What is the Best Human-Grade Dog Food to Feed Your Furry Friend?

As a dog owner, you want to give your dog a nutritious and healthy meal.

How do you choose the right meal plan for your pooch? Consider all of your options, one of them being human-grade dog food.

a Jack Russell wearing a checked scarf and standing while licking its face
A Jack Russell proud of his table set up with a healthy meal

Interested? Keep reading to learn more about the best human-grade dog food and why it may be a good choice for your furry friend.

Top 5 Best Picks for Best Human-Grade Dog Food in 2021

  Dog Food Recipes Our Rating
 

Best Overall Human-Grade Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

  • Ideal for pregnant and active dogs
  • Whole food ingredients
  • Made in the USA
4.5
 

Best Budget Human-Grade Dog Food

Caru Daily Dish Beef Stew Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

  • Limited-ingredient diet
  • Contains fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Made in the USA
4
 

Best Human-Grade Adult Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

  • High-quality nutrition
  • Safe for sensitive stomachs
  • Affordable
4.5
 

Best Human-Grade Dog Food for All Life Stages

Spot Farms Turkey Grain-Free Human Grade Dehydrated Dog Food

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Can be used as a meal or topper
  • Made in the USA
4
 

Best Grain-FreeHuman-Grade Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Turkey Recipe Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food

  • High in protein
  • Gluten-free
  • All-natural ingredients
5

Best Human-Grade Dog Food Brands by Life Stages

Whether you have a puppy at home or an adult pooch, choosing the right brand catering to your dog’s age is necessary.

a hungry Beagle sitting and waiting for food
A patient Beagle looking at his meal

Best Human-Grade Adult Dog Food

Adult dogs are still growing in some ways and need nutritious meals. Here are the best human-grade dog foods for adults that made our list.

1. The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Dehydrated Turkey, Organic Oats, Dehydrated Potatoes
Type: Dehydrated

This particular human-grade dog food is made in the USA, catering to adult dogs’ calorie intake and protein needs.

It’s simple to prepare and tasty to boot. It also gives high-quality nutrition for dogs that have sensitive stomachs that are affordable for pet parents.

Pros:

  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • All-natural, human-grade, dehydrated dog food
  • No by-products, preservatives, or GMO ingredients

Cons:

  • May have a mushy texture
  • May cause loose stool

CHECK PRICE HERE

2. The Honest Kitchen Turkey Recipe Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Turkey Recipe Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food

Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Dehydrated Turkey, Organic Flaxseed, Dehydrated Potatoes
Type: Dehydrated

While this particular dog food is more on the expensive side, this grain-free dehydrated diet locks in essential vitamins and minerals as well as an array of fruits and veggies for your adult pooch.

It’s made in the USA without any GMOs, fillers, or preservatives.

Pros:

  • High in protein
  • Grain-free and gluten-free
  • All-natural ingredients

Cons:

  • May have an odor
  • Some owners observed that it gave their dogs bad breath

CHECK PRICE HERE

3. The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Dehydrated Chicken, Organic Barley, Dehydrated Potatoes
Type: Dehydrated

Chicken is a well-loved flavor for most dogs, so why not give them fresh chicken as part of their meal?

This dehydrated human-grade food is perfect for any adult canine, especially if they are pregnant or active.

This particular recipe is made with whole grains and whole food ingredients that will give your doggo high-quality nutrition.

Pros:

  • It’s suitable for all breed sizes, and an ideal formula for pups, pregnant dogs, and multiple-dog households
  • High-protein diet recommended for active dogs
  • Made in the USA with minimal whole-food, dehydrated, and processed ingredients

Cons:

  • Not for picky eaters
  • May cause frequent stools, as per few pet parents

CHECK PRICE HERE

4. The Honest Kitchen Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food

Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Dehydrated Chicken, Organic Flaxseed, Dehydrated Potatoes
Type: Dehydrated

If your adult pooch has food sensitivities and needs a low-protein diet, then this recipe suitable for all breed sizes may be a good choice.

It’s grain-free and made with plenty of fruits and vegetables, locking in vitamins and minerals. This dog food is made with whole food ingredients that are simple to prepare for an easy mealtime.

Pros:

  • Gluten-, pea-, and grain-free
  • All-natural ingredients and contains no antibiotics, hormones, GMO ingredients, preservatives, and by-products
  • Made with 100% human-grade ingredients in the USA

Cons:

  • May cause loose stool
  • May have an odor

CHECK PRICE HERE

5. The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Beef Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Beef Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

Our rating: 4
Top ingredients: Dehydrated Beef, Organic Oats, Organic Barley
Type: Dehydrated

This dehydrated human-grade dog food is low in calories and low in fat if you’re watching your adult pup’s weight. The recipe is made with whole food ingredients and made in the USA with no additives or fillers. 

Pros:

  • AAFCO complete recipe
  • Low-fat and low-calorie
  • No by-products, preservatives, or GMO ingredients

Cons:

  • Not for picky eaters
  • Some owners reported that their pets got sick while on this formula

CHECK PRICE HERE

6. The Honest Kitchen Beef Recipe Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Beef Recipe Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food

Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Dehydrated Beef, Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes, Dehydrated Potatoes
Type: Dehydrated

If your dog loves beef and needs a grain-free alternative, then this will be an excellent recipe to try. This dehydrated meal locks in vitamins and minerals.

It’s made with high-quality ingredients with fresh fruits and vegetables. There’s no wheat, soy, corn, or added sugars, ensuring a healthy diet for your pup.

Pros:

  • High-protein diet suitable for all breed sizes
  • Free of poultry, peas, GMO, flax, grains, gluten, soy, wheat, and corn
  • All-natural ingredients

Cons:

  • Picky eaters may not be a fan of this dog food
  • May cause frequent stools

CHECK PRICE HERE

7. Caru Daily Dish Beef Stew Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

Caru Daily Dish Beef Stew Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

Our rating: 4
Top ingredients: Water Sufficient for Processing, Beef, Beef Broth
Type: Wet

Human-grade dog food can come in wet canned food as well. This is a good alternative if your fido needs a limited-ingredient diet due to food sensitivities.

It’s an affordable diet for dog owners who want to feed their pets plenty of nutritional value through fresh fruits and veggies and essential vitamins and minerals.

Pros:

  • Added vitamins and minerals
  • A limited-ingredient diet that’s chicken-free
  • Made and prepared in the USA

Cons:

  • May have a mushy texture
  • Not for picky eaters

CHECK PRICE HERE

Best Human-Grade Dog Food for All Life Stages

If you have a puppy or a senior dog at home, then there are a few human-grade dog food options for you.

a Samoyed licking the dog bowl clean
A fluffy white Samoyed enjoying his dog food

1. Canisource Grand Cru Red Meat Dehydrated Dog Food

Canisource Grand Cru Red Meat Dehydrated Dog Food

Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Pork, Beef, White Rice
Type: Dehydrated

This affordable, dehydrated meal is perfect for all life stages, especially growing puppies and seniors.

The formula boosts their immune system, ensuring that they’ll grow strong and remain as healthy as can be while getting the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they need.

Pros:

  • Boosts immune system
  • No by-products or artificial colors or flavors
  • Limited-ingredient diet for canines who suffer from sensitive digestion

Cons:

  • Not for picky eaters
  • May be hard to chew

CHECK PRICE HERE

2. Spot Farms Turkey Grain-Free Human Grade Dehydrated Dog Food

Spot Farms Turkey Grain-Free Human Grade Dehydrated Dog Food

Our rating: 4
Top ingredients: Dehydrated Turkey, Dried Potatoes, Flaxseed
Type: Dehydrated

This grain-free recipe is made in the USA with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

What’s great about this particular dog food is that you can choose to feed this to your pooch as a complete meal or use it as a food topper over other wet food or kibble.

Pros:

  • Complete diet for dogs of all life stages and sizes
  • All-natural ingredients that give dogs farm-to-bowl meals
  • Grain- and pea-free formula made in the USA

Cons:

  • May have a gritty texture
  • May cause an upset stomach

CHECK PRICE HERE

3. Spot Farms Chicken Dehydrated Human-Grade Grain-Free Dog Food

Spot Farms Chicken Dehydrated Human-Grade Grain-Free Dog Food

Our rating: 4
Top ingredients: Dehydrated Chicken, Dried Potatoes, Flaxseed
Type: Dehydrated

Made with all-natural, whole food ingredients, this is another grain-free recipe that will be great for dogs with food allergies or other sensitivities.

It’s well-balanced for dogs of any age that’s simple to prepare and well-packed with various vitamins and minerals.

Pros:

  • Made with chicken as the first ingredient that’s free from antibiotics
  • No corn, wheat, soy, grains, or peas
  • Balanced and complete diet for dogs of all life stages and sizes

Cons:

  • May have a pasty texture
  • Not for picky eaters

CHECK PRICE HERE

What Does “Human-Grade” Mean?

Believe it or not, the term “human-grade” does not have a set definition.

According to the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), the term caters more to humans than animals.

Food products are split into two categories by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), “human-grade” and “feed-grade.”

What’s the difference? Human-grade means it’s edible for human consumption. Anything that’s not edible for humans is labeled feed-grade.

a well-prepared human-grade dog food in a square glass plate
A 100% Human Edible dog food served on a ceramic plate – Image source

In other words, feed-grade products can only be fed to animals, while human-grade products are both edible for animals and humans.

two dog bowls with two types of dog food
Big kibble and small kibble separated on two dog bowls

Should You Feed Your Dog Human-Grade Food?

Knowing what human-grade pet food means, should pets eat the same food we do?

While this type of food contains human-grade ingredients, it may not necessarily mean your pup is getting a healthier, more nutritious diet. It just simply means that humans can eat it as well.

However, human-grade diets allow you to know what sort of high-quality ingredients are in the food, so you know what goes into your doggo’s body.

a happy man feeding a hungry Beagle
A Beagle eating on a metal dog bowl gave by his pet owner

Differences Between “Human-Grade” and “Normal” Dog Food

Human-grade diets for dogs have their pros and cons. Every pet parent knows your pet’s nutritional needs are significant, and they need to get that in the best way possible.

Most human-grade dog food, such as dehydrated meals, mimics wet canned food in which you simply need to add water.

In the case of human-grade diets, the food ingredients are fresh and wholesome.

Dry dog food, on the other hand, is typically processed. A human-grade diet doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthier than any other dog food options, but your dog will still get its nutrients.

Characteristic Human-Grade Dog Food Typical Kibble Typical Canned Food
Overall Appearance Ingredients are easily identifiable. Due to kibble being small, round crunchies, ingredients are hard to identify. Pate is hard to identify due to loaf consistency, but stews can show chunks of ingredients.
Preserved or Shelf-Stable? Most need to be frozen or refrigerated. Dehydrated recipes can be shelf-stable. Most are preserved and can have a shelf-stable for up to one year. Unopened cans have a shelf-stable for up to two years. Opened cans need to be shut tight in the refrigerator and will last up to one week.
How to Serve If frozen or refrigerated, thaw the package, open it, and serve. If dehydrated, add warm water, mix, and serve. Add a scoop of the desired amount to your pet’s food bowl and serve. Open and serve the desired amount into your dog’s bowl.
 

Care of Leftovers

Must be refrigerated. It can be left at room temperature for a few hours. Leftovers need to be refrigerated.
Are there Special Recipes Available? (such as LID, joint-support, reduced calories, etc.) Yes Yes Yes
Is it Available for All Life Stages? Yes Yes Yes
 

Cost

Very high Most affordable It costs more than kibble but less than human-grade food.

So, what are the benefits of human-grade dog food?

First, you’ll get some peace of mind knowing that you’re feeding your doggo fresh dog food that’s even safe for you to eat. You know what your pup is getting nutrients from quality dog food.

Human-grade meals are made without GMOs, fillers, additives, preservatives, or artificial colors or flavors.

When Are Human-Grade Diets a Good Idea?

Dog owners should always keep an eye on their canine’s health and behavior.

Sometimes, the meal plan your pup is on isn’t the best one catered to their digestive system. This is where a human-grade diet may come in handy.

Unlike dry kibble, human-grade meals are made with whole foods and high-quality ingredients safe for your pooch and you.

two Goldendoodles with adorable dog food bowl
Meet Kingsley & Chai, two Goldendoodles promoting dog food – Image source

Human-Grade Dog Food Buyer’s Guide

When choosing a human-grade dog food brand for your furry friend, be sure to take a closer look at the ingredients and nutrition facts.

Buy a brand that will cater to your dog’s needs and consult a veterinary nutritionist if you need help deciding.

Many dog food types are considered human-grade, such as food toppers, dog treats, freeze-dried, dehydrated, wet canned food, and more.

Once you decide what type your doggo needs, you need to pick a healthy brand that works well with your pup’s digestive system and something they enjoy eating.

A big-name brand doesn’t necessarily mean it will be right for your dog. Sometimes, the premium brands aren’t better than the more affordable brands. Cater the diet to your pup’s needs.

Things To Look For When Selecting Human-Grade Dog Food: What Should Dogs Eat?

Several human foods are healthy for dogs. For example, you can feed your pet:

  • Meats such as beef, chicken, duck, lamb, or turkey
  • Fish such as salmon
  • Grains such as quinoa, rice, or brown rice
  • Eggs
  • Peanut butter

In addition, there are a variety of fruits and veggies you can give your pup. Dogs can eat:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Seedless watermelon
  • Carrots
  • Green beans

All of these foods need to be given in moderation so that your doggo does not get sick.

Some ingredients need to be avoided when feeding dogs, such as chocolate, garlic, grapes, avocados, cherries, and some types of nuts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

a Jack Russell Terrier looking back asking question
A Jack Russell Terrier looking confused

Is wet human-grade food good for dogs?

Yes, human-grade wet food is good for dogs because canned food holds more moisture, more nutrients, and it’s easier for dogs to chew, especially puppies and seniors dogs.

To grain or not to grain: do dogs need grain-free human-grade food?

A grain-free diet depends on your pup’s health. Sometimes, grains can cause a food allergy in dogs, so a grain-free diet is needed.

However, according to the FDA, studies have shown that grain-free diets may be linked to heart conditions in dogs.

This is why the FDA recommends searching for the nutrition adequacy statement on dog food and cat food labels.

Can humans eat human-grade food?

Yes, humans can eat human-grade food. The term means that the ingredients are edible for human consumption.

Can you give homemade human-grade food to your dog?

You can feed your doggo a homemade human-grade meal, as long as you know the type of ingredients to add to make it healthy and nutritious for your pup.

Making a home-cooked meal for your dog will allow you to understand what exactly goes into your dog’s body.

a white Spitz waiting for his home cooked dog food
Meet Sir Peanut, a happy Spitz waiting for his human-grade dog food – Image source

How is human-grade food stored?

Since human-grade food is made with fresh, whole-food ingredients, it’s best to store it in the refrigerator to stay fresh.

If dog food is made in USDA kitchens, does that make it human-grade?

No, just because food is produced in a USDA kitchen does not necessarily mean creating human edible food.

Which is the Best Human-Grade Dog Food for your Pooch?

It’s not easy to choose the proper diet for your doggo. You want nothing but the best for them, and a human-grade meal plan might be just what the vet ordered.

If you have a dog with a sensitive stomach, then a recipe with a limited-ingredient diet such as the Caru Daily Dish Beef Stew Grain-Free Wet Dog Food may be a good choice.

Alternatively, if you have a puppy or senior dog, then having a recipe that boosts their immune system will be a good choice through the Canisource Grand Cru Red Meat Dehydrated Dog Food.

Transition: Before you Switch to Human-Grade Dog Food

This type of dog food has its pros and cons, of course. Human-grade dog food allows you to know what’s going in your pup’s belly, and you recognize the ingredients.

a Shihpoo sitting beside his favorite dog food
Meet Joey, a cute Shihpoo loving his dog food while sitting on a couch – Image source

On the other hand, because it’s all edible for humans and we have different digestive systems than our dogs, human-grade food may cause an upset tummy in your pooch.

Overall, before switching your doggo to a human-grade diet, be sure to talk to your vet and figure out the best meal plan for your dog together.

Further Reading: More Diet Options for Your Dog

  • Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach
  • Best Dog Food for Allergies
  • Best Dog Food for Picky Eaters
  • Best Dog Food for Weight Loss
  • Best Dog Food for Weight Gain

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