• Jenessa Stark

Eco-Friendly Pet Food Innovations

We’re usually talking about feeding ourselves when we talk about the future of food, but what about our pets? They enjoy their meals and snacks even more than humans do. The environmental footprint of our pets adds up quickly, largely due to the production of their food.

Estimates of the environmental footprint of pet diets vary and depend on the size of the pet, as well as what they eat. What’s undeniable is that the cat and dog food market is becoming more competitive as pet parents demand higher quality options for their companions.

Questionable ingredients are no longer tolerated. Instead, everything from paleo to plant-based is on the table. Some owners even opt for human-grade, feeding their pets what they would eat themselves.

At the center of the pet food conversation is protein. Questions that come up about protein sources include:

  • How healthy is it?

  • How environmentally friendly is it?

  • Is it ethically sound?

Answers to these questions can all play a role in what we choose to feed our pets. The great news is that demand sparks innovation. Right along with protein innovation for humans is a movement of sustainable protein sources for pet food. Best of all, these sources are naturally more wholesome and cruelty-free.

The Future of Clean Pet Protein

Cultured Protein

Bond Pet Foods compares their cultured meat process to a craft brewery. They brew single cells into a nutrient-rich broth, which is then condensed into a powder and ready to be mixed into a nutritionally complete food. The finished product could be kibble, stews, loaves, and treats that dogs are already familiar with.

Soon, cultured protein could be a solution for those wanting to continue feeding their companion a traditional diet while reducing their environmental footprint.

Insect Protein

Entopure and Entomo Farms are two companies producing insect-based protein for pets. Buffalo beetle larvae are the protein source in Entopure’s powdered, wet and whole frozen pet food. Entomo Farms counts on crickets for their dog treats.

Both of these protein sources are complete proteins that meet or beat protein, iron, amino acids and more by weight when compared to beef.

Plant-Based Protein

Though there’s controversy over transitioning fur babies over to a plant-based diet, this is the most widely available sustainable pet food option.

Plant-based pet food brands include:

Petguard - Vegan and vegetarian dog food and treats

V-Dog - Vegan dog food

Wild Earth - Vegan dry dog food and treats

Evolution Food - Vegan wet and dry food plus treats for cats and dogs

All of these brands meet AAFCO nutritional standards. If they don’t want to fully commit, pet parents can consider supplementing with a partial plant-based diet.

It’s Chow Time

There’s something for every four-legged friend in the new generation of pet protein. As with any market, consumer demand drives production. Some of the products on this list aren’t available yet, but you should ask your pet food supplier to stock your preferred pet food.

Sign up to our community so you can stay up to date on everything sustainable.