In this article you will find:
- What Does Human Grade Mean?
- Our Top Recommendations for Human Grade Dog Food
- What are the Best Human Grade Dog Foods?
- Should You Feed Your Dog Human Grade Food?
- Is human grade dog food better?
- Can humans eat human grade dog food?
- Is all dog food human grade?
- Is Three Dog Bakery edible for humans?
Over the past few decades, the pet food industry has exploded. The pet food industry was officially born in the mid-1800s when the first food made specifically to feed dogs was released in the form of Spratt’s Patent Meal Fibrine Dog Cakes which were made up of meat, vegetables, and wheat meals.
The first dog food in the United States was released in the form of canned horse meat following World War I. By the 1930s, canned cat food became available and dry meat-meal dog foods grew in popularity. To see what it might look like to feed your dog a human-grade dog food, below are our recommendations for the best human grade dog foods in the market today:
Whether you are completely new to dog ownership or you already have many years of experience under your belt, you have come to the right place. Here at DogFood.Guide we are dedicated to providing dog owners like you with the information you need to be the best dog owner you can be.
DogFood.Guide is maintained by Mary Nielsen, an animal lover of both dogs and cats. Mary has been passionate about animals all her life and works hard to provide you with a wealth of information about training and caring for your dog.
Best of all, Mary is always available to answer questions and you will find that the library of articles posted on DogFood.Guide grows continuously in response to your questions and suggestions.
What Does Human Grade Mean?
According to the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), there is no strict definition for the term “human grade” as provided by animal feed regulations. This isn’t surprising, however, because human-grade products are generally not intended for use in feeding animals.
The main distinction you have to keep in mind is whether the product is considered “edible” for humans – this is a standard set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In fact, there are two ways to categorize food products, according to the USDA:
- Human Grade – This term is used to describe finished products that are legally suitable and approved for human consumption (i.e., deemed “edible” by the USDA).
- Feed Grade – This term applies to products that are not considered suitable for human consumption and can legally only be used to feed animals. If any of the ingredients or the processes used in manufacturing the product do not meet human grade standards, the product is deemed feed-grade.
OUR TOP 3 PICKS FOR HUMAN-GRADE DOG FOODS
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In addition to there being a clear distinction between human grade and feed-grade products, there is also a difference between products that are deemed human grade and those that are made with human-grade ingredients. A product can only carry the official “human grade” label if it is made from human-grade ingredients AND processed in a human food facility.
If the product contains human grade ingredients but is manufactured in a pet food facility, it loses the human grade distinction but can still carry the “made with human grade” ingredients claim on the package.
Just remember that a product being made with human grade ingredients isn’t necessary a guarantee of quality, you still need to evaluate the quality of the product for yourself.
Our Top Recommendations for Human Grade Dog Food
If you’re considering making the switch to human-grade dog food for your canine companion, you should be prepared to increase your pet food budget. This type of pet food is made with human-grade ingredients in a human-grade facility, so the manufacturer’s cost to produce the food will be much higher and some of those costs are passed on to the customer.
You can be rest assured, however, that you will be feeding your dog one of the highest quality pet food products out there.
Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
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Ollie Fresh Pet Food
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The Farmer's Dog Fresh Pet Food
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Spot & Tango Fresh Pet Food
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Pet Plate Fresh Pet Food
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The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe
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Spot Farms Chicken Dehydrated Human-Grade Dog Food
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What are the Best Human Grade Dog Foods?
- Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
- Ollie Fresh Pet Food
- The Farmer's Dog Fresh Pet Food
- Spot & Tango Fresh Pet Food
- Pet Plate Fresh Pet Food
- The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe Dehydrated
- Spot Farms Chicken Dehydrated Human-Grade Dog Food
1. Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
Don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of Nom Nom – it is a relatively new company. Nom Nom offers a completely new option in dog food similar to the kind of meal delivery services for people that have lately become so popular. The way it works is that you create a profile for your dog on the Nom Nom website, including information about his breed, sex, age and activity level.
Once your profile has been completed, Nom Nom designs a custom meal plan for your dog and delivers it perfectly portioned, fresh frozen, right to your door. All you have to do is thaw the food one container at a time and feed your dog the recommended amount.
It is as simple as that. Nom Nom pet food is cooked at low temperatures to preserve the nutritional integrity of the raw ingredients and delivered frozen to preserve its freshness.
According to the Nom Nom website, this company uses, “only human-grade, nutritious ingredients to make [their] vet-formulated recipes in a human-grade facility”.
Their recipes are all natural and grain-free, plus they are free from fillers and artificial additives. You can choose from two main proteins – chicken or beef – and each recipe is supplemented with nutrient-rich organ meats, sunflower roil, chia seeds, and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The beef recipe provides 12% crude protein as fed and 10% crude fat which, with a 68% moisture content, translates to a dry matter basis of 37.5% crude protein and 32.25% fat. The chicken recipe contains 10% crude protein and 5% fat at 72% moisture, translating to about 36% crude protein and about 18% crude fat.
2. Ollie Fresh Pet Food
Ollie is a company that specializes in providing customized, healthy food based on a pup’s profile (age, breed, weight, activity level, and allergies). It’s a relatively new brand that was founded only last 2016, but it has grown into an in-demand fresh dog food delivery service with a large following.
The company recommends precise portions based on how much calories your dog needs then ships it to you on a flexible but regular schedule. All you have to do is store each meal pack in the freezer and only thaw out what you need when your doggo needs it. It’s easy because it’s ready to serve.
Not only are Ollie recipes made of human-grade ingredients, they’re also all crafted by canine nutritionists to ensure your dog gets the proper nutrition and diet that’s designed just for his requirements.
The ingredients depend on whole foods that are cooked gently to retain the nutrients inside of them. There are no artificial flavors because the brand believes that fresh food tastes amazing on its own (and we agree). There are no fillers like wheat, soy, or corn, and best of all, it’s human-grade food that you can taste for yourself.
Currently, Ollie offers four flavors in its dog food line: beef, chicken, turkey, and lamb. Each recipe is centered around meat with superfoods to add all the nutrients each individual pup requires, from minerals and vitamins to fibers and antioxidants.
3. The Farmer's Dog Fresh Pet Food
With a slogan that reads, “Smarter, Healthier Pet Food,” The Farmer’s Dog meal delivery service keeps each recipe simple but guided by science.
It’s a company that was founded in 2016 by two dog lovers who hated the idea of highly-processed food for dogs being touted as healthy and natural, so they decided to create a pet food line that is nutritionally complete for dogs but perfectly safe to eat for humans.
The two founders, who were roommates, got the idea for the business after a pet dog of one of them became sickly. They experimented with homemade recipes and found the dog getting much better after feeding on healthy, natural foods.
From homemade recipes, The Farmer’s Dog formulas now are crafted based on the advice of top vet nutritionists.
Each meal is made with human-grade meat and veggies in USDA kitchens to ensure the highest quality safety and quality standards for your pet. Plus, it’s tested on humans!
Everything is made fresh to maintain nutritional integrity, which by the way, exceeds the industry standards for dogs set by AAFCO.
The brand pre-portions the calories and servings based on your dog’s profile that you will create. Everything is customized to your pet’s exact needs, so you don’t have to worry that it’s not enough.
You can also rest assured that all ingredients are properly identified and labeled with no preservatives or fillers that can cause harm.
All food is delivered only within days after cooking, so you can be sure it’s fresh and has not been stored for weeks on end, in an eco-friendly packaging.
4. Spot & Tango Fresh Pet Food
Spot & Tango is a new fresh dog food delivery service that is based in New York that provides human-grade food direct to your door on a regular basis. They create a customized, pre-portioned meal plan based on your dog's age, weight, breed, and health goals.
Using their very own recipes created by Vet nutritionists, Spot & Tango takes locally sourced lean proteins, fresh vegetables and fruits, and high-quality carbohydrates and cooks up a batch of homemade food in their USDA-certified kitchens just for your dog.
All ingredients used in the formulas are human-grade. There’s no mysterious meat mashups that often get tossed into your typical kibble.
Each recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for all life stages, which means it is appropriate to feed to both puppies and adult dogs.
Their food contains nothing artificial — no fillers, no additives, and no preservatives — so it arrives frozen. Store the food pouches in your freezer until you're ready to use them. Take a pouch out the night before and place it in the fridge, or thaw a pouch in warm water or in the microwave.
5. Pet Plate Fresh Pet Food
Pet Plate is a service similar to Nom Nom in that they sell custom meals for pets. The company was founded after the owner’s dog died in the wake of the largest pet food recall in history, all with the goal of providing pet parents with safe, high-quality foods to feed their pets.
Pet Plate offers a selected line of pet food and treats that are lightly cooked and made with human grade ingredients.
The quality of the ingredients and the gentleness of the cooking process ensures the quality and nutritional integrity of the food itself. The founder of the company states that, “nothing goes into our products that we wouldn’t eat ourselves”. This company sources almost all of their ingredients directly in the USA, their kitchen is in NYC and it often checked for quality.
Not only are Pet Plate foods made with premium ingredients, but they are nutritionally balanced and easily digestible. In addition to meat-rich proteins, this company formulates their recipes with fresh fruits and vegetables for nutritional balance.
While human-grade dog food may be at the top of the list when it comes to quality, there are plenty of other wonderful options out there for your dog. If you have the money to spend on this type of food, it is definitely worth it but don’t feel guilty if you can only afford a 3-star or 4-star dry food. What is really important is that you give your dog the love he deserves and the highest quality diet you can consistently afford.
6. The Honest Kitchen
Though The Honest Kitchen may seem like a strange name for a pet food company, it is an accurate reflection of this brand’s commitment to honesty and clarity when it comes to their products.
This company has nothing to hide – in fact, they have a lot of good things to talk about! This brand is known for its dehydrated pet foods which are made with natural, human grade ingredients like premium animal proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Honest Kitchen sources their ingredients from around the world, but they have close relationships with each of their suppliers so they are able to guarantee the quality and safety of their products.
Not only do they use human grade ingredients, but they make their foods in human grade facilities. You may also be interested to learn that the company received a letter of No Objection from the FDA for using the term “human grade” to describe their products. That’s saying something.
When it comes to their products, The Honest Kitchen offers whole grain food and grain-free food options. Their recipes feature meat-rich proteins like beef, chicken, turkey, and fish with digestible carbohydrates including whole grains, coconut, parsnips, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and more.
For many years, dry dog food was fairly simple and there weren’t a lot of choices. Today, however, all you have to do is walk into your local pet store to see how things have changed. Not only are there dozens of pet food manufacturers, but there are hundreds of different recipes and a wide variety of different types of dog food. In recent years, there has been an emphasis on improving the quality of pet foods and this has led to the use of terms like “natural” and “holistic”.
7. Spot Farms Chicken Dehydrated Human-Grade Dog Food
Spot Farms is a dog food company that takes its name from the various trusted farm families throughout the U.S.A. that it partners with. It seeks to bring you and your pet only the most premium of ingredients by using the finest meats from antibiotic-free, regionally-grown, and USDA-approved pork, turkey, and chicken.
All of the brand’s products are certified fit for human consumption, because Spot Farms only utilizes 100% natural human-grade ingredients. There are no artificial preservatives or colors in any of the recipes; no fillers like soy, corn, or wheat; and no unknown ingredients or chemicals in the list.
However, each of the formulations are rich in superfoods that are natural sources of antioxidants, Omega fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals.
There’s a dog food and treat for every life stage, from puppies to seniors, and for every preference. For multiple dog households, where the age ranges widely, there are dog foods to meet all life stage requirements. While for single-pet families, there are specially-crafted recipes to meet your dog’s specific needs.
Each recipe relies on a dehydration method that keeps all the nutritional value of each ingredient intact. When serving, it’s as simple as adding water on the kibbles and then stirring.
There is no animal meal on any of the recipes, which means that Spot Farms’ recipes have about four to seven times the amount of real meat when you compare it to other dry kibbles. They also meet established nutritional standards set by the AAFCO.
Another term you may have heard used for certain types of dog food is “human grade”. But what exactly does human grade mean and how does it apply to dog food? Keep reading to find out.
Should You Feed Your Dog Human Grade Food?
There is no one-size-fits-all dog food. The type of dog food that is right for one dog may not be the ideal choice for another. And there isn’t always an obvious right or wrong choice. What you need to do is learn as much as you can about your dog’s nutritional needs and then select a pet food product that will meet those needs in a high-quality way.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to shell out for a human grade dog food, but that is certainly one of the options. If you absolutely want to give your dog the highest quality dog food and money is not a problem, go with a human grade dog food, by all means.
Is human grade dog food better?
So, a human grade food may not be any different in actual nutrients than a traditional pet food and even the ingredients may not be all that different. The bottom line is that purchasing human grade pet food does not ensure healthier or better quality food for your pet.
Can humans eat human grade dog food?
Technically, yes. Feed grade means that the food cannot be legally sold as food for humans. Up until this time, dog food was for dogs. Food is either fit for human consumption or it is not. In order for a pet food to be labeled human grade, all ingredients in the final product must be approved for people to eat.
Is all dog food human grade?
No. According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials, there is no legal definition for the term human-grade. In order to label a food as a human-grade dog food, all ingredients must be edible for humans, and the food itself must meet federal manufacturing and packaging regulations.
Is Three Dog Bakery edible for humans?
Three Dogs Bakery sells biscuits, cookies, cakes, and meals, and while the company boasts that the food is good enough for humans to eat, it's intended for dogs. And the executives say they can vouch for their products because they've eaten them. We eat every treat before we give it to a dog, said Islinger.