Insect-based dog food:
What do the experts think?
food: What do the
Dog food made from insects? Really?
We know, it sounds a bit strange. When you think about having insects for dinner, your reaction probably isn’t a positive one. So why would you feed them to your dog?
Sustainable dog food is our mission, and by building our unique dog food blend around a core of environmentally friendly, nutritious insect protein, we’re pushing for real change in the dog food industry. We truly believe Percuro is the dog food of the future, and that replacing traditional meat sources such as beef with less damaging alternatives is a crucial step in limiting our impact on the climate, before it’s too late.
As we’ve talked about previously, dogs and cats put an incredible additional strain on the agriculture and livestock industry, and are thought to eat around 20% of all meat and fish worldwide.
However, we also know that to those of you who haven’t really thought about it before, the idea of dog food made from insects might be a little bit out there.
Although many cultures have included insects as a staple of their diet for millennia, it’s not a common practice in the UK and Europe. Despite their popularity in places like China and Mexico, a 2019 study by the Pet Food Manufacturing Association (PFMA) revealed 36% of owners would avoid feeding insect-based foods to their pets.
We can talk for days about how raising clean insect protein creates just a fraction of the greenhouse emissions of raising cattle, or how our magic Hermetia illucens larvae pack a protein punch, or even how 92% of dogs we tested chose Percuro over a traditional competitor. But we also know that as responsible pet owners, you need to hear it from an unbiased, professional source.
So, what do the experts think?
Is insect protein dog food safe?
Yep! Insects used in food products are raised in clean environments, contain no natural common allergens, and their feed is tightly monitored to prevent the transmission of diseases.
What’s more, many vets think it’s a pretty clever idea.
In 2019, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) - the leading veterinary organisation in the UK - called for owners to consider switching to insect protein dog foods, due to the unsustainable production processes of traditional meat-based pet food.
“It’s safe to say that working towards a more sustainable future for our planet and future generations is a defining issue of our time,” said the press release from the BVA. “In a landscape where the expected growth of the global human population and rising standards of living in developing countries is predicted to see meat consumption double by 2050, addressing the call for sustainable animal food has never been more important.”
The BVA also said that despite some expected uncertainty, their surveys showed the majority of owners would consider feeding insect-based dog foods to their furry friends.
Speaking to BBC News, BVA president Simon Doherty said: “There’s a really exciting future for the use of insect protein for companion animals. It’s a fantastic opportunity - looking at insects to provide alternative sources of some of the nutrient ingredients we use in pet food diets.”
Mr Doherty also said that as well as the environmental benefits, using insect protein in place of traditional proteins could also be considered more animal friendly. Although insect larvae are still killed to produce alternative dog food, it can be done quickly and humanely by freezing them first. The average lifespan of Hermetia illucens is around six weeks, compared to up to 22 years for domesticated cows, meaning the larvae used in our foods can live out the majority of their lives in comfort. This approach is unfeasible for traditional cattle.
Overall, Mr Doherty said, insects can be a fantastic alternative to traditional livestock when properly balanced, and have a place alongside sustainably farmed livestock. He said: “When compounded into a complete food product, insect protein offers a more sensible alternative to owners who want to offer a ‘livestock free diet to their pets rather than homemade vegetarian or vegan diets which often result in poor pet health & welfare – insect-based products are palatable, nutritious and bioavailable.”
Is insect dog food healthy?
Our foods are made of more than just their protein source. Our recipe has been designed by nutritional experts to combine the natural protein power of our larvae with a range of vegetables, oats, minerals and vitamins to ensure it contains everything a happy, healthy dog needs, whilst still tasting absolutely delicious. To dogs, that is.
We’re dog lovers, and the health and happiness of your pups is paramount to us. That’s why we created Percuro, to be better for your dog, and better for our planet. Still not convinced?
Why not try Percuro for yourself? Visit our shop to learn more and find the best blend for your pup.