Human Grade Dog Food vs Feed Grade Dog Food
Veronica DeLisle | July 31 2018
Buying your pup the best food may not be as easy as you think. There’s a lot of research that should be done when it comes to finding the most suitable dog food! There are many factors that you should consider when looking at different brands and recipes for your pup. One of them is whether it is classified as human grade or feed grade dog food.
What’s the Difference?
The legal definition of human grade pet food is “Every ingredient and the resulting product are stored, handled, processed, and transported in a manner that is consistent and compliant with regulations for good manufacturing practices (GMPs) for human edible foods as specified in 21 CFR 117”. Basically, pet food is only qualified as human grade if it undergoes the same process as human food to be made and distributed. Anything in the pet food process that does not follow the regulations for human food eliminates the food from being considered human grade, and makes it feed grade.
Feed grade’s legal definition is “Material that has been determined to be safe, functional and suitable for its intended use in animal food, is handled and labeled appropriately, and conforms to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act unless otherwise expressly permitted by the appropriate state or federal agency”. Again, in simpler terms this means that practically anything can be in your dog’s food if it is considered feed grade. Some of those ingredients may contain by-products, chemicals, fillers and parts from dead, dying, disabled or diseased animals. Those are definitely not things we want in our own stomachs, so why give them to your beloved pup?
Kibble Be Gone
Surprisingly enough, any form of kibble dog food will always be feed grade dog food. Even if they use human grade ingredients, kibble pet foods are manufactured in a pet food facility. Looking back on our definitions, a dog food must have been manufactured in the same conditions as human food to be considered human grade, meaning it must be manufactured in a human food facility. Although this may seem nitpicky, it is actually a valid point in the definition of human grade. Pet food facilities are not held to the same quality standards as human food facilities, so their food may be exposed to more nasty things than human food. Worry not, any of these kibble brands can acquire human grade status, they just need to be manufactured in a human food facility!
What To Feed Your Dog
Always check labels, check manufacturer websites and work with your vet to determine which food is best for your dog. Like kibble food, all canned dog food is also feed grade due to the location they are processed. Human grade labels can be found on some moist dog food brands and raw dog food brands, but be sure to double check. Some brands are packaged as dehydrated food which and are usually human grade food. Although the price tag on human grade dog food may scare you, it always best to know what you’re feeding your dog, especially if they are at a young age. Puppies need specially made puppy food to ensure they are receiving the nutrients that they need to grow and develop properly. Check out Sleepy Cotton’s blog for tips on what to look for in your puppy’s food, and why adult dog food and puppy food are so different!