If you’re a dog owner, could you even imagine what life would be like without your dog(s)?
Our pets bring so much joy, and connecting with them connects us more to the natural world. More people than ever have a dog, in fact up to 47% of households in America have a canine family member. It’s clear just how much we love having them in our lives.
All these dogs need to be fed, resulting in a booming pet food industry. The dry dog food market in the U.S. alone did 9.2 billion dollars in sales last year. That’s a LOT of dog food.
The production of such large amounts of dog food comes at a great environmental cost though, and unfortunately most dog food is designed to be produced as cheaply as possible in the name of profit and as a result, at the expense of the environment. Cheap and unhealthy ingredients like factory farmed animals, genetically modified (GMO) corn, wheat, soy, and other environmentally detrimental products are consumed by our precious pups in almost unimaginable quantities globally.
In a time when we’re beginning to see the negative effects of climate change, those of us that are concerned about the issue are looking for more environmentally friendly alternatives in all areas of our lives, but what about our pets?
Could changing your pet’s diet help? The answer seems to be, yes!
Wilder & Harrier, based in Montreal Canada, is providing a more environmentally friendly, sustainable, and innovative option for pet food treats. The main source of healthy protein, fats, and nutrients in their formulation is… Crickets!
Crickets (and other insects) are consumed by many cultures around the world as a healthy, affordable, and abundant source of nutrition. It may seem weird and gross to many Westerners, but to the rest of the world eating insects is surprisingly normal. In fact, over 80% of the world population consumes insects as food. Insects have been part of the human diet for a very long time!
The Western world is just beginning to catch on to this highly nutritious food source though, with companies like Exo Protein offering a variety of delicious sounding bars containing cricket flour, mainly targeted at athletes and the paleo diet community.
If you just can’t stomach the idea of eating insects, that’s okay… Pets seem to have no issue with it though! The We Are Wildness headquarters’ Chief Dog Officer (CDO) “Brite” loves the Wilder & Harrier dog training rewards (or “treats!” as she knows them).
We feel great about giving them to her knowing just how nutritious and environmentally friendly they are.
Raising crickets requires about 12 times less resources than the production of beef, mostly in terms of water and feed. Specifically, each pound of beef needs more than 9,000 liters of water to produce, whereas the same amount of crickets needs only about 4 liters – more than 2,000 times less! They also require much less space and emit considerably less greenhouse gas emissions – 100x less than beef!
So how do crickets stack up nutritionally? They are a powerhouse, and the data is hard to deny.
Crickets come in at about 65% protein where beef is 33%, Chicken 23%, salmon 22% and eggs at 12%. But crickets don’t just blow other protein sources out of the water, they have 2.2x more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk, more Vitamin B12 than salmon or beef and 9x more omega fatty acids than wild salmon which is widely touted as one of the best sources of omegas.
Whatever way you look at it, crickets make sense as a part of your dog’s diet. We all want our dogs to be as healthy as possible and Wilder & Harrier is doing a great job of providing one of the healthiest treat options out there. It just so happens to be one of the most sustainable and healthy options for the planet as well!
We can only hope that they come out with a full line of dog food in the future. Brite agrees! 🙂
What do you think of crickets as a source of pet food? Would you feed these treats to your dog? Let us know in the discussion section below.
Enter to win Wilder & Harrier treats for your dog!
We’ve partnered with the awesome people (and dogs) at Wilder & Harrier to giveaway 4 prize packs! (each pack includes 2 packages of W&H Training Rewards – Banana Peanut and Apple Cranberry).
To enter our giveaway:
- Like Wilder & Harrier on Facebook – Click here
- Go to our post on Facebook and give it a “like” and share! – Click here to go to the post
We’ll make a list of the people who did all of the above and pick 4 people at random. Winners will be tagged in the post on February 1st 2017!! Good luck! 🙂