Is It Really Human-Grade?
Start by taking the time to confirm that your chosen dog food is truly human-grade and not just claiming to be. The Association of American Feed Control Officials indicates that there is not a legal definition for “human-grade.” This gives companies a bit of leeway. If you do not read the labels carefully, you may get taken advantage of and pay a premium for what you think is human-grade dog food but is in fact not the case.
To qualify as “human-grade dog food,” the dog food must only have human-suitable ingredients and meet all of the regulations for manufacturing and packaging human foods at the federal level. This is a very high standard that few dog foods can meet.
Pay attention to the label too make sure that you get truly human-grade dog food. You want to choose dog food that meets or exceeds the standards of AAFCO, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration.
You should also take a look at the ingredient list and see if the brand provides any additional information on the ingredients. Ideally, they will specifically mention that the ingredients are human-grade.
Ingredients and Nutrition
The ingredients in your chosen human-grade dog food are important for doing more than just confirming that it is human-grade. You also want to look at the ingredients as a way to ensure that your canine companion enjoys a balanced diet with all of the necessary nutrients.
The best human-grade dog foods will start with all-natural human grade ingredients that are fit for human consumption. They will then dehydrate or cook the ingredients at a low heat to make them safe without losing any nutritional value. This is a key contrast to most dog foods, which involve highly processed ingredients with minimal nutritional value.
When your pooch’s food features non-processed ingredients, they retain the nutrients so the brand does not need to add in extra vitamins and minerals. While looking at the ingredients, read the label to confirm that your chosen dog food has all of the nutrients that your pooch needs.
Whether It Includes a Protein Source
As you explore our list of the seven best human-grade dog foods, you will likely notice that some include protein while others require you to add it in yourself. This is a personal decision and depends on your furry friend and yourself.
Dog foods that already include protein offer convenience, as there is no need to add anything other than water if it is dehydrated or heat it up if it is frozen. The protein is usually from a high-quality source. If you are short on time or do not want to deal with finding and cooking meat for your four-legged friend, this is the way to go.
Dog foods that have you add the protein give you more flexibility, including the ability to cater to your pooch’s tastes. Additionally, if you add the protein, you can give your canine more variety by using a range of meats. This is also a very useful option for those whose dogs have allergies, since you can avoid common meat allergens.
Dehydrated or Frozen
You will also have to think about whether you prefer the human grade dog food to be dehydrated or frozen. Because of the freshness of ingredients used, human-grade dog food will fit one of these categories. Neither is better than the other and it once again comes down to personal preference.
With dehydrated dog foods, you usually just have to add water and frequently have the option of heating them up if your dog prefers. With frozen dog foods, you usually just stick them in the microwave.
One type of dog food will not necessarily last longer than the other. Opt for dehydrated if you want the human grade dog food to be highly portable, but otherwise, either should be fine. You can also think about the storage space in your kitchen, including the pantry and fridge, to decide between frozen and dehydrated dog foods for your canine.