Looking at a new diet labeled “human grade” for your pup? Let us explain what this means and whether it is more beneficial for your dog.
As a dog owner, it is impossible not to have come across the term “human grade” when researching which food to give to your beloved pooch. As pet owners, we want to do our best for our pets. Since nutrition is fundamental to canine well-being, diet is no exception. So, what is human grade dog food exactly? Does it matter whether you chose a “human grade” diet or not? Is all human grade dog food created equal? This article will cover everything you need to know about human grade dog food.
What Does Human Grade Dog Food Mean?
Until a few years ago, there was no legal definition of the term “human grade” in the US and pet food companies could make this claim without undertaking any specific measures. However, now this term has become defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
To be able to label dog food as human grade, every ingredient and the resulting product must be stored, handled, produced, and transported in a manner consistent and compliant with human food laws. All ingredients within human grade food must be fit for human consumption. In addition, human grade dog food must be manufactured in a facility registered as both an FDA animal food facility and an FDA human food facility that gets inspected by the USDA.
The purpose for defining the “human grade” term is for pet food product manufacturers to implement and be audited against the standards as referenced in CFR Part 117 by the United Stated Department of Agriculture’s Auditing and Accreditations Branch. Manufacturers who successfully implement the preventive controls as required by the AAFCO labeling standards for “human grade” will receive certification from the USDA that their operation meets the standards and thus are eligible to use the term “human grade” on pet products. This means that human grade dog food is produced to the same high standards throughout the entire production process as human food products.
What is The Difference Between Human Grade Dog and Feed Grade Dog Food?
The simple difference is feed grade dog foods are allowed to include ingredients that are not fit for human consumption and they are produced in a facility that does not pass the stringent requirements needed to produce food for people to eat. Feed grade dog foods are allowed to include 4D meats, which are meats sourced from dead animals, dying animals, diseased animals or downer animals.
Whereas with human grade dog food, every ingredient in the food has passed the high standards necessary for human consumption and the food must be made in a human food facility that gets inspected by the USDA. These foods have been processed, inspected and passed manufacturing regulations that are designed to assure safety for consumption by humans.
Is Human Grade Dog Food Better For My Dog?
When considering whether a human grade diet is better for your dog than a feed grade diet, there are some essential things to consider. Human grade diets have strict requirements surrounding ingredients and product production, but this does not necessarily always translate to better food for your pet. For example, low quality filler ingredients like potato, rice, pasta, squash and barley are still considered human grade. Therefore, whilst having the human grade claim can show a brand is manufacturing their product to high standards, you also need to consider the nutritional composition and actual ingredients going into the diet before assuming a specific human grade dog food is better for your dog.
Human grade dog food can indeed be better for your pup than feed grade dog food, but you need to be careful that this isn’t the only thing you look for when choosing a diet. Not all human grade dog foods are created equal so ensure you look closely at the ingredients and the nutritional composition of a diet as well. If you are uncertain if a human grade diet is of good quality or not, look for recipes that are high in protein and low in carbs with simple ingredients.
Is human grade food good for dogs?
Human grade dog food can be better for your pup, but with the caveat that not all human grade dog foods are created equal. For example, low quality filler ingredients like potato, rice, pasta, squash and barley are still considered human grade. Make sure you check the ingredient lists and nutritional composition of any diet before you give it to your pup.
Why is human grade dog food better?
Human grade dog food is produced to more stringent standards than traditional feed grade dog foods, as human grade dog foods must meet the same requirements as human food. It does not, however, automatically mean higher quality nutrition for your pet, as low quality ingredients that are still considered fit for human consumption may be used. To ensure the nutritional requirements are indeed superior, you need to look closely at the ingredients and nutritional composition of the food in question to ensure it also meets your pup’s dietary needs.
What does human grade mean?
Human grade is a term that can only be applied to dog food produced with ingredients fit for human consumption under strict and rigorous defining features laid out by AAFCO. To be able to label dog food as human grade, every ingredient and the resulting product must be stored, handled, produced, and transported in a manner consistent and compliant with human food laws. Additionally, human grade dog food must be manufactured in a facility registered as both an FDA animal food facility and an FDA human food facility that gets inspected by the USDA.
What does 100% human grade mean?
To be able to apply the term “human grade” to pet food, all requirements outlined by AAFCO must be carried out. Therefore, pet food either is or isn’t “human grade”. Labeling pet food as “100% human grade” is just marketing as there is no difference between this and “human grade”.