When it comes to feeding our pets, sometimes it seems like there are limitless food options. While it might be easy to find something specific, it can also be overwhelming if you don’t know what’s best for your pet. “Human-grade” dog food is gaining popularity, but what does that mean, exactly, and is it the right choice for your pet?

What Is Human-Grade Dog Food?

According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials, there is not an official definition for human grade. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) classifies human grade as anything that is edible for humans. Basically, it is any dog food that consists only of ingredients that humans can safely eat. It must also be packaged and manufactured with a strict code of regulations. If the product meets all these qualifications, the manufacturer can officially label it as “human grade” on the packaging.

Is Human-Grade Dog Food Really Worth the Fuss?

Most people probably don’t compare their palate to a dog’s when trying to find food for Fido. Does human-grade dog food really make a difference to a canine’s diet? Unfortunately, without a standard definition, it is hard to quantify the nutritional benefits of food with this label. Just because something is safe for humans to eat does not mean it is healthy for an animal. You should still inspect the listed ingredients (and their quantities) before purchasing any food for your dog.

Quality Canine Nutrition

Dogs are mostly carnivores who also need some nutrients from plants. In order to really thrive, dogs need a diet high in protein (from healthy sources). The best diets for dogs usually include a combination of meat and vegetables, which can be found in many dog food brands. Talk to your veterinarian about the main staples your dog requires for a healthy diet. Just like humans, dogs need different kinds of nutrition based on their age, lifestyle, and other health factors.

How to Choose Dog Food

While it is perfectly okay to choose human-grade dog food options for your canine, it is most important to consider the quality of ingredients. Here are a few ways to tell if a dog food is healthy for your pal:
Look for any brand with AAFCO on the package. These foods have met their strict standards for quality nutrition.
Make sure the food has important nutrients. You want to see things like protein, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

Choose food that caters to your dog’s needs. Puppies do best with puppy food, for example, while a dog with a few pounds to lose might benefit from a weight control option.
Pay attention after your dog eats. Once you finally do decide on food for your dog, be sure to look out for any noticeable changes in behavior or appearance. This can let you know if the food is right for your pup.

When it comes to the best health and wellness options for your pets, look no further than Union Lake Veterinary Hospital. Our caring team is here to provide you with top-notch veterinary care and helpful resources to give your pets the best lives. To learn more about our services or to talk about your dog’s nutritional needs, please call (248) 363-1508.