In some formal communication, I would like to use that phrase to indicate how reliable my product is, because we use it on a regular basis, and thus serve as a reassurance.

7 Answers 7


Here's a definition from Joel Spolsky:

The term “eating your own dogfood,” in the software industry, means using the code you’re developing for your own daily needs: basically, being a user as well as a developer, so the user empathy that is the hallmark of good software comes automatically.

So you can write, "We are users as well as developers of our own product; it's a reliable part of our daily workflow," or however it is you use it.

  • You're welcome; EL&U is here to help.
    – Gnawme
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 6:11
  • What does Joel Spolsky know? Who says he has all the answers? <ducks> Commented Sep 6, 2020 at 0:27

The spokesperson for Hair Club for Men used to say on television:

I'm not only the Hair Club president, but I'm also a client.

  • Nice, I like it. Probably won't fit into my usage scenario, but it's crisp.
    – icarus74
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 16:45

An alternative phrase: you're putting your money where your mouth is. You're not just talking about your product, you're investing in it as well.

I appreciate that this isn't very formal. Having said that, it occurs to me that however you phrase this sort of statement, the audience may get the impression that you're rather desperate for them to trust you. Attempting to make it seem more formal might have the opposite effect, unless backed up with an example, e.g. something along the lines of

At [company], we use [product] for [use case].

  • thanks. You make a very good point. It may indeed turn out to be counter productive.
    – icarus74
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 18:02

In most technology companies "dogfooding" is a perfectly normal/formal term.

  • Thanks @mkb. While this is indeed a technology company, our clients are a mixed-bag of technology and non-technology companies. My worry is sounding offensive, crude, to our non-technology clients.
    – icarus74
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 4:55
  • As a non-techie, I didn't know what you were talking about with the dogfood!
    – Julia
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 3:22
  • I still don't like it for a tech company. It sounds like you are saying what you make is garbage and you know it, equating it to making food at such a low quality that it should be considered dogfood. I don't make dogfood, and if I did I wouldn't want to eat it myself nor would I want my employees eating it. There has got to be a better term someone can come up with. Commented Jan 19, 2021 at 18:34

Try this: "Drink your own champagne". Same concept but a more refined and pleasant metaphor.


A more formal (yet concise) term for this in the software field is self-hosting.

  • Thanks @Graham, for taking time to answer. Had heard the term self-hosting, but I took it rather literally, to mean web-hosting. Is it used in a more generic context ?
    – icarus74
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 18:03
  • Yes, it's quite common to refer to a self-hosting compiler, or version control system, or requirements-management tools, etc. Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 22:57
  • It still sounds strange. Are there any other terms to refer to a language with a compiler that is implemented in its own language, or a testing framework that tests itself using itself? Commented Jan 19, 2021 at 18:37

Gnawme's answer is fine if you want a literal statement.

"We practice what we preach" would more formal than talking about dogfooding, while not being absolutely literal.

  • 2
    But "practice what we preach" has a different meaning.
    – slim
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 8:59

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