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If you’re looking for a high-quality, healthy diet for your pup, you may be considering human-grade dog food. There are a lot of pet food products hitting the market these days that claim to be human-grade, but what does that mean? Are there standards for human-grade dog food? We shed light on these questions and more and give you our top picks for the best human-grade dog food.
At-A-Glance: Our Top Picks
|The Farmer’s Dog||The Honest Kitchen||JustFoodForDogs |
|Spot & Tango Unkibble||Full Moon|
|Visit Website||View on Amazon||Visit Website||Visit Website||View on Amazon|
|Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review|
What Is Human-Grade Dog Food?
More and more products are hitting the market, claiming to be human-grade dog food. This isn’t just marketing jargon, but what does it mean for dog food to be human-grade? Currently, there’s no legal definition in the U.S. of what exactly constitutes human-grade dog food, but the top dog food organizations, including the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), are developing standards. For now, there’s a consensus that “human-grade” dog food should meet all of the following requirements:
- Food must include only ingredients fit for human consumption
- All ingredients and finished food products should be stored, handled, processed, and transported in a manner that’s consistent with current good manufacturing processes (cGMPs) for edible human foods
- Food must be made in a facility that’s licensed for human food production (in many cases, this involves a USDA-certified and inspected kitchen)
Is Human-Grade Food Good For Dogs?
There’s little doubt that human-grade dog food is good for dogs — as long as it meets the AAFCO guidelines for a complete and balanced nutritional diet for dogs. The standards for pet food production aren’t nearly as strict as those for human food production, so there’s a lower risk of contamination.
So, does this mean that human-grade pet food is better than other pet food? Not necessarily. Many pet food manufacturers use higher standards that far exceed the minimum requirements for pet food production for the quality of ingredients, cooking processes, food safety practices, etc. Many of these pet foods are just as healthy for your pup as human-grade pet food.
Best Human-Grade Dog Food
We want to give you your top options based on the type of dog food you and your pup prefer, so we’ve broken these into categories to help you choose the best fit. All of the brands we review here adhere to the standards we outlined above for both human-grade claims and AAFCO-compliant nutrition.
Best Fresh Human-Grade Dog Food: The Farmer’s Dog Review
Some of the best human-grade dog food delivery you can find is from companies like our top pick for fresh food, The Farmer’s Dog. This company offers fresh, all-natural dog food, specifically personalized for your pup’s individual health needs and delivered right to your door.
You start by filling out a brief profile of your pup, including age, breed, weight, body shape, activity level, and 20+ different health issues (allergies, gluten or grain sensitivity, ear infections, digestive problems, etc.). This profile allows them to personalize your dog food’s ingredients and portion sizes.
The Farmer’s Dog offers four grain-free recipe varieties: chicken, turkey, beef, and pork. All are pre-made and pre-portioned based on your dog’s profile. Recipes come packed with fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish oil, and a blend of vitamins and minerals. And all food is made in USDA-certified and inspected kitchens.
Our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Lexie LOVES The Farmer’s Dog! She gobbles it down fast and has had much more consistent bowel movements since switching. She’s also lost and maintained a much healthier weight since switching from kibble (and her coat is noticeably more shiny and healthy).– Sadie C., Canine Journal
- Plans start at $2/day
- Free shipping (you can customize shipping frequency)
- See all options
Our readers have access to 50% off your first box. No code is needed; use this link, and the discount will be applied. You can also visit our dedicated The Farmer’s Dog coupons page.
Full Review Of The Farmer’s Dog | More Fresh Dog Food Reviews
Best Dry Human-Grade Dog Food: The Honest Kitchen Whole Food Clusters Review
The industry’s pioneer of human-grade dog food, The Honest Kitchen is one of the very few manufacturers that make human-grade dry dog food. Their all-natural kibble (called clusters) includes human-grade muscle meat and liver, vegetables, fruits, low-glycemic carbs, healthy fats, and probiotics. They have both grain-free and grain-inclusive options.
They make their clusters by cold pressing small batches of fresh, whole-food ingredients into bite-sized pieces. Then, they slow roast and dehydrate them to maintain the nutrients, taste, and aroma. All food is made in USDA-certified and inspected kitchens. The Honest Kitchen also has a huge variety of highly-rated (and extremely popular) dehydrated and wet human-grade dog food.
- 20-lb bag starts at: $88.19 ($4.41 / lb)
Full Review Of The Honest Kitchen
Best “Canned” Human-Grade Dog Food: JustFoodForDogs PantryFresh Review
Okay, this isn’t technically canned human-grade dog food, but JustFoodForDogs’ (JFFD) Tetra Pak boxes are even more convenient than cans, have a two-year shelf life, and are recyclable. Their PantryFresh food comes in six recipes: chicken & white rice, beef & russet potato, turkey & whole wheat macaroni, lamb & brown rice, turkey & white rice (Balanced Remedy for sensitive stomachs), and pork & quinoa (Joint & Skin Support). Each recipe includes real meat, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and essential vitamins and minerals.
All of their all-natural food is formulated by veterinarians and pet nutritionists and gently cooked in USDA-certified and inspected kitchens. JFFD is perhaps better known for its fresh, frozen meals, which you can have delivered right to your home via their website (or Chewy). But JFFD’s PantryFresh meals are just as high quality as all of their other pet foods.
- 12 12.5-oz boxes: $89.40
Full Review Of JustFoodForDogs
Best Dehydrated Human-Grade Dog Food: Spot & Tango Unkibble Review
While The Honest Kitchen has an excellent variety of dehydrated options, Spot & Tango takes dehydrated human-grade dog food to an even higher level by offering personalized food for your pup’s age, weight, activity level, and more. Spot & Tango’s Unkibble gives you the same 100% fresh, whole ingredients you’d find in fresh-frozen meals with a more convenient and affordable dog food product. They have three Unkibble recipes: beef & barley, chicken & brown rice, and cod & salmon, which is grain-free.
Spot & Tango also offers high-quality customized fresh-frozen meals. All of their food is formulated by vet nutritionists, made in USDA-certified and inspected kitchens, and contains no fillers or artificial ingredients. They also offer excellent single-ingredient treats (sweet potato, chicken, or bison). Spot & Tango is a subscription service, but you can pause, skip, or cancel at any time.
Our two dogs attacked the box when it arrived, and, once opened, they ravenously gobbled up this new food. To say that UnKibble has some new fans in Barley and Lily would be an understatement! And, now, with all the food we need to keep on hand during self-isolation for COVID-19, it is a bonus that the dogs can still have healthy and wholesome food without taking up valuable freezer space!– Michele S., Canine Journal
- Unkibble plans start at $1/day
- Fresh plans start at $2/day
- Free shipping
- View all options
Looking for a Spot & Tango promo code? Visit our dedicated Spot & Tango coupon page to check out the latest offer and save.
Best Human-Grade Dog Treats: Full Moon Natural Organics Review
If you’re looking for the best human-grade dog treats, look no further than Full Moon’s line of treats. All of their treats contain real, whole foods, like grass-fed beef, cage-free chicken, blueberries, flax seed, etc. They source their all-natural ingredients from family farms.
All of their treats are made in small batches in USDA-certified and inspected kitchens through dehydration or low-temperature cooking processes. We’re big fans of their USDA-certified organic beef, chicken, and duck jerky treats — you can even share them with your pup.
- 14-oz bag: $13.50 ($0.96 / oz)
What Are My Other Options?
Although these dog food brands didn’t make our top picks, we recommend all of these options if you’re looking for an ideal fit for your pup and your budget for the best human-grade dog food.
A Pup Above Review
A Pup Above is a top-rated human-grade dog food brand that offers four fresh recipes, grain-free beef or pork, and grain-inclusive chicken or turkey. All contain veggies, fruits, and bone broth for a flavorful health boost. And they use the sous vide cooking method to preserve nutrients (slow-cooked in a vacuum-sealed, BPA-free bag in a 180° water bath). All fresh meals are quality-tested and flash-frozen before shipment.
A Pup Above has also introduced a new line of dry formulas they call cubies, which feature the same humane-grade, all-natural protein and grain options. While it’s quite expensive, they use a special “Nutridry” cooking process to preserve nutrients and flavor, so it’s a definite step up from traditional kibble. Each two-pound box equals nine cups of food.
Subscribe for auto-shipping and get 10% off every delivery.
- Fresh Food starts at (3 lbs): $79.98
- Dry Food starts at (2-lb box): $106.98
Caru Daily Dish Stew Review
Caru’s shelf-stable human-grade stews make great stand-alone meals or as a tasty topper for your pup’s kibble. These gluten and grain-free stews have limited whole-food ingredients like real meat and fish, vegetables, and fruits with no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors.
They have a variety of flavors: beef, chicken, turkey, beef & chicken, turkey & lamb, and turkey & salmon. They also offer human-grade broths and treats. Their Tetra Pak packaging is BPA-free and made from recyclable, eco-friendly renewable materials. Some customers said their pups didn’t care for the taste.
- 12 12.5-oz boxes starting at $47.88 ($5.11 / lb)
Freshpet makes affordable fresh, human-grade dog food that you can find in select grocery stores and third-party websites. Their food contains 100% farm-raised poultry, beef, and fish and locally sourced fruits and vegetables. Made in USDA-certified and inspected kitchens, their food is gently steamed at low temperatures and vacuum-sealed to preserve nutrients and freshness.
With both grain-free and grain-inclusive recipes, Freshpet’s food is all-natural and non-GMO and contains other healthy ingredients like probiotics to improve digestion and omega fatty acids for skin and coat health. They also offer special vital benefits recipes for joint health/mobility and digestive health.
Here are some of their most popular products and pricing you can find on Chewy. You can sign up for auto-shipping with Chewy and save 5%.
- Chicken Vital Cuts Recipe (1.5-lb bag, 4 per case): $59.92
- Chicken Vital Recipe (1.75-lb bag, 4 per case): $47.96
- View all options
Chewy often has Freshpet products discounted off of MSRP.
Ollie is another fresh, human-grade dog food delivery service that customizes your pup’s food (similar to The Farmer’s Dog). However, Ollie gives you more subscription options. You can order fresh meals (full or half portions) or choose a mix of their fresh and gently baked dry food, which includes the same high-quality, human-grade, and whole-food ingredients.
Ollie works with specialized veterinarians to formulate their fresh recipes (beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, and pork) and dry food (beef and chicken). All recipes include high-quality proteins, fresh produce, healthy oils, vitamins, and minerals and are made in USDA-certified and inspected kitchens. They offer both grain-free and grain-inclusive formulas.
Like similar services, you set up your dog’s profile (age, weight, ideal weight, breed, etc.) and can indicate if your pup has any food allergies or intolerances. Then they send you your pup’s customized meals. Ollie requires that you sign up for a subscription, but you can cancel, pause, or skip at any time. Ollie gets overall excellent reviews for their food and customer service.
“I switched from feeding Tiny 100% dry kibble to mixing the kibble 50/50 with Ollie. Tiny gobbled up his new mixture immediately and was begging for more. This was a big change from him typically turning his snout up when I feed him only kibble. After a few weeks on the new diet, Tiny continues to love his new food. I’ve also noticed that he doesn’t having nearly as much gas, and his every-other-day vomiting has calmed down a lot as well. The only challenge is making room in my freezer for his food packets and remembering to keep enough thawed in the fridge for his next few meals.”– Sally J., Canine Journal
- Full Fresh plans start at: $3.14/day
- Mixed Fresh & Baked plans start at: $2.72/day
- Half Fresh plans start at: $1/meal
- Free shipping
- View all options
Our readers can get 50% off their first box. Use this link to take advantage of this offer (no discount code needed).
Open Farm Gently Cooked Review
While Open Farm’s gently cooked recipe can’t technically call its food human-grade because it doesn’t meet all the requirements, this company does use 100% human-grade ingredients in its gently-cooked fresh food and stews. In addition to their high-quality, all-natural food, Open Farm sets itself apart in the massively competitive premium pet food market for its commitment to humanely and eco-friendly sourced ingredients.
Their gently-cooked fresh meals and rustic stews (wet food) are all grain-free and come in an assortment of recipes (beef, chicken, turkey, salmon, etc.), and they even offer a fresh puppy recipe. If you’re not set on humane-grade dog food, we highly recommend all of Open Farm’s formulas. They also offer grain-free and grain-inclusive dry food, raw-coated kibble, freeze-dried food, and more.
Open Farms offers 5% off all orders if you sign up for auto-shipping and free shipping on orders over $50.
- Wet Stew (12 packs of 5.5-oz. boxes): $47.99
- Fresh Food starts at (8-lb box): $89.99
- View all options
Petplate is another subscription-based, human-grade fresh dog food delivery service. Their food is top quality and competitively priced, and they’re one of the few companies to offer a topper plan. They offer more menu options than competitors: beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork, and venison. And they also carry organic, grain-free dog treats and four supplements for anxiety and digestive, joint, and skin health.
Petplate customizes your pup’s food for age, weight, ideal weight, breed, activity level, food sensitivities, and wellness goals (e.g., healthy digestion, easy mobility, increased performance, etc.). Their all-natural recipes are formulated by veterinary nutritionists and made in USDA-certified and inspected kitchens. You can pause, skip, or cancel your subscription at any time. The one downside is that their food comes in bulky containers that take up a lot of fridge and freezer space, but they are recyclable.
At first, we tried it out to see how our dogs would react to such a treat. But, as it turned out, our dog Lily, who used to be a very picky eater, immediately gobbled her Petplate food up and ate the mixed-in kibble as well! She went from eating only one of two meals every day to being a member of the clean plate club every time! We continue to feed 50/50 kibble because it makes this a more economical choice.– Michelle S., Canine Journal
- Topper plans start at $1.30/day
- Full plans start at $3.32/day
- Free shipping
- View all options
Get 50% off your first box and a free bag of treats. No promo code is needed; just use this link to take advantage of this offer.
Raised Right Review
Raised Right stands out in the human-grade, fresh dog food market for limited-ingredient, grain-free recipes featuring very high-protein and low-carb content. This family-owned, environmentally-friendly company also boasts AAFCO-compliant adult dog formulas that derive all essential vitamins and minerals from whole foods rather than adding synthetic nutrients.
They offer three puppy recipes and eight adult dog formulas (and fresh cat food) to choose from, and each includes a single animal protein source, making them even more ideal for dogs with allergies or sensitive stomachs. While Raised Right doesn’t personalize recipes, a handy food calculator lets you figure out portion sizes and costs for full, half, or quarter meals based on your pup’s weight, activity level, and whether he needs to lose, maintain, or gain weight.
You can make a one-time purchase (minimum of 16 x 1-lb bags) or subscribe for auto-shipping with a variety of delivery frequencies to choose from.
- Full meals start at (for 5-lb dog): $1.97/day
- Sample pack (4 x 1-lb bags): $53.95 + $9.99 shipping
Sundays For Dogs Review
Looking for another shelf-stable dehydrated dog food option? Sundays For Dogs is a good alternative for human-grade air-dried dog food that you can have delivered right to your door. They only have two recipes (beef and chicken), but each includes a mix of whole-food ingredients that help promote immune, gut, joint, and coat health. For example, the beef formula contains USDA beef and beef organs, pumpkin, blueberries, carrots, kale, tomatoes, cranberries, wild salmon oil, flaxseed, turmeric, ginger, and more.
Pet nutritionists developed their food and make it in USDA-certified and inspected kitchens. They customize your pup’s servings for age, weight, ideal weight, breed, and activity level. While you don’t have to sign up for a subscription, full-size boxes are pricey at $75 for 40 ounces. A more cost-efficient option is to save 20% by signing up for auto-shipping, which delivers every five to six weeks. You can pause, skip, or cancel at any time. They also offer a 14-day money-back guarantee on your first purchase.
- Starts at (for 5-lb dogs): $1.35/day
- Free shipping
Get 35% off your first order; just click here to get started.
Full Review Of Sundays For Dogs
Is Human-Grade Dog Food Worth It? (Video)
This brief video highlights one customer’s experience with human-grade dog food made by The Farmer’s Dog and explores whether human-grade dog food is worth the often higher cost.
What Are My Other Healthy Dog Food Options?
The great news is that you have more healthy dog food options than ever before, whether it’s human-grade or not. Check out our reviews of the best all-natural dog food for some high-quality options. You may also want to explore our best dog food delivery article, which includes reviews for some other top-notch food brands that will deliver right to your door.Tagged With: Comparison, Food Delivery