When it comes to “human-grade” dog food, this loose term can be a little confusing. According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), this means that all the ingredients are edible for humans. Essentially, this label means that the food goes through a different set of federal regulations than other dog food, such as handling, manufacturing, and minimal processing in USDA kitchens. Dog food that does not have the “human-grade” label processes ingredients through a completely different type of facility where ingredients are considered inedible for human consumption, such as none-specified by-products and chicken or beef meals.
Human-grade dog food is becoming increasingly popular as of late, and in this article, we’ll look at our top nine reviews for the best human-grade dog food available today. We hope it sheds light on this topic and that the information helps you make the best decision for your pooch.
A Glimpse at Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Nom Nom Fresh Dog Food Delivery Service||
||Click to Save 50% + Free Shipping!|
|Best Value||Tylee's Human-Grade Frozen Dog Food||
|Canisource Grand Cru Dog Food||
|Best for Puppies||The Honest Kitchen Food Clusters Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe Pupp||
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|Nature's Diet Fresh Beef Simply Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food||
The 9 Best Human-Grade Dog Foods
1. Nom Nom Fresh Dog Food Subscription Service – Best Overall
|Food type:||Fresh food, treats|
|Calories:||177 kcal/cup to 206 kcal/cup depending on recipe|
|Crude protein:||7% to 10% depending on recipe|
|Crude fat:||4% to 6% depending on recipe|
|Crude fiber:||1% to 2% depending on recipe|
When it comes to fresh, human-grade dog food, Nom Nom has it down pat, making them our first pick for the best overall human-grade dog food. Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists formulate their recipes so that your dog gets the best. Four recipes are available: Beef Mash, Chicken Cuisine, Pork Potluck, and Turkey Fare. All ingredients are sourced from trusted U.S. suppliers using the highest quality vegetables and protein, and all meals meet AAFCO’s standard levels of nutrition that are fit for human consumption.
The meals are pre-portioned and conveniently shipped to you. To get started, you’ll answer a few questions about your dog, and based on your answers, they will suggest a meal plan. All meals are prepared and cooked in their own USDA kitchens with no cross-contamination. If you’re not ready to commit to a certain recipe, you can try their variety pack of all the meals and let your doggo decide which one is the winner. You do not need a subscription to order variety packs. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
They offer free shipping using recyclable materials. Nom Nom is pricey, but if you’re looking for the best human-grade dog food, you can’t go wrong with a subscription. They also offer discounts for households with multiple dogs.
2. Tylee’s Human-Grade Pork Recipe Frozen Dog Food – Best Value
|Food type:||Whole food, frozen|
Tylee’s Human-Grade Pork Recipe Frozen Dog Food is made from human-grade ingredients, such as USDA pork and fresh fruits and vegetables that include pineapple, butternut squash, carrots, kale, and broccoli. It’s pea-free for those with pea allergies, and it’s minimally processed to retain all of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This food comes frozen; all you need to do is defrost in the fridge or microwave and serve. You can store it in the freezer for a year or keep it in the refrigerator for a maximum of 10 days. The manufacturer recommends throwing away uneaten food after 2 hours.
The recipe contains salmon oil, cod liver oil powders, sunflower oil, and flaxseeds that provide omega fatty acids. It is made from human-grade ingredients, and it’s free from mystery by-products, artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors.
Be careful when unzipping the bags because they have been known to break, making the food unsealable.
While it is a little pricey compared to traditional dog food, you can get a 6-pound bag at a reasonable price compared to other human-grade products, making it our pick for the best human-grade dog food for the money.
3. Canisource Grand Cru Fish Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food
|Food type:||Dehydrated kibble|
Canisource Grand Cru Fish Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food is perfect for the fish-loving dog. The first ingredient is North Atlantic Herring, and it’s made with 100% human-grade ingredients, such as lentils, peas, carrots, apples, kelp, and cranberries. The kibble is dehydrated, meaning it’s cooked at a low temperature to preserve the original nutrients in the kibble.
This food is grain-free, so it’s suitable for doggies with gluten allergies, and it’s appropriate for dogs of all ages. This kibble offers the benefits of feeding a raw diet with a sufficient amount of protein (28%), and it’s 100% free from any by-products or artificial flavors and preservatives.
This food is on the expensive side, and the kibble may be hard for some dogs, especially puppies, to chew, we recommend rehydrating it.
4. The Honest Kitchen Food Clusters Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe Puppy Blend – Best for Puppies
|Food type:||Dehydrated kibble|
If you have a puppy in your life and want to start your pup out with human-grade food, then The Honest Kitchen Food Clusters Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe Puppy Blend could be an optimal choice. The first ingredients are real chicken and oats, which aid in easy digestion for your puppy. This food is made from human-grade ingredients in a human-food facility with only natural whole foods. It also meets the FDA’s human food safety standards.
This food is dehydrated to hold all the vital nutrients, but you have to add warm water to your puppy’s food bowl with the food to start the rehydration process before serving. This food can be your pup’s exclusive food, or you can use it as a topper or mixed in with kibble.
This food contains all the necessary components to get your puppy off to a healthy start. It’s expensive, but the human-grade quality has exceptional ingredients, such as extra probiotics and DHA for brain health.
5. Nature’s Diet Fresh Beef Simply Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food
|Food type:||Freeze-dried kibble|
Nature’s Diet Fresh Beef Simply Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food is raw dog food made from human-grade ingredients. It’s loaded with prebiotics and probiotics, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids. Since it’s freeze-dried, no refrigeration is necessary. You add water to the mix before feeding, which starts the rehydration process. Once the food is rehydrated, it requires refrigeration and can last in the fridge for three days.
Freeze-dried raw beef is the main ingredient, followed by beef bone broth, eggs, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and a slew of other human-grade ingredients.
It does contain peas, so avoid this food if your doggie has pea allergies.
Following the feeding instructions is important because the food will have a soup-like consistency if you add too much water.
This premium quality food is made in small batches in the U.S.A., and it’s perfect for dogs that need a good amount of protein in their diet. It comes in a 3-pound bag at a more affordable price than some of the others on our list.
6. Portland Pet Food Company Human-Grade Dog Food Pouch Chicken and Yams
|Food type:||Human-grade mix, wet|
Portland Pet Food Company Human-Grade Dog Food Pouch Chicken and Yams is one of their five different recipes made with human-grade ingredients. This food is a mix intended for a topper or a mixer with dry kibble. If you have a small breed, you can use this mix as a rotational meal.
It’s made in the U.S.A. with USDA-certified meats, and no refrigeration is required until it’s opened. All food comes in a 9-ounce pouch, and it’s ready to serve; there’s no need to add water.
Portland Pet Food Company donates 5% of its profits to non-profit animal shelters, so you’ll feel good about purchasing this product while feeding your doggie human-grade ingredients. It’s free from artificial flavors or preservatives and contains no animal by-products. It’s also gluten, wheat, and grain-free.
This company offers many recipes, and a mixed pack of all recipes is available. A downside is the food may get caught in the corners of the pouch, making it difficult to get it all out. It’s also expensive for a 9-ounce pouch of food.
7. Just Food For Dogs Pantry Fresh Dog Food
Just Food For Dogs Pantry Fresh Dog Food offers a complete meal ready to serve. This food is cooked in a USDA kitchen with human-grade ingredients, and it also meets AAFCO’s standard level of nutrition. The vet-formulated recipes are fully balanced, and you have a variety of flavors to choose from: chicken and white rice, lamb and brown rice, turkey and whole wheat macaroni, and beef and russet potato.
This dog food is gluten and grain-free, so it’s a good choice for those few doggies with gluten and grain allergies.
Human-edible ground beef is the first ingredient, followed by russet potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, apples, green beans, cod liver oil, and a special nutrient blend. The food is gently cooked and ready to serve.
There is a high number of calories in this food, so it may only work for active and large dogs. The food may have a strong smell upon opening, and the food may look different from the advertisements. It’s also expensive.
8. Caru Real Chicken Stew
Caru Real Chicken Stew offers 100% human-grade ingredients for your doggo. This wet dog food is made without artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, and it’s free from any by-products; in other words, the ingredients are fit for human consumption. This food is grain-free for those who may suffer from wheat allergies, and real chicken and chicken broth are the main ingredients. The fiber comes from fresh fruits and vegetables for easy digestion.
A drawback is the food is low in protein with only 3.5%, so it may not work as the sole source of your dog’s diet. However, this stew would be a terrific topper or simply mixed in with your dog’s kibble. It contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny, and it’s made and sourced in the U.S.A under FDA regulations. It comes in a 12-count case of 12.5-ounce carton packaging for a reasonable price.
9. Yumwoof Natural Pet Food
|Food type:||Dehydrated mix|
Yumwoof Natural Pet Food is made from 100% human-grade ingredients, such as carrots, pumpkin, blueberries, beef liver, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and cranberries. This food is a low-carb diet for picky eaters that offer loads of antioxidants, minerals, and fiber.
This food is a mix, so you’ll need to add whatever protein your pup likes. For human-grade food, this mix is a little more affordable than others, and it contains no fillers, corn, wheat, peas, legumes, or soy. It’s made in the U.S.A., and it’s gluten-free. It’s easy to feed; just mix it in with the desired protein, and you’re done.
This food is available in only a 1-pound bag.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Human-Grade Dog Foods
When it comes to buying dog food, all the options available today can leave a dog owner confused. Dog parents want what’s best for the canine pals and offering healthy dog food is vital for their overall health. Now that we’ve examined our top picks for human-grade food, let’s discuss other topics related to this new craze on dog food.
Is Human-Grade Food Better?
Yes! Even though human-grade dog food is more expensive than commercial brands, the quality ingredients speak for themselves. Human-grade dog food will not have any fillers or feed quality rendered meat meals; only fresh, high-quality food that provides loads of nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
For a dog food to label its product as “human-grade,” the manufacturer must adhere to FDA regulations, such as manufacturing, handling, and minimal processing in USDA kitchens. If the food is human-grade, it means it was not processed in a facility where products labeled as unsuitable for human consumption are then processed into meals to create an animal-grade feed.
What Nutrients to Look For?
When shopping for human-grade dog food, you want to ensure that the food meets FDA regulations and it’s free from rendered products. USDA-certified meats are usually the first ingredients in these foods, and that means the food was indeed prepared in a USDA-certified kitchen.
If you plan on feeding human-grade dog food exclusively, make sure the label states it meets AAFCO’s standards of nutrition and it’s complete and balanced. Not all human-grade dog food has these statements, and if that’s the case, it’s better to serve human-grade mixed in with your dog’s regular kibble. Feeding some human-grade dog food is better than none at all.
What Nutrients to Look For
Dehydrated dog food means that the moisture is evaporated to prolong shelf life. Freeze-drying the food is essentially the same process; only freeze-drying is done under a low temperature.
If you want to feed your dog human-grade quality, your wallet will see the effects. However, even though it’s more expensive, you’ll be providing your dog the best nutrition possible, and that alone can aid in cutting down possible expensive vet bills in the future. If you can swing it, it’s definitely worth the price.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our top nine picks for the best human-grade dog food. To recap, we recommend Nom Nom for the best overall human-grade dog food. They offer four different recipes, all food meets AAFCO’s standard levels of nutrition, and it’s made in USDA kitchens. If you have multiple dogs, you’ll receive a discount. For the best value, Tylee’s Human-Grade Pork Recipe Frozen Dog Food is minimally processed, easy to serve, and uses USDA-certified pork at an affordable price. If your dog loves fish, look no further than Canisource Grand Cru Fish Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food.
We wish you luck in your search, and here’s to your doggie’s health!
- Related read: 8 Just Food For Dogs Alternatives: Are They Better?
Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock