says this is particularly important for dry kibbles and treats.
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Wells says that taste along with the way the product feels in his mouth can tell him a lot about the baking process. Lily’s Kitchen only uses the best human-grade ingredients with no artificial ingredients or derivatives, making it not only healthy for canines, but for Wells too.
The company also itemizes every ingredient on their pet food labels so consumers can know exactly what they are feeding their dogs and cats. Lily’s Kitchen prides themselves on being transparent about what ingredients they include in their pet food and treats. In fact, they were named the UK’s number 1 pet food company in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.