What is human-grade dog food? (definition, benefits, pros & cons)

What is human grade dog food? In this guide you will learn the definition of home grade dog food, the benefits, pros, cons and some healthy recipes as well.
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Pet parents might find themselves arguing about food types befitting their dogs from overwhelming nutritional options out there. 

You have been seeing many dog food brands claiming natural dog food and grain-free food options, but recently a new terminology, “human grade dog food,” is getting popular day by day. 

You might be wondering what human grade dog food is? 

Are you thinking the same way as I’m?

  • Is it human edible? 
  • Is it safe for furry fellows? 
  • Is it nutritionally balanced?  
  • Is it meeting AAFCO recommendations? 

Hold on as I’ll discuss all these queries in detail for you. 

At this point, keep in mind that human-grade is a loose term that needs further clarification to ensure either that is a nutritious food option for your best friend or not. 

Just from the human grade, no one can claim that it is the best food for dogs as long as meeting the high-quality processing and safety standards are concerned.

There are several brands marketing dog foods having deceptive slogans like dog food made with human-grade ingredients. 

The simple meaning of which is that these foods are manufactured by some of the human-grade ingredients, not all the ingredients; thus, the end-product will not be pure human-grade. Beware!

Therefore, in this guide, I’ll show you when to say human-grade and how to find the best human-grade food for dogs. 

All I want is your attention to figure out certain misconceptions.  

What Does Human-grade Dog Food Mean?

what is human grade dog food - benefits, definition, pros e cons - Is human grade dog food better?

The wish of many pet parents to feed the same food to their dogs that they used to feed laid the foundation of human-grade food. Human grade is applied to pet food; however, the term “edible” is mainly used for humans’ food. 

The simple meaning of human-grade dog food is ingredients edible by humans to make that food. All these ingredients must be safe for humans and belong to the human food chain. However, that doesn’t mean you should start eating it. 

I said human-edible food, which reflects the safety and standard of dog food. However, these human-grade foods are not made for human consumption but a criterion to measure the food quality. 

All the dog foods brands stated human-grade is not necessarily based on the same manufacturing and quality standards. 

Several brands are deceiving people in the name of human-grade.

How AAFCO Defines Human-grade Dog Food

There is no legal and standardized definition for a human grade; however, AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) has defined it to some extent. 

According to the AAFCO, human-grade dog food means a dog food whose ingredients and final products are handled, processed, stored, and transported in the same way as human edible foods are treated and regulated.    

In addition, all human-grade foods must be prepared and handled in licensed plants and kitchens, just like human foods’ manufacturing is controlled by authorities and regulations. 

After that, you can say that food is healthy and safe for your doggo.

However, a human-grade label is unrelated to ensure whether the food meets the nutritional requirements of your dog or not. Human-grade dog food must fulfill nutritional standards recommended by AAFCO

On the other hand, some traditional pet foods are available with a high standard of nutrition, while some human-grade foods hardly meet the nutritional criteria.  

Therefore, you need to search for high-quality and balanced human-grade food that fulfils your fido’s nutritional requirements. 

In the later section of this blog, I’ll help you to find some authentic brands.

Is Human-grade Dog Food Better Than Kibbles and Other Dog Foods available in The Market?

Dog eating dry food in bowl

Human-grade food is better than kibbles unless it does not contain any ingredient that is not safe for your furry friend. Before purchasing any human-grade dog food, always check the ingredient list beyond the human-grade label to look for any toxic or allergic ingredients for your fido.

Some human-grade ingredients like garlic, avocado, grapes, and nuts like macadamia may bring about the toxicity that will cause complications for your furry fellow. 

Check the full list here.

Another drawback of other commercial dog foods is the loss of potential nutrients during their processing. When these foods hit your dog’s bowl, they are deprived of the required nutrition.

Moreover, don’t forget to ensure how fresh that food is. Fresh food is likely to liberate nutrients fast in the body than processed one. Likewise, fresh food also promotes the healthy gut biome of dogs.

Therefore, you must chew over your best friend’s diet plan based on fresh human-grade dog food. 

You can also initiate with a topping of your dog food with fresh vegetables that is helpful to combat cancers.

What Are The Benefits of Human-grade Pet Food?

What does human grade mean in dog food- What Is Human Grade Dog Food

Just like we humans believed that eating fresh food guaranteed well-being, the same thing is with dogs. 

If you want to eat fresh food, why don’t you consider it for your pet? 

Human-grade dog food bears health potential over commercial dry foods that you can transfer to your furry fellows by selecting the right food brand. 

Here are some prevailing benefits of human-grade dog food;

1. Comprise of Whole Foods

As humans prefer to eat whole food because of its nutritional and health benefits, our dogs may get the same benefits by feeding human-grade food. 

All ingredients in fresh human-grade food are present in their original nutritional forms despite losing essential nutrients in processed commercial pet foods. 

Let me explain it. 

Take an example of an ingredient such as peas in fresh dog food that contains whole peas despite pea starch as mostly found in commercially processed foods. 

You can easily differentiate the nutritional profile of a simple pea starch releasing only glucose and whole peas containing more fiber and proteins. 

2. Among Simplest Foods

Human-grade foods are considered among simple foods, and simplicity is always a good gesture towards a healthy life

Generally, five nutrients, including protein, fat, fibre, essential minerals, and vitamins, laid the nutrition foundation. Human-grade food ensures all these nutrients in the finest form without any unhealthy preservatives and additives.

Moreover, several scientific types of researches proposed that dogs with sensitive stomachs or food allergies can experience healthy lifestyles by consuming foods with limited healthy ingredients. 

That’s where a simple human dog food makes you feel its importance. 

In addition, simple natural food without any additives is also less likely to trigger the immune response and impose stomach disturbances in food-sensitive dogs.

3. Improved Digestion 

As you know that the entire well-being of a dog depends upon digestive health. 

A dog with healthy gut motility and better digestion can enjoy his daily activities more than a dog with bowel disturbances. 

That’s why the concept of human-grade dog food is proposed to impart easy but complete digestion to dogs.

The fresh, simple, and healthy ingredients of human-grade dog food left behind all the digestive issues for dogs with fewer stools and a healthy lifestyle. 

But how?

Researchers have shown that the bioavailability level of fresh human-grade food is outstanding. 

The reason behind this is the presence of resistant fiber in a lower amount while the moisture level and nutrients availability are extraordinary. 

The higher digestibility, the higher the nutrients accessibility. 

Consequently, the absorption rate will be increased, and the dog’s body will have many essential nutrients to work out.

4. Hydration Booster

When you see at the label of dry kibble diets, you come to know that the moisture level is too low (8-15% only) to fulfil normal hydration levels. 

However, natural human-grade dog foods contain around 50% moisture sufficient to keep your doggo hydrated. 

The maintenance of an optimum hydration level is necessary for dogs.

Moreover, the provision of extra water to your dog’s body will return outstanding health benefits. 

It helps to make your greedy eaters feel full and also directly involves in promoting weight loss. Likewise, sufficient water availability to your dog’s body aids in regulating body temperature during hot summers.

In addition, excess water availability is necessary to lubricate joints and the transportation of essential nutrients throughout the body.

Another outstanding and life-saving feature of excess water is the prevention of renal and urinary problems. It helps to flush out the compounds involved in stone formation and infectious bacteria. 

5. Free From Additives

Certain pet food brands are using unnecessary ingredients to tweak their formulas’ bottom line. They are tailoring their faulty formulas by incorporating unhealthy ingredients without bothering for the health safety of dogs. 

That is the major flaw of some commercially processed foods for dogs. 

For example, some of these bands use cornmeal as a protein source instead of the actual protein source – meat. 

The protein source is the first thing that you need to look for in any ingredient list of commercial dog food, and it must be present at the top of the list.

However, natural human-grade dog foods are free of unhealthy fillers and additives such as artificial flavours and food colourings. 

Always keep in mind that it does not apply to all dog foods stating human-grade slogans as marketing deceptions are out there.

Pros & Cons of Human-grade Dog Food

What are the benefits of human-grade pet food - Is human food good for pets?

Human-grade dog food seems like the perfect food for your doggo that fulfils all the nutritional requirements without drawbacks. 

Here I’m going to describe the possible pros and cons of human-grade dog food

Pros of Human-grade Dog Food

  1. It provides a suitable way to ensure the food safety and quality of dog food
  2. No need to worry about the filler ingredients in a human-grade dog food
  3. You have more food options to feed your dog rather than the same traditional dry food since longer duration
  4. It is the best way to ensure the nutritional values of all ingredients, despite the loss of essential nutrients during hard food processing 
  5. As human-grade dog food supplies fresh and healthy food to your best friend, there will be reduced digestive disorders

Cons of Human-grade Dog Food

  1. If you are preparing these recipes at home, there are chances of nutrients disturbances.
  2. Certain human-grade ingredients bring about allergies and poisoning in some dogs with sensitive stomachs — be aware of those ingredients.
  3. Several human-grade dog foods are not supposed to provide the exact caloric content; that’s why it is hard to estimate the quantity of food.
  4. If the human-grade food brand is using high-quality and standardized human-grade ingredients, it will be expensive.
  5. Sometimes, it is hard to shift your dog from dry kibbles or other flavored commercial foods to natural human-grade dog foods.

Human-grade Dog Food Recipes

Is human grade dog food better than kibble-  human-grade dog food recipes

If you plan to cook human-grade food for your best friend, these recipes will help you out.

1. Beef Stew Recipe for Dogs


  • Beef stew = 1 pound
  • Carrots (diced) = 1/2 cup
  • Sweet potato (boiled) = 1 small
  • Green beans (diced0 = 1/2 cup
  • Water = 1/2 cup
  • Flour = 1/2 cup
  • Vegetable oil = 1 tbsp

Nutritional Information (per Cup)

  • Proteins = 36.7 grams
  • Fats = 8.4 grams
  • Carbohydrates = 17.4 grams
  • Calories = 301
  • Minerals and vitamins = potassium, iron, calcium, and vitamin D


  • First of all, cook beef stews in a pan by using vegetable oil for about 15 minutes
  • Then remove it and add flour plus water and stir to make a thick gravy
  • After that, add all the ingredients in this gravy and mix thoroughly
  • Cook this mixture and wait for at least 10 minutes
  • Cool it, and your recipe is ready to serve

2. Turkey, Veggie, and Rice Mix


  • Turkey (ground) = 1 pound
  • Brown rice (uncooked) = 2 cups
  • Rosemary (dried) = 1 teaspoon
  • Mix veggie (carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower) = 16 ounce
  • Water = 6 cups

Nutritional Information (per Cup)

  • Proteins = 11 grams
  • Fats = 4.3 grams
  • Carbohydrates = 4.7 grams
  • Calories = 97
  • Vitamins and minerals = Potassium and iron


  • Put ingredients such as rosemary, rice, turkey, and water in a Dutch oven carefully
  • Stir the mixture thoroughly until the turkey gets broken and evenly distributed
  • Boil them on a high to low heat for 20 minutes
  • Make addition of veggie and cook for 5 minutes more
  • Cool the preparation and serve

Consideration When Choosing Human-grade Dog Food

Since human-grade dog food brands have been using high-standard ingredients in food manufacturing, there is no need to worry about the quality. 

However, the thing you need to consider is the authenticity of the desired brands so that you might not get deceived by enchanting human-grade food labels.

Moreover, don’t forget to look for the ingredients list compatible with your dog’s body needs and not include any toxic ingredients.

Now, you are at the stage where I can guide you to choose the right human-grade dog food brand for your best friend.

What are these brands? 

The answer is given below.

Best Human-grade Dog Food Brands That Make Delivery

The Difference Between Human Grade And Feed Grade - what is human grade dog food

Top-ranked human-grade dog food brands are using ingredients of higher quality compared to traditional ingredients. 

If you are looking for top-notch human-grade dog food brands, you are on the right platform. These include;

1. Ollie Dog Food

One of the finest human-grade dog food brands famous for its top-quality nutritional facts. 

2. Pet Plate

Pet plate is an authentic and widely distributed dog food brand famous for its all-natural and dog health-friendly foods.

3. Raised Right Pet Food

If you want to feed your dog a diet that exactly fulfills the criteria of human-grade pet food, this dog food brand is made for you.

Moreover, all these brands are delivering your parcels at your doorstep, which is another bright side. Don’t waste time and make a decision.


FAQ - What Breed is My Dog How to Identify ANY Dog Breed - Is my dog a pure breed (4)

What Does Human-grade Dog Treat Mean?

Human-grade dog treats are made with ingredients that are all safe for humans and are easily edible. Moreover, it ensures the quality and safety of ingredients for your dog too.

What Is The Best Human-grade Dry Dog Food?

A food that is made with higher quality ingredients is considered as best human-grade food. All the ingredients must be safe for dogs and free of any toxins. Examples include Ollie, Pet Plate, and Raised Right.

Where Can I Buy Human-grade Dog Food?

You can buy top-quality and authentic human-grade dog food that will ensure the well-being and healthy lifestyle of your dog from brands like Ollie, Pet Plate, and Raised Right.

How to Make Human-grade Dog Food?

To prepare human-grade dog food, all you need is the availability of human-grade ingredients like those you used to eat daily, like turkey, carrots, broccoli, and vegetable oil.  

What Are The Differences Between Human-grade and Feed-grade Pet foods?

If all the ingredients present in dog food are human-edible and safe, this will be known as human-grade food, while if such ingredients requirement is not fulfilled, then it will be feed-grade pet food.

Is Human-grade Dog Food Safer?

Yes, it is safer for dogs unless it does not contain any ingredient that may cause toxicity in dogs. Among these ingredients, onions, avocado, garlic, macadamia, etc., are famous for bringing about toxicity in dogs.  

Can Humans Eat Human-grade Dog Food?

In human-grade dog food, all the ingredients are safe and edible for humans; however, these foods are not made for human consumption. You might not like it because of its less appealing taste and aroma.  

How Is Human-grade Dog Food Stored?

You can store human-grade dog food by placing it in freezer bags and then freeze it for future use. However, the use of fresh human-grade dog food is highly appreciated.


It is not easy to say which food is best for that dog and which one is best for others, as dog food is a subjective topic. 

Moreover, each dog has individual nutritional requirements that vary from dog to dog. 

However, besides all these complications, human-grade food has many benefits for a dog’s health and lifestyle. 

So, make a wise decision.  

That being said, there is nothing left but to thank you for your attention up to this point.

I hope I have been helpful, and I wish you many moments of joy and satisfaction in the company of your beloved dog.

Of course, if you have any questions or concerns along the way don’t hesitate to contact me.

Until next time!

Good luck!

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Housam Ayouni
Housam Ayouni

I am a professional in the field of canine behavior and care with many years of experience. Through my dog blog, which has reached over one million dog owners, I offer practical tips and guidance to support dog owners in creating strong, positive relationships with their pets and promoting the well-being and happiness of all dogs. My goal is to help dog owners create a harmonious and fulfilling life with their furry companions.

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