The Science Behind “Human Grade” Dog Food

Not all good is created equal. Even when it comes to our own diets, the difference between a fast food burger and one prepared at home using high-quality ingredients is significant. Now let’s consider the mystery meats – the slaughterhouse floor scrapings that get sold in bulk to most big-name dog food brands. In fact, there were over a dozen pet food recalls in the year of 2020, ranging from making them seriously ill to causing several deaths. Some reports have even indicated the presence of euthanasia drugs and pesticides present within the food we provide our family pets.

That’s why pioneering pet lovers are standing up to challenge the status quo and force a change in the expectations from pet food companies. From trends to trials, one of the strongest options arising is “Human Grade” dog food. This means providing your pooch with food that is made with ingredients that are at the same quality level that we would be able to find in our own markets.

What’s Best Isn’t As Simple As You May Think

Oftentimes you will see people citing the diets of wild wolves as an ideal source of nutrition for domestic dogs. However, canine evolution over eleven thousand years has created a significant divergence from the predation of wolves. They have developed the ability to digest more and more complex foods alongside our own evolving dietary habits. This explains why not all dogs may thrive on the raw meat diet trends and demonstrates the need for balanced nutrition.

As an example, domestic canines carry between four to thirty copies of the gene Amylase, resulting in 28 times stronger use of this gene. This is important as it is the key to the digestion of starches, which are common in human diets as well as commercially available food.

Unfortunately, the push for these raw carnivorous diets like grain-free is based more on snappy marketing than legitimate science. Among these are remarks indicating that your pet descended from wolves, and as such should eat like one. These kinds of statements get mirrored by the well-intentioned and become repeated until they are part of the modern trends. This is why pets—ranging from puppies to seniors—developed deadly cardiomyopathy as the grain-free food trend took off.

Human Grade Means Higher Quality Standards

As we covered earlier, our canine companions evolved alongside us. Along with that, so too did our collective diets. Evolutionary archaeologists conclude that as we developed agriculture and farming, both humans and canines developed the ability to better metabolize starches, carbohydrates, and fats. This allowed us to build civilization as we know it today.

However, this shared development shows us that their dietary needs – while not approximate – are still similar to ours in many ways. While there are some things one can eat that the other cannot, we still require nutritional balance and quality.

When a pet food is not guaranteed to have Human Grade ingredients, it could be from any low-quality scraps ranging from hooves and cartilaginous tissue that serve to add bulk to kibble, but lack the nutrients of more desirable meat parts like organs or muscle. This leads us to our next point…

Human Grade Is 40% More Digestible According To Research

The University of Illinois performed a study on how dogs digest Human Grade ingredients as opposed to low “feed” quality ingredients found in most common dog food brands. The results showed a significant decrease in the bulk of the stool for the dogs receiving human-grade diets. This indicates that there is a strong relation to the quality of the ingredients and their digestibility and the ability to absorb their nutrients as they travel through the intestines.

While the idea of having to pick up less poop is an appealing idea, so too should the concept of providing your pet with food that contains less filler which their bodies can’t even break down.

As research continues to shine a light on this issue, we see that providing our pets with human grade ingredients is helpful for their digestion and the ability for them to obtain proper nutrition. The good news is that this term is well regulated unlike the feed grade title, and ensures that when you choose to make your purchase you are acting with confidence and bringing quality food home for your four-legged family members.