Less waste in, less waste out. Just published in the Journal of Animal Science: 'Nutrient Digestibility and Fecal Characteristics, Microbiota, and Metabolites in Dogs Fed Human-Grade Foods' confirm what many pet owners (that give their pets human-grade pet food) have witnessed in their own pets; real food (not feed) is more digestible.

From the abstract: “In conclusion, the HG (Human Grade) pet foods tested resulted in significantly reduced faecal output, were highly digestible, maintained faecal characteristics, serum chemistry, and haematology, and modified the faecal microbiota of dogs.”

The study included 12 dogs fed four different diets for 28-day cycles, one diet per 28-day cycle – all dogs participating in four cycles.

 The four diets were: Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe – kibble, feed grade, Freshpet Roasted Meals Tender Chicken Recipe – study considered this a “fresh” diet, feed grade, JustFoodforDogs Beef & Russet Potato Recipe – human grade ingredient cooked diet, and JustFoodforDogs Chicken & White Rice Recipe – human grade ingredient cooked diet. 

Among other things, the study measured the faecal output (amount of poop produced) of the dogs on each diet.

“Dogs fed the extruded diet had greater (P<0.05) faecal output (as-is; DMB) than dogs fed fresh (1.5-1.7 times greater) or HG foods (2.0-2.9 times greater).”

Dogs fed the Blue Buffalo feed grade kibble diet produced 1.5 to 1.7 times more poop than dogs fed the Freshpet feed grade diet and 2 to 2.9 times more poop than dogs fed JustFoodforDogs human grade ingredient pet food.

By: Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Disclosure: This study is from a human-grade pet food manufacturer, JustFoodforDogs.