You've successfully subscribed to Tips, Advice & Stories for Dog Owners - Dog Eared
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Tips, Advice & Stories for Dog Owners - Dog Eared
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
What is Human-Grade Dog Food?

What is Human-Grade Dog Food?

. 3 min read

When it comes to buying dog food you may have noticed there are many options. From kibble to fresh-made meals and even raw food diets. One of the terms you may have seen on your pup’s food packaging (especially if you are an Ollie customer) is human-grade food or made from human-grade ingredients. But what exactly does this mean? Can you eat your dog’s food too? We’ll explain so you know exactly what this means and why it might be important.


What exactly is human-grade dog food?

Human-grade is a pretty vague term that covers food that people can eat. It may be easy to then reason that the food is good for (or better for) your dog because you could theoretically eat it too. The quality and type of protein used in dog food can vary from brand to brand but the idea that the ingredients in your dog’s food are good enough that you can eat them might bring you some comfort.

How does the AAFCO define human-grade dog food?

The Association of American Feed Control Officials is a volunteer organization that provides “a venue for feed regulators to explore the problems encountered in administering feed laws; to develop just and equitable standards, definitions and policies for the enforcement of feed laws; and to promote uniformity in laws, regulations and enforcement policies.”

The members of this organization are not veterinarians or veterinary nutritionists but they do help develop standards and definitions for terms used in pet food and pet food labeling.

When it comes to human-grade they say: “Extremely few pet food products could be considered officially human edible or human-grade. A pet food that actually met these standards would be expensive. While pet owners can buy what they feel is best for their pet, they should understand the definitions and the odds.”

But AAFCO isn’t the only organization that regulates feed. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines products fit for human consumption to be officially “edible.” These foodstuffs have been processed, inspected and passed manufacturing regulations (i.e. process control regulations) that are designed to assure safety for consumption by humans.”

AAFCO also goes on to clarify the fact that “For a product to be deemed edible for humans, all ingredients must be human edible and the product must be manufactured, packed and held in accordance with federal regulations.”

What to look for in human-grade food

In a few words, quality and transparency. And at Ollie, that is what we strive to give our pet parents. Our human grade ingredients are carefully sourced for the highest quality and then gently cooked so they are nutritious and safe for your pup.

As AAFCO points out, producing human-grade food is not a cheap process, and that is why Ollie fresh recipes cost more per serving than dried commercial kibble. We strive to keep costs as reasonable for pet parents as possible without sacrificing the quality of our ingredients.

Can humans eat dog food?

The term human grade is just used for pet food. The foods we (humans) eat is referred to by the USDA as edible. These foods need to stay in the human supply chain and comply with all of the Food and Drug Administration’s requirements for handling, storing and labeling etc.

So, even if you could, eat your dog’s food would you really want to? Dog food is not formulated for human nutritional requirements or even the human palate. So while it might not make you sick, it’s probably not going to taste all that great to you!

If you want to share a treat (or meal) with your pup there are other ways to safely do so. Sharing some lean grilled or roasted proteins like chicken, turkey, salmon or beef and some roasted veggies (no seasonings or heavy sauces) are all delicious things you can do. Your pup can also enjoy things like bone broth, fresh fruit (no grapes or raisins!) and the occasional treat like some whipped cream (or coconut cream).

The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out