10 Best Human-Grade Dog Food Brands
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Looking for the Best Human-Grade Dog Foods
It’s no secret that commercial dog food isn’t good for your pup. Over the past decade, concerned pet parents have turned to fresh-prepared human-grade dog food as a healthy alternative, often cooking up meals for their beloved fur babies at home.
More often than not, those same pet parents are the ones behind the best human-grade dog food brands.
As someone who has reviewed countless pet food companies, I’ve read more than my fair share of stories about dogs with poor digestion, low energy, and allergies. Once you take a look at the ingredients in commercial dog food, it isn’t surprising.
The same ingredients that cause humans issues (think: corn, soy, dairy, and the like) are found in nutritionally-void meals for dogs around the globe.
human-grade dog food seeks to do better for our best pals, using the same ingredients you might eat while avoiding gluten and other common allergens.
But they don’t stop there. Some of the names on this list of the best human-grade dog food brands go a step further, choosing non-GMO, totally natural, and even locally-sourced ingredients.
The 10 Best human-grade Dog Food Brands
Coming up, I’ll introduce you to our top 10 picks for the best human-grade dog food on the market. Packed with good ingredients, veterinarian-approved, and loved by dogs, each one brings something special to mealtime.
#1 Sundays for Dogs
If it’s high-quality, nutritious meals you’re after, look no further than Sundays for Dogs. Founded with the mission to create the best dog food possible, this top-tier brand wants to help your dog live a long, healthy life.
What’s in their formula? Sundays offers two recipes: chicken and beef. Their beef recipe is AAFCO approved for dogs of all life stages including large breed puppies, adults, and seniors, but their chicken is for adults only. Making meal time easy for both pet parents and dogs, one of the defining qualities of their recipes is how much dogs love them.
Delivered in air-dried jerky form, dogs love the familiar treat-like texture and you’ll love the balanced nutrition in every bite. Why air drying? Because it helps lock in nutrition and flavor while still ensuring any bacteria are eliminated. Raw food can’t assure that.
Sundays is at the top of our (and pet parents across the nation’s) list of the best human-grade dog food brands because of the quality of their ingredients. Fresh and natural, they boast a GMO-free roster of ingredients as well as more than 90% fresh meat, organs, and bones.
The other 10% comprises fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Prices range from $59-$199 for small to large breed dogs. You can save 20% on every order when you start a Sundays subscription for automatic reorders. It’s the best way to save money on your dog’s food and you can change your subscription or cancel anytime without any penalties!
- 90% meat, organs & bones
- High-quality ingredients
- Fresh & natural
- Air-dried to lock in nutrition
- Chicken and beef recipes available
- Save 20% on all subscription reorders + 35% off your first order
- Try a free mini sample for the low cost of shipping
#2 Spot and Tango
Spot and Tango offers both Fresh Meals and Unkibble. Both are made with the same nutritious ingredients, however, their Unkibble is gently freeze-dried to preserve flavor and freshness.
Unkibble is shelf stable and easy to store, but you may find that you want to feed your dog a mix of both.
With tasty recipes your pup will love, choose from Turkey and Red Quinoa, Lamb and Brown Rice, or Beef and Millet. No matter which one you choose, you can feel good about the spinach, carrots, peas, eggs, and more added to every mix.
Spot and Tango meals are made without additives, preservatives, or fillers, so this brand is one you can really feel good about giving your dog. Prices vary from about $1-$3 per meal.
- Fresh meals & Unkibble
- Shelf-stable option
- Delicious recipes
- No additives or fillers
#3 Pet Plate
If it’s vitamin-packed meals you’re after, Pet Plate delivers–literally. The brand is committed to quality and safety, and even has an in-house veterinarian that ensures safety standards are met.
The reason Pet Plate is on this list of the best human-grade dog food brands is because of its excellent ingredients, but we also like the amount of customization they allow.
You can personalize your pet’s meals before they are cooked in USDA-certified kitchens. We also love that Pet Plate kettle cooks their meals in small batches which allows for greater control over safety and consistency.
Flash frozen then shipped to your door, choose from recipes like lamb, beef, chicken, and turkey. Pet Plate offers both Full and Topper Plans and prices start at $1.30-$3.30 per day.
- In-house veterinarian
- Dedicated to quality & safety
- Cooked in USDA-certified kitchens
- Kettle cooked in small batches
Ollie is one of the most known names on this bed human-grade dog food list with a great reputation for its mixture of fresh and air-dried meals.
Hand-packed in the USA without fillers, by-products, or artificial ingredients, this brand is one you can rely on for delicious, nutrient-fueled dishes for your pup.
In fact, Ollie’s motto is that they don’t use anything in your dog’s food they wouldn’t eat themselves, and that’s something pet owners really like. Along with your first order, you’ll get a free food container and scoop to properly store and serve their food.
Ollie offers a range of simple recipes including turkey, chicken, lamb, and beef. All of them are high in protein and provide a nutritious diet for your pup. Prices range depending on the size of your dog, but this plan is one of the more affordable ones.
Food for a 50lb dog is $39 per week.
- Fresh-prepared and air-dried kibble
- Free container & scoop
- Natural ingredients
- Balanced nutrition
- Affordable option
#5 The Farmer’s Dog
The Farmer’s Dog has a ton of customization features, ensuring your pup’s needs are met. Founded after seeing the different home-cooked meals had on the founder’s dog’s health, this brand whips up delicious, human-grade meals your dog will love, offering a line of fresh, vet-approved meals made in USDA-certified kitchens.
Move over boring kibble, The Farmer’s Dog is highly rated by both pets and pet parents, so go ahead and choose beef, chicken, turkey, or lamb recipes, and your pup will also benefit from veggies like bok choy, broccoli, kale, and more.
Expect a nutritionally-rounded dish and prices that go from $4 to $5 per day for 25lb dogs.
- Made fresh
- Tons of nutritious ingredients
- Customization options
- Cooked in USDA Kitchens
- Loved by pets
#6 The Honest Kitchen
With a name like The Honest Kitchen, you can count on clean, honest ingredients from this brand. Founded in 2002, it’s one of the original brands to make human-grade dog food, and it was founded by someone who whipped up home-cooked meals for their dog in their own kitchen.
Self-proclaimed “animal-loving foodies,” this brand is all about taste and nutrition. Their human-grade pet foods meet high standards for quality and look like something you and I might eat.
Ingredients like eggs, salmon, and pumpkin are included throughout their meals to not only ensure your dog feels better, but also enjoys what they eat.
Demanding high standards from their suppliers, if you’re a stickler for quality, I think you’ll like this brand. Shop a 1lb bag of whole food clusters for $8.
- 100% non-GMO ingredients
- 70% Northern US sourced ingredients
- Dehydrated kibble ad clusters
- High standards & quality
- Taste dogs love
While Caru may not be as mainstream of a brand as some of the other best human-grade dog food companies on this list, it’s no stranger to the limelight. Their recipes are known for their protein-forward ingredients list, as well as the other nutrient-packed items they include in every mix.
Including sweet potatoes, apples, green beans, and more, your pup will get the protein, vitamins, and fiber they need for healthy digestion and living. Responsibly sourced and delicious, Caru offers delicious stews that smell and taste like homemade food does.
Prepared in a human-grade facility, their recipes include beef, turkey, chicken, and pork and are totally grain and gluten-free.
Grab a case of 12 x 12.5 oz stews formulated by a Ph.D. animal nutritionist for $72.
- Grain & gluten-free
- Made in the USA
- Family-owned company
- No artificial ingredients
#8 Just Food For Dogs
Just Food For Dogs says that if you give them two weeks, they’ll change your dog’s life forever. That’s a pretty grand statement, but a simple swap to vitamin-packed and balanced human-grade meals has that kind of power.
Using a spectrum of ingredients from animals such as chicken thighs, liver, and gizzards, your pup will get the vital nutrients its body craves. Totally free from gluten and made with pantry-fresh, whole-food ingredients, you won’t need to refrigerate these meals as they are shelf stable for up to 2 years!
Real food for real dogs, you’ll love their roster of 100% human-grade ingredients, however, this company is a little more expensive than others on this list. A Fresh Frozen small box is $71.
- Range of proteins
- 100% human-grade ingredients
- Excellent quality
- Dog-approved taste
#9 Nom Nom
I love the name of this brand. But while a cute name is enough to draw pet owners in, does it have what dogs need? The simple answer is yes. Nom Nom offers a total of 4 meals, such as beef mash, pork potluck, chicken chow, and turkey fare.
With simple ingredients like potatoes, eggs, carrots, peas, and fish oil, it has Vitamins E, B1, and B12 to ensure your dog is eating right.
To sign up, take the quiz and Nom Nom will ship you meals to test with your pet. From there, you can choose which ones to feed them regularly. Prices start at $3 per day.
- 4 delicious flavors
- Simple ingredients
- Range of vitamins
- Helpful quiz
#10 Dog is Human
Ok, so this one isn’t exactly dog food, but it does pack 12 human-grade ingredients into every delicious soft chew to boost your pup’s health. Designed by a team of pet nutritionists, vets, and researchers, this brand’s specialty is nourishing snacks for your pup.
If you’re looking for an easy way to ensure your dogs get the nutrients they need, Dog is Human’s formula can help with heart, joint, coat, immunity, and digestive health. Expect less itching and a more energetic, happier pup.
Where do the human-grade ingredients come in? Everything in this formula is safe for human consumption—and for your pet. A bottle of 60 chews is $42.
- 12 human-grade ingredients
- Delicious soft chews
- Not a meal, a supplement
- Helps boost health
What is human-grade Dog Food?
The term “human-grade” comes from the designation of “feed quality.” there are foods deemed acceptable for human consumption and those that aren’t.
Even though human-grade is considered a healthier choice for dogs, it isn’t always. Think about your own diet. Fried foods and sugar-filled beverages are technically human-grade, but they aren’t healthy.
The American Association of Feed Control Officials doesn’t provide a definition of what human-grade ingredients are for animals, but that’s because these ingredients aren’t often used to feed them.
Animals have been consuming “feed grade” ingredients for many years, but thanks to numerous articles such as this one by Dog Food Advisor, there has been a recent turn in the demand for better food.
That’s where human-grade dog food comes in. It’s dog food that’s made with human-grade ingredients–not beaks, feathers, offals, or any other part of an animal that isn’t deemed by the USDA as edible by humans. Not all human-grade dog food is equal. Some brand focus on nutritionally-sound and balanced formulas while others take a more general approach.
Benefits of human-grade Dog Food
There’s a lot of fuss going on about human-grade dog food. So many smart pet owners are making the swap to help alleviate certain conditions their pups experience.
In an article published by Science Daily using information sourced from Cornell University, we’re told that choosing a nutritionally-sound human-grade dog food with no added synthetics over conventional kibble is a healthier choice.
The key phrase here is “nutritionally sound”. Another one to look out for is “natural.” No every human-grade dog food eliminates harmful ingredients, but if you find one that does, your pup can experience benefits such as:
- Improved digestion
- More energy
- Healthier skin and coat
- Less joint pain
- Healthier weight
Who is the Best human-grade Dog Food For?
The best human-grade dog food is obviously for dogs, but what kind? All kinds. Big and small. Underweight and overweight. Those with allergies and those without.
But as much as human-grade dog food is for any dog on this planet, it’s ideal for concerned pet parents who want to ensure their dogs are living their best lives.
If your pup has digestive issues, allergies, itchy skin, or anxiety, you may want to consider switching up their food to a nutritionally-balanced human-grade dog food such as Sundays.
How to Shop For the Best human-grade Dog Food
As pet owners, it’s our responsibility to feed our dogs. But chances are that you’re reading this best human-grade dog food listicle because you want something better for yours.
With the category ever-expanding, it’s tough to know which brand to choose. Take a look at the list below for tips on choosing the right one.
- Ingredients: Ingredients will always be number one. Not all of the best human-grade dog food is made the same, so it’s up to you to pay attention to what’s inside a recipe. Look for words such as “natural” and “non-GMO,” or foods that are vet-approved.
- Food Type: Some pups prefer kibble while others like wet food or a mix of both. Dog food is rarely put on the market without testing, but still, it can take a while for your dog to adapt to their new food. Choosing a familiar texture, like kibble, may be a smart choice for those new to human-grade dog food.
- Accessibility: There’s no point in choosing a brand that isn’t accessible. Many of the names on this list of the best human-grade dog food brands offer a subscription, just be sure they ship to your area and that they deliver on time.
- Price: As with most things in life, the higher the quality, the more expensive it will be. It’s crucial to choose the best human-grade dog food for your pup, but it needs to fit your budget as well. Try a sample or subscribe temporarily to see the benefits these foods can bring if you’re concerned.
Is human-grade dog food better for dogs?
Here’s the thing about human-grade dog food: just because it’s human-grade doesn’t mean it’s better for your pet than conventional dog food.
It depends on the ingredients and the amount of nutrition in each formula. It’s very possible to have human-grade dog food that isn’t nutritionally balanced, so be sure to go with a brand such as Sundays that delivers a high level of nutrition.
An article published by Tufts University reinstates this, revealing that the simple act of buying human-grade pet food does not necessarily mean it’s healthier or better quality. Choosing a nutritionally balanced dog food with natural ingredients does, but it’s always a good idea to check in with your vet.
Is human-grade dog food better than kibble?
It depends on the kibble. Some of the brands on this best human-grade dog food list offer kibble alternatives that pack in just as much (if not more) nutrition than some freshly prepared dog foods do.
For example, Sundays focuses on natural ingredients, gently cooks them, then air dries them to create a new form of kibble. When comparing human-grade dog food such as this to conventional allergen-filled kibble, the answer is clear.
How is human-grade dog food stored?
There are typically two types of human-grade dog food. One that’s wet and one that’s air-dried or dehydrated. They are stored differently. You’ll need to put the wet or fresh-prepared dog food in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.
You can store air-dried kibble sealed well in your pantry for months. Always refer to the directions that come with your new pet food to ensure you’re feeding your pup right.
What is the healthiest human food for dogs?
I’ve read through a ton of ingredient lists for the best human-grade dog food and many of them have similar ingredients. One you’ll find in most recipes? Blueberries. Because of their antioxidant profile, blueberries are one of the healthiest foods you can feed your dogs.
Nourishing pumpkin and sweet potatoes also come high on the list, but of course, real meat will give your dog the protein their bodies crave.
Now that you know what our picks for the best human-grade dog food are, you can get your pup on the path to a more nutritious diet.
When searching for the right brand, remember to take ingredients, food type, accessibility, and price into consideration first. Rather try before you buy? Go with a brand that offers one-time purchases or samples.
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