Human-Grade Dog Food: How to Feed Your Dog the Best
The most critical food term, according to your dog, may be “dinner,” closely followed by “treat,” “chicken,” and “cheese.” But as pet parents, we strive to be a bit more discerning about terms when it comes to making menu choices for our furry family members.
You love your dog and want to do everything you can to keep them healthy and happy. That includes nourishing them with the best food. But strolling through the pet food aisles or scrolling through online options can be confusing. And, more and more brands are marketing to caring pet parents with terms that can get confusing, like “human-grade.” This article will clarify your choices and make it easier for you to select the best food for your pup.
“Human-grade” dog food refers to a product that is made to human standards. It must meet all U.S. federal laws established for the manufacturing and packaging of human food, and sets standards for quality and safety.
Human-grade ingredients are handled and processed in a manner consistent with foods that people eat, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA is a government agency that regulates, among other things, what ingredients can be used in commercial pet foods. It sets maximum and minimum limits for nutrients as well as enforces bans on things such as antibiotics.
What makes a dog food “human-grade?”
To be considered “human-grade” dog food by the AAFCO and the USDA, a product must meet all four of these standards:
- Every ingredient in the food must be fit for human consumption—including supplements.
- The manufacturing facility must be licensed to produce human food by the appropriate government health authority.
- Each ingredient, and the finished food, must be processed, stored, handled and transported in a manner consistent with current good manufacturing processes for human food, according to the FDA’s Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 Part 117.
- It must be labelled for its intended use as dog food.
Human-Grade Dog Food vs. Feed Grade Dog Food—What’s the Difference?
All pet foods that do not meet the standards for human grade are considered feed grade. The level of safety of feed grade dog food can run the gamut. It can contain mostly human-grade ingredients or no human-grade ingredients at all. Feed grade foods are not legally allowed to be served to humans because of the ingredients or the processing. They may include byproducts, fillers, chemicals and parts from animals that were not slaughtered for food, including dying, diseased, disabled or diseased animals. These low-quality meats might be cooked under very high heat designed to kill off harmful bacteria.
- Feed grade ingredients are basically waste byproducts of the human food industry. Most come from:
- Meat slaughtering and processing plants
- Dead animals from farms, ranches, feedlots, marketing barns, animal shelters and other facilties
- Fats, grease and other food waste from restaurants and stores
You can find low-quality feed grade ingredients listed on packages as poultry by-products, chicken by-products, turkey by-products, poultry by-product meal, chicken by-product meal, turkey by-product meal, meat meal, meat and bone meal, animal digest and animal fat.
What Are the Benefits of Human-Grade Pet Food?
When you eat better, you feel better. The same is true for dogs. Human-grade pet food may support your dog’s health by delivering:
- Higher quality ingredients (thanks to stricter standards).
- More nutrients (as the ingredients are generally not as processed as ingredients in feed-grade foods, they retain more of their nutritional value).
- Safer ingredients (lower risk of contamination).
- Better digestion (studies suggest that dogs get more energy, more efficiently, from human-grade pet food than from feed-grade pet food).
- No scary mystery ingredients.
Is Human-Grade Dog Food Better?
Pet food labeled “human-grade” is produced with higher standards overall. Ingredients must adhere to FDA standards for what goes into human foods, which are much more strict than standards for feed grade pet food. And, particularly for the meat that’s so critical to your dog’s health, you can feel confident that you’re getting the same quality for your dog as you buy for your barbecue.
The human-grade claim, however, does not mean that the pet food is nutritionally balanced to help dogs thrive. When you select your pup’s food, be sure that a board-certified veterinary nutritionist created the recipes. These experts are uniquely trained in the nutritional management of pets.
Is Human-Grade Dog Food Safer?
Human-grade pet food is the only pet food that abides by human food safety laws. The government regulates human foods far more rigorously than food made for animals, conducting frequent, detailed inspections of manufacturing plants. Feed grade pet food ingredients, manufacturing and packaging are not monitored as strictly.
Try Human-Grade Dog Food with PetPlate Today!
You are what you eat. The same goes for your tail-wagging furball. Nourish them with the highest-quality, human-grade food from PetPlate.
Your current food may not be as healthy as you thought it was. That was the case for PetPlate founder Renaldo Webb. Working as a consultant for commercial pet food factories opened his eyes to unsavory processes and products in the industry. So, in 2016, he launched his mission to make it easy to feed our dogs healthy, safe meals.
PetPlate delivers 100% human grade, fresh-cooked entrees directly right to your door. Board certified veterinary nutritionist Renee Streeter, DVM, DACVN, formulated the meals to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO. Each meal delivers the flavors dogs crave and the nutrients they need.
You know that your dog is unique. That’s why PetPlate uses information about your dog, including age, weight (and desired weight), activity level and breed, to create a customized plan for your dog, from Barkin’ Beef and Chompin’ Chicken to supportive meals like Power Packed Pork (designed with their skin and coat in mind) and Lean & Mean Venison (digestible and low fat), PetPlate makes it easy to feed your dog the best!