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“What if we could give millions of pets a healthier, happier life and, in the process, make our planet healthier, too?”  To answer that, a pet company named Jiminy’s created a new, sustainable dog treat that replaces animal protein with cricket protein, and many others have followed their lead.

It can be hard to measure exactly what kind of impact pets and their food have on the environment. In the U.S., cats and dogs gobble up about a quarter of the calories derived from livestock. If they were counted as a country, America’s pets would rank fifth in global meat consumption. Producing all that food generates about 64 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, not to mention the land, water, and other resources required to humanely farm animals.

As pet ownership rises, Americans increasingly see their cats and dogs as a part of the family. We see this reflected in the way pet food trends lean towards premium and “human-grade” diets. The way we care for our pets as family members represents a pattern that may bode well for the planet – pet food generally tends to mirror shifts in consumer preferences for people, with a growing emphasis on things like health, quality, and sustainability. As eco-friendly alternatives (particularly alternative proteins) establish themselves in our grocery store aisles, your local pet store aisle may not be far behind. One ingredient is emerging as a promising option for our furry friends: insects!

We know what you’re thinking, why insects?

Insects are often overlooked as a source of protein in western states, but across the globe, they’ve been providing nutrition to people and animals for centuries. If our pets were in the wild, there is no doubt they would be crunchin’ up some bugs! Some of you may already have cricket hunters in your four-legged family! But are crickets good for dogs? We know that protein is a core part of the diets of our furry companions. Animal-sourced proteins are the most used proteins in pet foods, and did you know insects are included in that category? Insects are a complete animal protein with all nine essential amino acids. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization, “the nutritional value of insects does not differ from the nutritional value of other meat sources such as chicken, beef, pork, and fish.”
Insects offer many additional benefits, such as:

  • Insects are packed with vitamins and minerals, which the body can absorb at a faster rate than beef or wheat.
  • Insects have a high count of antioxidants, which help protect the body from cell damage caused by free radicals.
  • Edible insects are a great source of essential fatty acids.
  • The exoskeleton of an insect is a prebiotic fiber, which is the food for the good bacteria that can travel deep into human or pet intestines.

Once we discovered the amazing benefits of planet friendly proteins, we had to share! We independently picked out a tasty Earth friendly, cricket-based dog treat to recommend because we fell in love with them and we think you will too! We could hardly wait to let our dogs try out the Chippin’ dog treat samples to find out if they would actually eat these treats made with an alternative protein.

They did not disappoint – these tasty treats earned our Paw of Approval because they’re sustainable, healthy and tasty! Not to mention they aren’t just good for the environment, they’re also great for your pup, too!

If you’re interested in trying out Chippin’s new, sustainable line of dog treats, they are available in-store and online now. Spoiler alert: Chippin’ will be featured in our November Sample Box, so make sure to mark your calendars for our next box, November 4th – 6th!