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Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands!

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Ma. Leonor Dollisen

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Best Human Grade Dog Food

Over the past few decades, the dog 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 human-grade dog foods, below are our recommendations for the best human grade dog food brands in the market today.

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.

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 Foods

If you’re considering making the switch to a human grade diet 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 food 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.

Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 1
Ollie Fresh Pet Food
  • Nutrition based on science
  • Free from common allergens
  • Slow cooked in small batches
Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 3
The Farmer's Dog Fresh Pet Food
  • Freshly made meals
  • Customized to your dog’s individual needs
  • Maintains nutritional integrity of food
Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 4
Spot & Tango Fresh Pet Food
  • Uses only 12 simple ingredients
  • Calculates a perfect meal plan
  • Without fillers, preservatives or additives
Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 5
Petplate Fresh Pet Food
  • Vet-designed meals
  • You can order multiple recipes
  • Creates the perfect meal plan for your pet
Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 6
The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe
  • 100% human-grade recipes
  • Made from high quality ingredients
  • Perfect for all life stages - lactating mother included
Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 7
Tylee's Human-Grade Beef Recipe
  • Easy to serve
  • Made with ingredients from trusted sources
  • Contains real, whole foods you can see
Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 8
Caru Real Turkey Stew
  • With fiber-rich vegetables
  • Ideal for sensitive pups
  • 100% holistic ingredients
Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 9
Canisource Grand Cru Red Meat
  • Zero preservatives and by-products
  • Dehydrated dog food for all life stages
  • Made with zero by-products, artificial colors or flavors
Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 10
Under the Weather Rice, Turkey & Sweet Potato
  • Fortified with electrolyes
  • Bland diet made from turkey
  • Food substitute during times of stomach upset

What is the Best Human Grade Dog Food?

  1. Ollie Fresh Pet Food
  2. The Farmer's Dog Fresh Pet Food
  3. Spot & Tango Fresh Pet Food
  4. Pet Plate Fresh Pet Food
  5. The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe Dehydrated
  6. Tylee's Human-Grade Beef Recipe
  7. Caru Real Turkey Stew
  8. Canisource Grand Cru Red Meat
  9. Under the Weather Rice, Turkey & Sweet Potato
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1. Ollie Fresh Pet Food

First 5 ingredients (Beef): Beef, Peas, Sweet potato, Potato & Carrot

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.

Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 11
A delicious option that is made from human-grade ingredients. Everything is packaged in easy to use portion sizes, so there’s no confusion about how much to feed each mealtime.

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.

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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.

What we like about it:

  • Customized to your pup’s requirements
  • Food is cooked in small batches and delivered fresh
  • Comes with a handy scoop for custom portioning

2. The Farmer's Dog Fresh Pet Food

First 5 ingredients (Turkey): USDA Turkey, Chickpeas, Carrot, Broccoli & Parsnip

With a slogan that reads, “Smarter, Healthier Pet Food,” The Farmer’s Dog meal delivery service keeps each recipe simple but guided by science.

Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 12
A delivery service that makes complete and balanced, freshly made pet food using simple recipes, guided by science and love.

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.

What we like about it:

  • Crafted specifically for your dog’s age, breed, and size
  • Food made fresh in USDA kitchens
  • Food is delivered within days of cooking and never deep frozen

3. Spot & Tango Fresh Pet Food

First 5 ingredients (Lamb): Lamb, Brown Rice, Spinach, Carrots & Peas

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.

Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 13
Spot and Tango believes that no dog is ever the same and so their food shouldn't be either. They offer personalized meals that is tailored-fit for your your pet by answering their questionnaire.

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.

What we like about it:

  • Personalized food according to your pup’s needs
  • Uses only twelve simple ingredients
  • Cooked in small batches each week

4. Pet Plate Fresh Pet Food

First 5 ingredients (Beef): Beef, Apple, Beef liver, Carrots & Potatoes

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 ingredients that are human-grade.

Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 14
They offer vet-designed meals made from real, organic ingredients in a human-grade kitchen. They offer exceptional pet food that is based around science to deliver all the nutrients your dog needs.

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.

What we like about it:

  • Personalized meals delivered fresh
  • Each meal is hot-filled and flash-frozen to ensure safety and freshness
  • Many recipes to choose from

5. The Honest Kitchen

First 5 ingredients: Dehydrated Chicken, Organic Barley, Dehydrated Potatoes, Organic Flaxseed & Organic Oats

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.

Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 15
Offers real homemade food minus all the hassle. Simply add warm water and wait for 3 minutes before serving.

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 ingredients that are human grade, 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. Furthermore, dog owners are raving about how they are loving their product lines.

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Their pet foods are packed with protein and other healthy nutrients and they are gently dehydrated, not cooked, to ensure that they retain most of their original nutritional integrity.

In addition to their dehydrated pet food products, The Honest Kitchen also offers a line of freeze-dried treats as well as meal toppers to give your dog’s food a boost of flavor and nutrition. They also offer two base mixes that you can mix with meat to create your dog’s own homemade diet.

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”.

What we like about it:

  • Rehydrates to 4x its weight (a 10 pound box is equal to 40lbs of fresh food)
  • Convenient to bring anywhere, just add warm water to serve
  • Many options to choose from (grain-free, grain-inclusive, and limited ingredient diets)

6. Tylee's

First 5 ingredients (Beef): Beef Heart, Beef, Beef Liver, Broccoli, Zucchini

Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 16
Crafted from real, whole foods that you can easily identify which have been minimally processed in order to keep their nutrients intact.

Tylee’s is a cooked, human-grade dog food line made by online pet food distributor, The ingredients are sourced from the USA and select farms in New Zealand. 

Each Tylee’s meal is packed with high-quality protein, USDA-grade meat and minimally processed human-grade fruits and vegetables. There are no grains, wheat, corn, soy, byproduct meals, or artificial flavors and colorings in any of the brand’s recipes.

Inside each bag are whole foods you’ll recognize, like spinach, apples, chia seeds, cranberries, and dried kelp to keep the nutrients naturally-derived instead of being synthetically added.

Although the ingredients may be sourced from other parts of the world, all of the brand’s products are manufactured right here in the US, in Tylee’s Texas plant that’s also USDA inspected and approved.

The Tylee’s recipes are sold frozen and only need to be thawed or microwaved before serving. The vegetables in the food, however, are quick-blanched first before freezing to maintain the produce’s freshness and flavor.

Aside from the human-grade meals, Tylee’s also makes human-grade freeze-dried treats and jerkies.

What we like about it:

  • Single-animal protein diets
  • Low calorie content
  • Easy to serve. Just defrost or microwave first before serving

7. Caru Pet Food

First 5 ingredients (Turkey Stew): Turkey, Turkey Broth, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Potatoes

Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 17
This is a hearty stew that uses non-GMO ingredients minus all the common allergy-causing foods. This is perfect for sensitive and picky eaters.

Caru Pet Food is a human-grade pet food line that manufactures a line of nourishing meals and treats for cats and dogs that look, smell, and taste like homemade food.

Each of the brand’s recipes start with USDA inspected meat or poultry. It is then mixed with responsibly-sourced veggies and fruits to make stews that consist of 100% human-grade ingredients.

The entire processing and handling are done in accordance with FDA regulations for human food. In fact, the brand has detailed documentation from the FDA concluding that the foods are indeed human-grade.

Because the foods are prepared in small batches, Caru has more control over each meal that they manufacture, ensuring that the end result is a food that your dog will recognize as homemade.

Caru recipes are cooked in small batches at low heat to keep as much of the ingredients’ natural nutrition and flavor as possible. There are no preservatives, soy, wheat, byproducts, gluten, grains, or GMO ingredients in any of the brand’s formulations. There is nothing artificial either.

The brand is one of the few manufacturers of human-grade dog food with a very extensive lineup of products. These include Classic Stews, Daily Dish Stews, Natural Treats, and Daily Dish Smoothies.

What we like about it:

  • Extensive lineup of human-grade recipes to choose from
  • Uses limited and traceable ingredients
  • The brand only uses non-GMO ingredients

8. Canisource Grand Cru Gourmet Pet Food

First 5 ingredients (Red Meat): Pork, Beef, White Rice, Whole Barley, Rolled Oats

Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 18
Featuring real meat first, plus other high quality fruits and veggies, this dehydrated dog food offers the nutritional benefits of raw feeding.

Canisource Grand Cru is a pet food company that offers 100% natural nutrition. The brand aims to provide pet owners with food that has all the benefits of raw but with the feeding convenience of a kibble.

Its formulas are made with raw meat, fish, or poultry, which are then dehydrated at a low temperature to preserve all the nutrition in the ingredients while serving you handy kibbles you can take anywhere.

Cranisource Grand Cru prides itself on not using chemical additives in the food. Everything is natural. The low temperature dehydration process lets only a trace amount of humidity remain in the food so there is zero contamination from bacteria or microorganisms.

There are never any byproducts, chemical additives, meat meal or fish meal in any of the brand’s recipes. Each of the recipes are Certified Clean Label Project formulas. (Clean Label Project Certification is a program that assures consumers of the purity of the ingredients.)

All of Canisource Grand Cru’s ingredients are approved for human consumption, with the quality and grading the same as any you’d find and purchase from a grocery store.

The meats are carefully selected and processed in HACCP certified plants and quality control is outsourced to an independent laboratory for impartial results. 

What we like about it:

  • Many recipes to choose from
  • Recipes are Clean Label Project certified
  • Easy to serve. Just rehydrate with warm or lukewarm water

Special Mention

While Under The Weather's dog food diets may not be categorized as human-grade dog food, Under The Weather uses only human-grade meats that are farmed responsibly and raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics.

We thought to add the dog food brand here because it's not that easy to find a bland dog food diet for sick and recovering pets that use human-grade meats.

9. Under the Weather

Best Human Grade Dog Food: Our 9 Top Brands! 19
This gluten free, bland formula is made to soothe your pet's digestive system in times of stomach upset. This is not your daily kibble and should only be given until your pet's gut health has recovered.

First 5 ingredients: White Rice, Freeze Dried Turkey Breast, Sweet Potato, Glycine, Sodium Chloride

Under The Weather is a small pet food company that started out by creating bland diet products for pets who are ill and recovering.

It has now expanded beyond the Bland Diets into producing premium wellness products that are convenient, easy to use, and made with the highest-quality ingredients.

Under The Weather specializes in crafting bland diets—simple formulas that are meant to soothe your dog’s tummy either until healthy digestion is restored or until your vet recommends.

The simple formulas usually only contain five or six natural ingredients to make them as easy as possible on your dog’s sensitive digestive system.

The foods are freeze-dried to retain all of the freshness and nutrition of the food without resorting to preservatives. There are no dyes or chemicals in the meals and no artificial flavors, gluten, or meat byproducts either.

The freeze-drying process removes all of the bacteria and allows the foods to be stored for as long as three years. 

While the entire meal may not be categorized as human-grade, Under The Weather uses only human-grade meats that are farmed responsibly and raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics.

What we like about it:

  • Many bland diet recipes to choose from
  • Formulations only contain 5-6 ingredients
  • Sourced and manufactured in the US with a 3-year shelf life

A Closer Look

We know that there are several other brands (and other dog food options) that didn't make it to our top list above but still they deserve the recognition for providing quality human grade foods for our beloved pets. You just have to make a thorough research before you decide which one to buy though.

Now, below is a video of some of the aforementioned human grade food products so that you can see for yourself if you want them for your beloved companion.

Should You Feed Your Dog Human Grade Food?

So, in a nutshell:

Pros of Human-Grade Dog Food:
  • You are feeding your pet whole foods.
  • There are no artificial preservatives or chemicals added.
  • The formulation is quite simple and there are no fillers included.
  • The bioavailability level of human-grade dog food is high.
  • The moisture level of human-grade food is at optimum levels.
Cons of Human-Grade Dog Food:
  • Human-grade dog food will be more expensive than kibble.
  • For some dogs, it can be hard to shift from artificially-flavored food to something that is wholly natural.

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/fresh 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.

But one thing is for sure, with human grade dog foods, your dog's bowl will surely be spotless not to mention all the nutritional value it brings to the table providing longevity and overall wellness.

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