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A Complete Guide to “Human Grade”

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Every single dog food in the United States claims to be the best dog food. They claim to be complete and balanced and full of all-natural ingredients. But every dog food can’t really be the perfect dog food, can it? 

No. There are so many dog food brands that claim to be healthy, nutritional, and the best of the best, but most of them are actually stuffed with fillers and ingredients that can only harm your dog. 

It’s important to feed your dog a nutrient-dense diet that isn’t stuffed with fillers and artificial additives. You’re paying for their food, not for a bunch of fillers and additives that don’t benefit them in any way. 

What Does Human-Grade Mean?

Understanding what human grade is is a little bit convoluted. “Human-grade” doesn’t have a well-established definition. Other than to state that it’s “edible” by human beings. Human grade doesn’t necessarily mean good, which is something you have to watch out for when looking at these brands. 

Just because something is human-grade, doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog should be consuming it. You wouldn’t want your dog to eat a slice of birthday cake, would you? That’s technically human-grade. 

In this circumstance, human-grade means that they use ingredients that can be consumed by human beings, but that doesn’t mean they should be consumed by human beings. It also doesn’t make the food inherently healthy for dogs. 

Is Human-Grade Healthy?

In general, human-grade dog food is much healthier than filler-packed alternatives. There are many disadvantages of cheap, non-human grade commercial dog foods, such as: 

  • Meat by-products that may not be clean or refrigerated
  • Wheat gluten
  • Unnamed animal/protein sources
  • Sweeteners or sugars
  • Preservatives, flavors, artificial colors
  • Added hormones
  • High-fat content
  • May be pricier 
  • Water and gluten are often the first two ingredients 
  • Hardly any vegetables in most formulas 
  • Recalls often 

Benefits of Human-Grade Dog Food

Allowing your dog to eat better, more nutritious human-grade food can have a variety of benefits, such as: 

  • Maintenance of a healthy weight
  • Longer lifespan 
  • Longer focus time
  • Better bone and joint health
  • Better brain health 
  • Fights inflammation 
  • Supports coat issues
  • Prevents obesity 
  • Meat instead of meat meal
  • No additives or fillers
  • Good source of calcium 
  • Increased fiber 

Human-grade food is not all made equally, so it’s important to look for foods that include vegetables and proteins. Grade foods can still be packed with fillers, so make sure to avoid foods with too much gluten. 

The point of human-grade food is to allow your dog to have a whole-food experience. They’ll get their nutrients from whole foods instead of from food byproducts and foods that are packed with grains and other unnecessary nutrients. 

Do your research before deciding to pick out a grade food for your dog. There are many non-human-grade food options out there that are just as good as some grade dog food options on the market. 

Make the Switch

Before you decide to make the switch to grade food, you should always consult your veterinarian. They will be able to help you make the decision, as they have the most knowledge on dogs (and your dog specifically) should be eating. They’ll be able to help you tell the difference between good human-grade dog food and bad ones. 

They’ll also be able to help you pick out the best food for your dog, whether it’s grade or not. Either way, if you decide to switch to another brand or type of dog food, you should always do so slowly so you don’t upset their stomach. Switching foods too fast could cause them to have stomach problems, and no one wants that.

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