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No, these dog foods are not really “human grade”. I tried them.

Up until a few weeks ago I was buying homemade dog food from a guy named Tad at the farmer’s market. It was made from grass fed beef from his ranch and organic vegetables. It cost me about as much as my car payment every month, but my dogs loved it!

Why do I go put so much money and effort into feeding my dogs?

Dogs that eat whole, unprocessed foods and live longer and healthier lives. One study showed that dogs that eat home cooked or raw diets live an average of 3 years longer than those that eat packaged food.  To me, giving a dog kibble is a little like giving your kids french fries or chicken nuggets–it’s ok once in a while, but they’re not supposed to live on it!

Tad recently stopped showing up at the market and I couldn’t track him down online, so I decided to try out a couple of the “home cooking” dog food options that are available now.

They ship you freshly made dog food each week in dry ice packs. It sounds costly, but it works out to about $3 per day per dog, which is actually less than I was paying Tad.

So, I ordered one plan from Ollie and another from PetPlate (PetPlate was actually on the show Shark Tank a while back).


My dogs are diehard red meat eaters (I feed them a raw diet 50% of the time), so I ordered the beef option from both companies.

What Exactly Is “Human Grade”?

Both companies promote “human grade food” in their marketing, and I thought it might be interesting to test that claim.  I wasn’t sure whether they meant it was safe for humans to eat, or whether we might actually enjoy it.

So, once my packages arrived I took about a teaspoon from each. I decided to pair with a 2014 grenache/syrah/mouvedre blend from Paso Robles.

Let me first say that I don’t care for liver, and both products include it, so it was a rough start. Both had the unmistakable aroma of liver, although it was subtle because I’d just taken them out of the refrigerator.

The Ollie product tasted meaty while the PetPlate product had a sweeter flavor. If these products were for humans, I would say they were both desperately under-salted and under-seasoned, so I had to remind myself that they were for dogs.

Texture-wise, the Ollie was a bit chewier. Both products had small vegetable chunks and peas. The PetPlate was slightly mushier than the Ollie and it left a longer aftertaste.

Main Petplate Ingredients: Beef, sweet potatoes, potatoes, beef liver, green peas, carrots, apples, pumpkin, safflower oil, calcium carbonate, sardine fish oil

Main Ollie Ingredients: Beef, beef heart, beef kidney, sweet potato, beef liver, peas, potato, carrot, spinach, chia seed, sunflower oil, blueberries, fish oil, basil, rosemary

Upon further research, it turns out that “human grade” just means that the food is completely edible for humans and it’s prepared in kitchens that are suitable for human food manufacturing.

Would I eat it again? Definitely not.

The Most Important Part

How did the dogs like it? They went nuts for both, so it was a win all the way around. However, I chose the Ollie brand for  them because it contains multiple organ meats (beef liver, heart and kidney). Organ meats are an amazing source of nutrients and dogs love eating them.

The Ollie also has more dietary fat (10% vs 6.2% in PetPlate) which is actually a good thing for dogs.

Both companies are offering specials for first time customers. Ollie has a 50% off deal and PetPlate has 25% off.  While I don’t recommend trying either of them yourself, I do highly recommend either for your dog!

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Sara July 16, 2018, 7:46 am

    Liked your advice. MY TWO DOGS ARE PPICKY EATERS!

  • Karen Baum July 1, 2018, 2:08 pm

    I get my raw food from My Pet Carnivore. So good! We are on the route so that saves money.

  • Heather Giles July 1, 2018, 8:53 am

    You paired it with the wrong wine, you need a cabernet sauvignon to stand up to that liver.

  • Michael Thompson July 1, 2018, 8:05 am

    Happy 4th Vern! Love your writing, keep it up!

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