The Truth: What's the Difference Between Human-Grade Dog Food And Regular Dog Food?
T The Classic Pooch

The Truth: What's the Difference Between Human-Grade Dog Food And Regular Dog Food?

Mar 8, 2023 · Nutrition

Around these parts, dogs are just as important as humans, and they deserve to eat a healthy diet. In this blog, I'll break down the difference between human-grade dog food and regular dog food so that you can make an informed decision on what you want to feed your pooch!

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a regulatory organization that establishes standards for the pet food industry. AAFCO defines what ingredients are allowed in pet food, and sets minimum nutritional requirements for pet foods. To be labeled as “complete and balanced” dog food must meet the AAFCO’s guidelines. These guidelines state that the food must contain certain nutrients, including proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. The food must also be formulated to meet the specific needs of different life stages, such as puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs. Not all pet foods on the market meet the AAFCO’s standards, so make sure what you are feeding your pooch at a minimum meets AAFCO's standards. 

So what is "human-grade" dog food? A few key things differentiate human-grade dog food from regular dog food. First, human-grade ingredients are held to a higher standard. They must be fit for human consumption, which means they undergo strict safety and quality control procedures. Second, human-grade dog food is made in facilities that meet FDA guidelines for food production. This ensures that the food is safe and free of contaminants. As part of this, the meat source cannot be from an already dead or diseased animal. Additionally, the ingredients will not contain words like "meal" or "animal fat". Instead, it will call out specifically the animal meat or organ.

Regular dog foods may not meet the same standards for safety and quality. That is not to say "regular" dog food is bad for your dog to make a comparison it is similar to the difference between fast food and a balanced meal. They both provide calories, protein, etc. but one will be a bit more nutritious.

There are a few benefits of human-grade dog food over regular dog food. One is that human-grade food is held to higher standards when it comes to quality and safety. Another benefit is that human-grade food is more easily digestible for dogs, which can lead to better overall health. Some veterinarians also believe that in addition to the food being human-grade, you should also look for the main protein source. Some foods have protein alternatives like legumes which are not considered bio-appropriate. 

If you're on a budget, there are still plenty of options for feeding your dog a healthy diet. Many pet food brands offer high-quality, affordable products that are nutritionally equivalent to human-grade food. Just be sure to read the labels carefully and choose a product that is appropriate for your dog's age, breed, and activity level. 

You can also do some simple things to ensure your dog is getting the nutrients they need, even if you can't afford the most expensive food. For example, supplementing their diet with homemade meals or adding fresh fruits and vegetables to their kibble can boost their health without breaking the bank.

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