April 24, 2020
So many dog owners are willing to pay top dollar to provide the best for their dog in every way. With that in mind, human grade dog food has gained popularity in recent years.
More and more brands are jumping on the claim. Which leaves more and more dog owners wondering if they should be buying into the hype.
So what is human grade dog food? Should you feed your dog human grade dog food? And what are some of the best human grade dog foods on the market?
Well, my canine-loving friend, you’re in the right place! Let’s get to the bottom of this dog food mystery.
We’re going to unpack what this term even means, if it’s good or even better for your dog, and some of the best choices out there.
In short, human grade dog food is a term that pet food manufacturers can use if every ingredient in their dog food, and the finished product is safe for human consumption.
Now let’s dive into the details a little.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is an association of agencies that are responsible for regulating animals feed, like dog food. They create rules and standards for things like nutrients, quality control, processing, sales, and terminology associated with animal feed.
And, AAFCO does have official guidelines for dog food companies that label their food human grade. It’s not a term that can be thrown around as easily as say “natural” dog food. But falls more closely in line with a label like “organic”, which has a set of rigorous requirements.
For dog food to tout a human grade label here are the requirements:
So to sum it up--human grade dog food has to be made in a factory that is licensed to make human food and follow safety guidelines and protocol for every ingredient in the dog food at every step of the manufacturing process.
The problem with the term human grade dog food is that it can be misleading for the buyer. While dog food companies can’t work around the safety factors of using the term, “human grade” doesn’t have any specific nutrient requirements tied to it.
In other words, human grade dog food could be a crap combination of ingredients that don’t meet the nutritional needs of your dog—but happened to be made in a human food compatible facility. You see what I mean here?
Luckily, most of the brands that produce human grade dog food DO follow nutritional guidelines and make high-quality foods.
Many of the top human grade dog food companies are producing very nutritionally optimal and customized meal plans for their clients—but dog owners should beware that human grade doesn’t necessarily equal healthy or better.
Human grade dog food is relatively new to the market, but more and more owners are interested in learning more. Quite a few celebrity pet owners use and love human grade dog foods, which is certainly fueling the trend!
Here are a few other things to know about it as you contemplate the switch yourself:
What are the best human grade dog foods?
Here’s a list of some of the most popular human grade dog foods available. Some of them are available to order on Amazon, Chewy, or at your favorite pet store, like these:
Others are more customized and need to be ordered directly from the brand’s website, kind of like a human food meal service such as Blue Apron or Hello Fresh.
I recommend reading specifically about a few before deciding what's right for your dog and budget.
Human grade dog food is a great option for some families. It’s convenient and undeniably fresh but definitely comes with a high price tag. For many dog owners, a well-researched, conventional dog food is totally fine!
To learn more about choosing the right dog food, check out some of my other articles:
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