Well, hello there, dog lover!
This one is for those who have thought adding insect protein to their dog’s diet, but want to know a bit more about the benefits. Including insects in your dog’s diet might sound like a bizarre idea, but trust me, it’s not as creepy-crawly as it sounds.
First of all, let’s talk about sustainability.
Did you know that traditional livestock farming is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation? Not to mention, it takes a lot of resources like land, water, and feed to raise a cow or a chicken. Insects, on the other hand, require a fraction of the resources to produce the same amount of protein. Plus, they produce way less greenhouse gas emissions and waste and help preserve conservation and wildlife habitats.
Further, maintaining insect health and comfort tends to be less complicated than for other animals supporting animal welfare considerations. So, if you’re someone who cares about the planet, feeding your dog insect protein is definitely worth considering.
But what about taste?
I know what you’re thinking:
My dog’s not going to want to eat bugs.
Well, think again! Dogs are natural omnivores and don’t see insects as an unnatural source of protein. Plus, insect protein is highly digestible and packed with nutrients like amino acids, iron, and calcium, which can benefit your dog’s health.
Are insects good for my dog’s health?
The Pet Food Manufacturers Association in the UK states:
Insects such as the black soldier fly larvae are rich in protein and have clear potential in animal nutrition. The well-balanced amino acid profiles of certain insect ingredients are shown to be comparable to meat and fishmeal.(Spranghers et al., 2017)
The larvae composition includes lauric acid and fat, which shows antimicrobial benefits. Lauric acid as a medium chain fatty acid has been shown to supply brain cells with energy supporting cognative function especially in our older pooches. The exoskeleton of the grub contains chitin, showing pre-biotic benefits, and the novel protein structure all enhance the interest for use of insects in diets that are intended for pets diagnosed with food intolerance or allergies.
Now, I know what you’re really wondering:
But won’t my dog think I’m a weirdo for feeding them bugs?
Listen, dogs don’t judge. Plus, if your dog could talk, they’d probably thank you for giving them a more sustainable and nutritious food option. They might even brag to their dog friends about how cool their owner is for being ahead of the trend!
A smart, sustainable choice?
So, there you have it. Feeding your furry friend some insect protein might sound strange at first, but it’s actually a smart and responsible choice; substituting part or all of your dog’s diet with insect protein is a good way to transition and do an extra bit for the environment. And who knows, maybe one day we’ll all be snacking on cricket protein bars together!
– Dr. Heidi (Feed For Thought Vet/Animal Lover) and Alison (Founder/CEO/Dog Lover)