America is getting more and more eco-friendly and that is a good thing. After all; it is time that we all rethink certain things and make an effort to preserve Mother Nature for our future generations.
So it comes as no surprise that pet parents are looking for eco-friendly and sustainable products for their beloved pets as well. From biodegradable poop-scooper bags to homemade meals and natural dog shampoos, pet parents are opting for natural, gentle, and chemical-free products for their pets.
The topic of this guide is sustainable and eco-friendly dog food. We will consider some aspects of sustainable dog foods and also discuss vegan dog foods as well.
Why switch to sustainable dog food?
Dogs are estimated to be exposed to chemicals more than humans are. Many commercial dog foods contain by-products, preservatives, artificial ingredients, and growth hormones. Some foods even contain arsenic. By switching to sustainable and organic foods, you can limit your pet’s chemical intake.
When you feed your pet holistic, organic, and sustainable dog food, you are not only ensuring better health for your beloved pet; you are also doing a world of good to the environment. When more and more pet parents will start demanding organic and eco-friendly foods for their pets, farmers will have no choice but to use sustainable farming methods. They will be forced to stop using harmful chemicals and growth hormones to plump up their chickens, cows, and pigs. This will reduce chemicals in the soil and water. Dog food manufacturers will also opt for recyclable dog food packaging and eco-friendly printing ink to reduce the strain on our landfills. And your pet will thank you for keeping him healthy and happy. Most pet parents who use premium, organic, and sustainable dog food have reported fewer digestive issues, allergies, and obesity-related problems in their beloved pets.
Dog food with recyclable packaging
We rarely stop to think about dog food packaging. Most dry dog foods come in plastic bags which are very slow to degrade and remain in the environment for years and years. It is little wonder that our landfills are strained with plastic. Therefore, it also makes sense that concerned pet parents are demanding dog food with recyclable packaging. These food packages are made with recycled paper that degrades quickly and does not remain in the environment for years. They are also printed with water-based inks that dissolve quickly and do not poison our waterways. Biodegradable dog food packaging is definitely a choice to make if you are concerned about the environment.
Insect based dog food
Many pet parents are vegans and vegetarians. They also believe that their pet should not eat animal protein. After all; they do not want to kill animals just to fulfill their pet’s protein requirements. As a result, many are switching to insect-based protein.
Insects like crickets are rich in proteins and for centuries, insects have been consumed in many cultures. Africans and Chinese people believe certain insects to be delicacies. Aristotle himself commented about Cicadas and how delicious the female cicadas are ‘when they are full of eggs’! Many of us may balk at the idea of eating insects. After all; we believe them to be dirty, disgusting, and even polluting. However, our dogs may not think so. Dogs are direct descendants of wolves. And in the wild, dogs may have had to eat insects and other ‘disgusting things’ to sustain themselves. Insects are rich in proteins and they are available in plenty.
Many dog food manufacturers have started using crickets in their dog food and also raising crickets in a sustainable manner. Eating crickets is safe for pets and they are actually easier to digest than chicken even. The insects’ exoskeletons are rich in calcium and other minerals and can fulfill a dog’s basic dietary needs.
Vegan dog food
Susanne Althoff writes in Vegetarian Times: Many dog and cat diseases are linked to overconsumption of beef and tuna. My research has led me to understand that while dogs and cats are mainly carnivores, the dog food industry uses the meat of questionable quality and that is the root cause of these issues. Althoff further states that she personally knows many dogs and cats that are doing well on vegan and vegetarian diets. However, it is essential that one supplements their pets in order to meet their nutritional needs such as L-carnitine and taurine which are mainly found in meat. Vegan and vegetarian dog diets are good but they will work as long as they have a diligent owner.
With that covered, let us take a look at some of the best sustainable dog food brands.
Best eco-friendly dog food
Yora claims to be the world’s most eco-friendly and sustainable dog food brand. It is hypoallergenic, planet-friendly, and uses the most ‘novel’ protein source – insects. More and more vets are recommending insect-based dog foods for pets with allergies since insects like crickets are easier to digest thank chicken too.
Tom Neish, the founder of Yora dog food states that he came up with the idea when he realized that commercial dog foods contain human-grade meat. He was also concerned with global warming and felt that nearly 500 million pet dogs and cats would consume nearly 23 billion tons of meat per year. He had his Eureka moment when he tried an energy bar made from cricket flour and found it to be delicious.
Today Yora dog food makes dog treats and complete food for dogs. Neish has also brought nutritionists and vets on board to ensure that these foods and treats meet all of the pets’ nutritional needs. And he did not just stop at dog food; he has also made all Yora product packaging to be recyclable through the use of biodegradable materials and water-based printing inks.
Yora dog food reviews have been great so far. However, before making any drastic changes in your pet’s diet make sure you speak to your vet.
Best vegan dog food
Natural Balance vegan dog food formula contains brown rice, oats, pea protein, canola oil, potato protein, and other non-dairy and non-animal ingredients. It is fortified with vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients – just like formulas that contain meat. If Natural Balance dog food reviews are to be believed, with regular intake, your dog’s skin and coat will certainly improve. Natural Balance vegan dog food formula is also available on retail sites like Amazon. It is devoid of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives and they offer a wide range of dry/wet/canned dog and cat foods, treats, as well as a range for obese and picky dogs.
More research is needed to confirm whether dogs can live healthy and happy lives with vegetarian and/or vegan diets. It is best to speak to a vet before making any drastic changes. In the meantime, you can look for dog food with recyclable packaging in case you are concerned about doing your bit for the environment. You can also try these homemade dog food recipes.