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8 Best Human-Grade Dog Foods in 2024: Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Rachel Giordano

Last Updated on June 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

8 Best Human-Grade Dog Foods in 2024: Reviews & Top Picks

VET APPROVED

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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bulldog eating food

“Human-grade” dog food is a loose term that can be a bit confusing. According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), this means that all the ingredients are edible for humans.1

Essentially, this label on a dog food indicates that the food has gone through a different set of federal regulations than most other dog foods, such as handling, manufacturing, and minimal processing in USDA kitchens. A dog food that does not have the “human-grade” label is processed through a completely different type of facility and has ingredients that are considered inedible for human consumption, such as non-specified by-products and meat meals.

Human-grade dog food has become increasingly popular, and in this article, we look at the top reviews for the best brands available. We hope that it sheds light on this topic and provides information that helps you make the best decision for your pup.

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A Glimpse at Our Favorites in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Just Food For Dogs Pantry Fresh Dog Food Just Food For Dogs Pantry Fresh Dog Food
  • Made with human-grade ingredients
  • Meets AAFCO’s standards
  • Several flavors
  • Best Value
    Second place
    The Farmer’s Dog The Farmer’s Dog
  • Flavors that dogs love
  • Tailored to your dog
  • Shipped to your door
  • Third place
    Canisource Grand Cru Dog Food Canisource Grand Cru Dog Food
  • 100% human-grade ingredients
  • Dehydrated kibble offering a raw diet
  • Grain free
  • Best for Puppies
    The Honest Kitchen Food Clusters Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe Pupp The Honest Kitchen Food Clusters Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe Pupp
  • Human-grade ingredients
  • Contains extra probiotics and DHA
  • Real chicken and oats as first ingredients
  • Nature's Diet Fresh Beef Simply Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food Nature's Diet Fresh Beef Simply Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Human-grade ingredients
  • High in protein
  • Affordable
  • The 8 Best Human-Grade Dog Foods

    1. Just Food For Dogs Pantry Fresh Dog Food — Best Overall

    JustFoodForDogs PantryFresh Recipe

    Food type: Pâté
    Calories: 1,270 kcal/kg
    Crude protein: 6.5%
    Crude fat: 6.5%
    Crude fiber: 2%

    Just Food For Dogs Pantry Fresh Dog Food offers a complete meal ready to serve, making it the best overall human-grade dog food. It’s cooked in a USDA kitchen with human-grade ingredients, and it also meets AAFCO’s standard level of nutrition. The vet-formulated recipes are fully balanced, and you have a variety of flavors to choose from: chicken and white rice, lamb and brown rice, turkey and whole wheat macaroni, and beef and russet potato.

    This dog food is gluten and grain free, so it’s a good choice for those few doggies with gluten and grain allergies. Human-edible ground beef is the first ingredient, followed by russet potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, apples, green beans, cod liver oil, and a special nutrient blend. The food is gently cooked and ready to serve.

    There is a high number of calories in this food, so it may only work for active and large dogs. The food may have a strong smell upon opening and may look different from the advertisements. It’s also expensive.

    Pros
    • Made with human-grade ingredients
    • Meets AAFCO’s standards
    • Several flavors
    • Gently cooked in USDA kitchens
    • Vet-formulated recipes
    Cons
    • Expensive

    2. The Farmer’s Dog — Best Value

    the-farmers-dog-full-recipe-packaging

    Food type: Fresh, frozen
    Calories: Varies
    Crude protein: Varies
    Crude fat: Varies
    Crude fiber: Varies

    The Farmer’s Dog is the best human-grade dog food for the money. This subscription service is tailored to your dog and formulated with vet nutritionists. There are beef, chicken, and turkey recipes available, and all you have to do is answer a few questions about your dog and their preferences. The Farmer’s Dog will do the rest, and you will receive regular food deliveries shipped to your door so you never have to worry about running out.

    What we like about this food the most is that you can see the individual ingredients that are used. Also, since it’s customized, most dogs seem to love it. However, keep in mind that it will be more expensive if you have a large breed or multiple dogs to feed.

    Pros
    • Fresh food
    • Shipped to your door
    • Tailored to your dog
    • Formulated with vet nutritionists
    Cons
    • Larger breeds/multiple dogs will be more expensive

    3. Canisource Grand Cru Fish Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food

    Canisource Grand Cru Fish Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food

    Food type: Dehydrated kibble
    Calories: 470 kcal/cup
    Crude protein: 28%
    Crude fat: 16%
    Crude fiber: 3%

    Canisource Grand Cru Fish Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food is perfect for the fish-loving dog. The first ingredient is North Atlantic herring, and the rest are 100% human-grade ingredients, such as lentils, peas, carrots, apples, kelp, and cranberries. The kibble is dehydrated, meaning it’s cooked at a low temperature to preserve the original nutrients.

    This food is grain free, so it’s suitable for doggies with gluten allergies, and it’s appropriate for dogs of all ages. This kibble offers the benefits of feeding a raw diet with a sufficient amount of protein (28%), and it’s 100% free from any by-products or artificial flavors and preservatives.

    This food is on the expensive side, and the kibble may be hard for some dogs, especially puppies, to chew, so we recommend rehydrating it.

    Pros
    • 100% human-grade ingredients
    • Dehydrated kibble offering a raw diet
    • Grain free
    • First ingredient is North Atlantic herring
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Hard kibble


    4. The Honest Kitchen Food Clusters Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe Puppy Blend — Best for Puppies

    The Honest Kitchen Food Clusters Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe Puppy Blend

    Food type: Dehydrated kibble
    Calories: 467 kcal/cup
    Crude protein: 25%
    Crude fat: 16%
    Crude fiber: 5%

    If you have a puppy in your life and want to start them out with human-grade food, The Honest Kitchen Food Clusters Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe Puppy Blend could be an optimal choice. The first ingredients are real chicken and oats, which aid in easy digestion. This food is made from human-grade ingredients in a human-food facility with only natural whole foods. It also meets the FDA’s human food safety standards.

    This food is dehydrated to hold all the vital nutrients, but you have to add warm water to your puppy’s bowl with the food to start the rehydration process before serving. It can be your pup’s exclusive food, or you can use it as a topper or mixed in with kibble.

    This food contains all the necessary components to get your puppy off to a healthy start. It’s expensive, but the human-grade quality has exceptional ingredients, such as extra probiotics and DHA for brain health.

    Pros
    • Human-grade ingredients
    • Contains extra probiotics and DHA
    • Real chicken and oats as first ingredients
    • Meets FDA’s human food standards
    Cons
    • Expensive

    5. Nature’s Diet Fresh Beef Simply Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food

    Nature's Diet Fresh Beef Simply Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food

    Food type: Freeze-dried kibble
    Calories: 320 kcal/cup
    Crude protein: 40%
    Crude fat: 15%
    Crude fiber: 4%

    Nature’s Diet Fresh Beef Simply Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food is raw dog food made from human-grade ingredients. It’s loaded with prebiotics and probiotics, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids. Since it’s freeze-dried, no refrigeration is necessary. You add water to the mix before feeding, which starts the rehydration process. Once the food is rehydrated, it requires refrigeration and can last in the fridge for 3 days.

    Freeze-dried raw beef is the main ingredient, followed by beef bone broth, eggs, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and a slew of other human-grade ingredients. It does contain peas, so avoid this food if your doggie has pea allergies.

    Following the feeding instructions is important because the food will have a soup-like consistency if you add too much water. This premium-quality food is made in small batches in the U.S.A., and it’s perfect for dogs that need a good amount of protein in their diet. It comes in a 3-pound bag at a more affordable price than some of the others on this list.

    Pros
    • Human-grade ingredients
    • No refrigeration necessary
    • High in protein
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    • Affordable
    Cons
    • Contains peas
    • Adding too much water causes a soup-like consistency

    6. Portland Pet Food Company Human-Grade Dog Food Pouch Chicken and Yams

    Portland Pet Food Company Human-Grade Dog Food Pouch Chicken and Yams

    Food type: Human-grade mix, wet
    Calories: 395 kcal/cup
    Crude protein: 13%
    Crude fat: 5%
    Crude fiber: .4%

    Portland Pet Food Company Human-Grade Dog Food Pouch Chicken and Yams is one of the company’s five different recipes made with human-grade ingredients. This food is a mix intended for a topper or a mixer with dry kibble. If you have a small breed, you can use this mix as a rotational meal.

    It’s made in the U.S.A. with USDA-certified meats, and no refrigeration is required until it’s opened. All food comes in a 9-ounce pouch, and it’s ready to serve; there’s no need to add water.

    Portland Pet Food Company donates 5% of its profits to non-profit animal shelters, so you’ll feel good about purchasing this product while feeding your doggie human-grade ingredients. It’s free from artificial flavors and preservatives and contains no animal by-products. It’s also gluten, wheat, and grain free.

    This company offers many recipes, and a mixed pack of all recipes is available. A downside is that the food may get caught in the corners of the pouch, making it difficult to get it all out. It’s also expensive for a 9-ounce packet of food.

    Pros
    • Human-grade ingredients
    • Gluten, wheat, and grain free
    • Made with USDA-certified meats
    • 5% of profits go to non-profit animal shelters
    • Five recipe options
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Food may get caught in corners of pouch
    • Only available in a 9-ounce packet

    7. Caru Real Chicken Stew

    Caru Real Chicken Stew

    Food type: Wet
    Calories: 291 kcal/cup
    Crude protein: 5%
    Crude fat: 5%
    Crude fiber: 2%

    Caru Real Chicken Stew offers 100% human-grade ingredients for your dog. This wet dog food is made without artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, and it’s free from any by-products; in other words, the ingredients are fit for human consumption. This food is grain free for those pups that may suffer from wheat allergies, and real chicken and chicken broth are the main ingredients. The fiber comes from fresh fruits and vegetables for easy digestion.

    A drawback is that the food is low in protein, only 3.5%, so it may not work as the sole source of your dog’s diet. However, this stew would be a terrific topper or simply mixed in with your dog’s kibble.  It contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that will keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny, and it’s made and sourced in the U.S.A. under FDA regulations. It comes in a case of 12.5-ounce carton packaging for a reasonable price.

    Pros
    • 100% human-grade ingredients
    • Grain-free
    • Real chicken as main ingredient
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    Cons
    • Low protein
    • Only use as a topper or mixed in with kibble

    8. Yumwoof Natural Pet Food

    Yumwoof Natural Pet Food

    Food type: Dehydrated mix
    Calories: 335 kcal/cup
    Crude protein: 23%
    Crude fat: 10%
    Crude fiber: 1%

    Yumwoof Natural Pet Food is made from 100% human-grade ingredients, such as carrots, pumpkin, blueberries, beef liver, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and cranberries. It is a low-carb diet for picky eaters that offers loads of antioxidants, minerals, and fiber.

    This food is a mix, so you’ll need to add whatever protein your pup likes. For human-grade food, this mix is more affordable than many others, and it contains no fillers, corn, wheat, peas, legumes, or soy. It’s made in the U.S.A. and is gluten free. It’s easy to feed; just mix it in with the desired protein, and you’re done!

    This food is available in only a 1-pound bag, though.

    Pros
    • 100% human-grade ingredients
    • Low carb for picky eaters
    • Affordable
    Cons
    • Protein must be added
    • Comes in only a 1-pound bag

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Human-Grade Dog Foods

    When it comes to buying dog food, all the options available today can leave an owner confused. They just want what’s best for their canine pal, and they know that offering healthy food is vital for their pet’s overall health. So, now that we’ve examined the top picks for human-grade dog foods, let’s discuss other topics related to this new trend.

    Is Human-Grade Food Better?

    Yes! Even though human-grade dog food is more expensive than commercial brands, the quality ingredients speak for themselves. Human-grade dog food will not have any fillers or feed-quality-rendered meat meals; it should only have fresh, high-quality ingredients that provide loads of nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

    For a dog food to label its product as “human-grade,” the manufacturer must adhere to FDA regulations, such as manufacturing, handling, and minimal processing in USDA kitchens. If the food is human-grade, it is not made in a facility where products labeled as unsuitable for human consumption are processed into meals to create an animal-grade feed.

    What Nutrients Should You Look For?

    When shopping for human-grade dog food, you want to ensure that it meets FDA regulations and is free from rendered products. USDA-certified meats are usually the first ingredients in these foods, which means the food was indeed prepared in a USDA-certified kitchen.

    If you plan on feeding human-grade dog food exclusively, make sure the label states that it meets the AAFCO’s standards of nutrition and is complete and balanced. Not all human-grade dog food has these statements, and if that’s the case, it’s better to serve human-grade food mixed in with your dog’s regular kibble. Feeding a small amount of human-grade dog food is better than none at all.

    Dehydrated vs. Freeze Dried

    Dehydrated dog food means the moisture is evaporated out of the food to prolong its shelf life. Freeze-drying the food is essentially the same process, but it’s done under a low temperature.

    Price

    If you want to feed your dog human-grade-quality food, your wallet will see the effects. However, even though it’s more expensive, you’ll be providing your dog with the best nutrition possible, and that alone can aid in cutting down possible expensive vet bills in the future. If you can swing it, it’s definitely worth the price.

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    Final Thoughts

    We hope that you’ve enjoyed our top picks for the best human-grade dog food. To recap the reviews, we recommend Just Food For Dogs for the best overall human-grade dog food. It meets AAFCO’s standard levels of nutrition and is made in USDA kitchens. For the best value, The Farmer’s Dog is shipped to your door frozen and tailored to your pup’s needs. Finally, if your dog loves fish, look no further than Canisource Grand Cru Fish Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food.

    We wish you luck in your search, and here’s to your doggie’s health!


    Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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