eat one's own dog food

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From dog food, a jargon term for goods sold to customers of a company.


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eat one's own dog food (third-person singular simple present eats one's own dog food, present participle eating one's own dog food, simple past ate one's own dog food, past participle eaten one's own dog food)

  1. (computing, slang) To use products or services one is selling internally, in order to understand their limitations.
    Synonym: dogfood
    • 2004, Avram Joel Spolsky, Joel on Software: And on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to Those Who, Whether by Good Fortune or Ill Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity, Apress (→ISBN), page 223:
      AOL was signing up members at a furious rate, in part because it provided a better user experience than Juno, and we didn't understand that, because we didn't eat our own dog food.
    • 2012, Dorothy Graham, Mark Fewster, Experiences of Test Automation: Case Studies of Software Test Automation, Addison-Wesley Professional (→ISBN), page 53:
      As with most Microsoft product teams, we eat our own dog food.
  2. (idiomatic) To use or consume the economic goods or services that one is producing; to be part of a closed household economy.