You Shouldn’t Be The Only One Eating Healthy

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Just as healthy eating is important for you, it is also important for your pets.

Human Or Feed Grade?

Did you know that all pet foods fall into two categories: human grade or feed grade.

What Is Human Grade?

The definition of a 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.”

All pet foods that do not meet the full definition of human grade are feed grade.

This means that every ingredient is safe for you to eat too (not that want to eat your dog's food.

What Is Feed Grade?

The definition of feed grade pet food 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.”


This means just about anything is allowed into feed grade pet food.

Feed grade pet foods may use 100% human grade ingredients or they may use 100% feed grade ingredients or they may use a combination of both. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell by looking at the label. Considering that each US State and the FDA allows pet foods to use illegal, risky ingredients (diseased and non-slaughtered animals) every pet food consumer should look into their food with these questions in mind …

Learn about fat to protein ratio, why it is important in feeding your dog healthy and how to calculate it for yourself.

Are ingredients human edible?

Human edible means human grade. If it isn't human grade, then it's not human edible.

If inedible – What inedible ingredients are used?

Note: Some ingredients classified as ‘inedible’ are perfectly safe for your pet. For example chicken frames are typically a quality "inedible" product.  When chicken is processed for human consumption the meat is mechanically separated from the bone. Mechanical separation leaves quite a bit of meat on the bone frame. These poultry frames are sold to pet food. This is a quality inedible ingredient example.

Some inedible ingredients are not quality. This would be DOA (dead on arrival) animals or diseased animals rejected for use in human food. This is not a quality ingredient. Will a pet food manufacturer admit to using these types of material? It is doubtful. But you should ask regardless.

Something to think about: Pet food ingredients whose legal definitions allow them to be sourced from diseased or non-slaughtered animals are poultry by-products, chicken by-products, turkey by-products, poultry by-product meal, chicken by-product meal, turkey by-product meal, meat meal, meat and bone meal, animal digest and animal fat.

And most feed grade pet foods use feed grade supplements. Yes, there are human grade vitamins and minerals and there are feed grade vitamins and minerals. Feed grade supplements would be a lesser quality than human grade, they are not held to the same standards as human grade.

Ask your pet food manufacturer: Are the supplements human grade or feed grade?

All kibble pet foods are feed grade – regardless if they use human grade ingredients or not. Kibble pet foods are manufactured in a pet food facility; to meet the human grade claim a pet food must be manufactured in a human food facility. This is fair of the regulation; pet food facilities are not held to the same quality standards a human food facility is held to. Any kibble pet food could become human grade, as the manufacturing process is similar to the making of human cereal (extruded product). But to date, no pet food kibble manufacturer has acquired that human grade status.

All canned pet foods – to my knowledge – are feed grade. Again, canned pet foods are manufactured in a pet food plant. And again, these plants could all become a human grade plant (if they went to the effort), but to date no one has.

Some moist pet foods – purchased in tubs – are human grade (manufactured in a human food plant), some are not (manufactured in a pet food plant).

Some raw pet foods (dehydrated, freeze dried or frozen) are human grade, some are not.


The Farmer's Dog

You have many options when it comes to providing a healthy diet for your dog. The Farmer's Dog is one and I personally just love the name! Check out this offer and get 50% off your first order.


Why choose The Farmer's Dog:

  • Real Food: Human-grade meat and veggies in simple recipes, made for dogs
  • USDA Kitchens: Safety and quality never before available to pets
  • Made Fresh: Maintain whole food and nutritional integrity
  • Vet Developed: Nutrition that exceeds industry standards for dogs (AAFCO)

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