Fitness influencer goes viral for eating dog food to increase protein intake

·5-min read

A fitness influencer has gone viral after he revealed that he tried dog food to increase his protein intake.

On TikTok, Henry,@henry.fit, frequently shares videos about different fitness tips and his everyday diet. In a clip shared to his account last month, he poked fun at one food that has a great deal of protein: dog food.

He went on to look at Pedigree’s dog food through his MyFitnessPal app, which tracks one’s daily food intake and exercise. According to the app, 200 grams of dog food from Pedigree had 666 grams of protein. In addition, the app claimed that this serving size had 600 grams of carbs and 69 grams of fat.

The TikTok user explained that after he saw how much protein was in the dog food, he was up for giving it a try. “15,000 likes and I’ll eat a bowl of dog food,” he said.

Henry then followed through with his plan and posted a second video of him trying the dog food. For his dog food choice, he opted for Kibbles ’n Bits’ dry food, with Oven Roasted Beef, Spring Vegetable and Apple Flavors.

He proceeded to show his viewers that he wasn’t pretending to eat the food, as he poured it into a large bowl. He also poked fun at the protein in the dog food, while he looked down at the bowl and said: “It’s for the gains, it’s for the gains.”

Henry continued his video by eating small pieces of the dog food, with a disgusted look on his face. He then coughed in front of the camera, due to the taste of the kibble, and urged his viewers not to eat it.

“It’s not worth it, I promise you guys,” he said. “It’s not worth it.”

As of 20 March, the two videos have more than 24.1 million views, with TikTok users making fun of Henry for trying the food and jokingly offering him other ways in which he could eat it.

“Blend it with a single banana it will cancel out any other flavour,” one wrote, while another added: “Ugh gotta get that good stuff not kibble and bits lol.”

A third joked: “It’s def worth it, he just tryna gate keep. Trust fr fr.”

Other TikTok users have poked fun at the idea of eating dog food for the sake of its high protein. Comedian Christian Chabert, who frequently posts skits about his workouts at the gym, shared a video last month of himself adding a can of dog food to his cart at a grocery store.

After noting that it’s “high in protein” and that the food will be for when he “gets a dog,” the clip proceeded to show Chabert at a table, as he pretended to eat the can of food.

Although the trend may be going viral on TikTok, dog food isn’t intended for humans to eat. As noted byHeathline, the food is made from different combinations of animal “byproducts, grains, soybeans, vitamins, and minerals” that are specifically for a dog’s daily diet.

The medical site also notes that dog food contains a synthetic form of vitamin K, also known as menadione or vitamin K3. Although this form of the vitamin is safe for dogs, a press release issued by the National Academy of Sciences on dietary reference intakes shared that menadione has been associated with liver damage in humans.

Heathline also noted that some dog foods are cooked with raw meat, so if humans do eat it, they become more susceptible to foodborne illnesses. For example, raw poultry has been linked to harmful bacteria like Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, E. coli, and Yersinia, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, speaking to BuzzFeed, Pedigree expressed that its dog food wouldn’t be a danger to humans, if they consumed it.

“Our foods are intended for dogs and cats, but would not be harmful if a human consumed them,” the company explained. “The manufacturing processes and research that go into our products are equal to —and in some cases, even better than — those of human food manufacturers.”

And while Henry’s MyFitnessPal app pointed out the high level of protein in Pedigree’s dog food, this isn’t exactly accurate. In fact, Pedigree told BuzzFeed that the highest amount of protein in any of its dog food products was 28.7 per cent. So one serving of the food would only have 60 grams of protein, not 666 grams.

However, a spokesperson for the app also told The Independent that it is encouraging users to focus on finding healthy foods specifically for humans.

“While we support people personalizing their own nutrition, we believe that they can find all the protein they need from human food!” they said. “We’d recommend people interested in putting on muscle eat high-protein foods like chicken, beef, or plant-based protein, which they can find in our crowdsourced database of 18M human foods.”

While the company didn’t comment about its apparent mistake when listing how many grams of protein were in dog food, it did address the affects of Henry’s viral video. More specifically, they said that more users are now using the app to look up the nutrients in dog food.

“MyFitnessPal is that they did see an uptick in people logging dog food due to the TikTok trend, which was driven by males 18-24 who want to gain or maintain weight. The spike in logging primarily took place between February 20-24,” they added.

The Independent has contacted Henry for comment.