As pet adoption surged during the pandemic, many pet owners are choosing to feed their furry friends with high-end, "human-grade" dog food that claims to be healthier and less processed than traditional kibble. According to a recent report from The New York Times, companies like The Farmer's Dog and Ollie are leading the charge in this trend by marketing their high-end dog food to pet owners. The new food options closely resemble a human diet and are replacing dry and even canned pet food.
Patrick Cunningham, a Chicago-based physician, has noticed a change in his dogs' enthusiasm towards their food since switching to The Farmer's Dog. He told the Times that "they don't like it; they love it." However, some experts believe that human-grade dog food is nothing more than a gimmick that is trying to disrupt an industry where pet food has been tested through decades of research and use.
While human-grade dog food can be a good option for healthy dogs, it may not be suitable for pets with certain conditions. Some experts who helped develop human-grade dog food told the Times that food that labels itself as "grain-free" may contain high levels of peas and legumes, which may be linked to heart disease in dogs. Furthermore, many pet experts have raised concerns about the lack of scientific research behind the claims made by high-end dog food brands.
Despite this, many pet owners believe that human-grade dog food is a strong option for keeping their dogs healthy and show that they care about their pets' health and diet. The trend towards human-grade dog food is driven by pet owners' desire for their pets to have the same quality of food as themselves. According to Dr. Cailin Heinze, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, many pet owners are misled by the "natural" or "healthy" claims made by these high-end dog food brands, as the ingredients list may be recognizable, but there may be no science behind the product.
Pet owners are increasingly choosing human-grade dog food over traditional kibble, but there is a debate among experts about whether it is actually healthier or just a gimmick. While there may be some benefits to human-grade dog food, pet owners should be cautious when choosing high-end dog food brands, especially those that claim to be "grain-free." Ultimately, the most important thing is to provide dogs with a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs.