There’s been a lot of buzz around human-grade dog food lately. So, what is it about common dog food that gives us a need to label ourselves human-grade dog food? We’re here to prove that it’s not just marketing jargon. Human-grade dog food is dog food that you can rely on and trust.
Human-grade vs Pet-grade
Human-grade food is strictly regulated in Australia. Stringent processes and standards must be followed by food producers and distributors. For example, human-grade meat undergoes necessary testing to make sure that there are no pathogens present, like Salmonella or E. coli. This testing starts right from the slaughterhouse, to ensure the hygiene of the meat processing.
This is not the case for pet-grade foods. In fact, pet food isn’t even legally regulated in Australia. Kind of scary, isn’t it? The industry is self-regulated, which is why things can be very obscure, not only when it comes to the ingredients used, but also how the food is produced. It’s like a black box; you can’t really tell what’s inside. There have even been several cases in Australia alone of dog owners finding foreign objects, like metal and plastic, in their dog’s food.
Contrast this to the United States, where pet food is highly regulated. All ingredients used in pet food need to meet the minimum requirements set by the FDA.
Earlier this year, the FDA withdrew their out-dated policy guidelines that allowed meat from dead, diseased, dying, or disabled animals (4-D) to be used in pet food. You can imagine that without a strict regulation here in Australia, pet food-grade pet food producers are not obligated to avoid using adulterated material, including 4-D meat.
Why human-grade dog food?
Human-grade dog food companies like Lyka seek to overcome the lack of regulation in Australia’s dog food industry. True human-grade dog food manufacturers use a higher set of standards to measure their food quality than highly processed kibble-based foods.
If it’s not considered safe for humans to consume,
why is it safe for puppers?
When talking about human-grade dog food, it’s not only about the ingredients, but also the process. The process of sourcing and creating dog food should also meet the quality and safety standards for human consumption, meaning that it should be processed in a human-grade kitchen facility. So, if you choose the right dog food, such as Lyka, the quality of your pupper’s next meal will match and maybe even exceed the quality of your own!
Read the label!
The biggest difference between human-grade dog food and pet-grade is the protein sources. Human-grade dog food uses real, whole sources of protein, like beef and chicken for example, while many highly processed pet-grade foods use beef meal and chicken meal—which are typically processed in non-human-grade rendering plants alongside fertilizers and other chemicals.
Try to avoid:
- Meat meal, fish meal, chicken meal, and any non-whole proteins.
- Meat by-products (or any unspecified protein). The word “meat” doesn’t mean much at all! It’s usually manufactured in rendering plants and this means it’s not human-grade.
- Other products that may also have come from rendering plants, like corn gluten meal.
The truth behind rendering
Rendering plants process inedible things like feathers and hair, and ingredients that are used in soap and fertilizers.
According to the National Renderers Association’s book, Essential Rendering, there is a lengthy list of products in the rendering process, including meat and bone meal, meat meal, poultry meal, hydrolyzed feather meal, blood meal, fish meal, animal digest, and animal fats. “Meal” is the by-product of the rendering process. All of the moisture and fats are removed from the collection of dead animals and scraps, and the “meal” is what remains.
In your pup’s food, look for:
- Whole protein (fish, chicken, beef, liver, egg), especially if they’re grass-fed or free-range
- Other whole foods, such as broccoli, carrot, celery, kale, and blueberries
The Lyka difference
When we say we produce human-grade dog food, we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Our veterinarian-approved recipes are made from high-quality, ethically sourced human ingredients that are not only safe but also healthy for your pup.
Every ingredient in Lyka food is human-grade.
If we wouldn’t eat it, we wouldn’t serve it to your pupper.
Our human-grade kitchen guarantees that each meal is prepared with the ultimate safety in mind. This lowers the likelihood of contamination that can present a health risk to you or your pupper. (We’ve even known humans to enjoy a Lyka meal!)
We do this for one simple reason—because your pupper deserves the best, and only the best! Healthy food can help pupper live a healthy and happy life.