In this article, we discuss “Benefits of Insect Protein in Dog Food”. Continue reading to learn more about it…
Protein is an essential component of a canine’s diet. Protein is necessary for the health of our pet’s hair, skin, nails, ligaments, cartilage, and other body parts.
Protein need is increasing as the world’s human and pet populations expand. According to the United Nations, the human population on Earth has increased from 1.86 billion to almost 7.4 billion in the last century. As you can expect, the number of pets in our households has also increased dramatically. This indicates that the demand for protein has grown to a point where our planet can no longer meet it.
Experts are researching alternatives to traditionally farmed proteins such as cows, pigs, and chickens. Plant-based proteins are at the top of many people’s lists, but some look to a future source: insects!
Insect protein dog food aims to address protein sustainability by providing a high-quality alternative that can be manufactured environmentally friendly.
We’ll look at the surprising benefits of insect protein for dogs in this article. So please continue reading to learn more about it.
Insect protein in dog food
Sustainable dog food made with insect protein is a meat-free alternative that’s especially good for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies.
Because insects require less feed than typical livestock, they are particularly effective at turning grain into protein. In addition, insects are cold-blooded and may meet their water requirements through their meal; therefore, water-saving is also achieved. As a result, insects may be a suitable protein source for dogs.
Innovations in the dog food market with insect protein
For some years, scientists worldwide have been increasingly focused on this more sustainable protein source. However, many people in the US, Europe, and Australia were (and still are) appalled by the concept of eating crawling insects as a snack. Our four-legged buddies, on the other hand, are utterly unaccustomed to this disgusting reaction. Insect protein in dog food, on the other hand, is species-appropriate and highly palatable.
Benefits of Insect protein in dog treats
- Eco nature of insect protein: A long term solution
Do you avoid driving on occasion, always carry your weekly groceries in your cloth bag, or even eat vegetarian food? If that’s the case, you’re probably also trying to be more ecologically conscious in other ways. For example, have you ever considered that your four-legged furry friends might potentially be more destructive to the environment than you are? If you are concerned that much, the only long-term solution is insect protein because it is environmentally friendly.
Insect protein is a better-for-the-environment alternative to animal production. Dog food containing insect protein may take some getting accustomed to for humans, but this is not the case for dogs. Insects are rich in nutrients and protein and can be used as a high-quality, resource-saving meat substitute in dog food/treats.
- Delicious and species-appropriate
The sustainable alternative insect protein treats taste excellent and are ideally suited to dogs. Furthermore, it is more species-appropriate than vegetarian dog diets, which frequently result in nutrition deficits in our canine companions.
- No animal suffering (Best ethical approach):
Insects as sources of protein are more ethically represented in dog food than meat for vegetarian dog owners. In addition, the creepy-crawlies are kept in a species-appropriate manner and are not subjected to any pain or suffering throughout the reproduction process.
- High tolerance level in canines:
Insect protein dog food is very beneficial for dogs with food intolerances or allergies. In addition, insect protein food is ideal for sick or food-sensitive dogs and environmentally aware owners.
What is the best way to introduce insect protein to your dog?
The best way to introduce insect protein to your dog by adding them slowly into your canine’s regular meal. At first, you can use the insect protein treats or use insect protein feed toppings at your dog’s traditional meal. Then gradually increase the amount of insect protein food and convert your dog to it ultimately.
Why Would Pet Owners Opt for Insect-Based Pet Food?
So, why would anyone want to taste these foods in the first place? Here are three reasons why a pet parent might think about feeding their pet insect-based pet food.
1. Insect protein impact on carbon emissions: Environmental sustainability
Insect-based pet meals are an intriguing potential for environmentally conscientious pet parents. Traditional factory farming demands enormous amounts of energy, water, and land. Furthermore, there are severe concerns about cattle welfare and pollution consequences. Insect-based farming can be done in a more ethical, efficient, and resource-efficient manner.
Reduced greenhouse gas emissions and significantly less water use are two of the environmental benefits of farming insects.
Insects don’t produce much methane or ammonia, and they do not need hormones or antibiotics. Therefore, the most noticeable potential advantage of insect-based pet meals is their low environmental effect.
2. Best Hypoallergenic Alternative
Dietary allergies and intolerances are common in today’s pets. A vegetarian diet could be an option if your dog gets triggered by traditional meat sources.
On the other hand, dogs cannot survive on a vegetarian diet; thus, they (and many cats) must rely on novel protein diets (such as deer or duck) or meals containing hydrolyzed proteins.
For pets who respond to common allergens, various cat and dog foods are now available, but more options, such as insect-based pet food, are always welcome.
3. It isn’t Just a Protein
Insects contain lipids, fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins and are a good source of protein. However, depending on the insect species, the amount of these nutrients varies.
Many pet parents will cringe when it comes to eating insects. That’s because humans tend to think of insects as unattractive, nasty, or creepy. But the truth is that insects have been consumed for ages by both animals and humans throughout the world! It’s known as entomophagy, and over 2 billion people around the globe ingest insects as part of their regular diet.
With roughly a million distinct kinds of known insects on the Earth, we’d be silly to disregard their potential and promise as a protein source, especially for our pets, even if it seems new to us.
Insects That Are Frequently Used In Canine Feed Production
These three species of farmed insects are the most developed for use in pet food among the seven types of insects approved in the US, Europe, and Australia for use in pet food:
- Black soldier fly (BSF) (Hermetia illucens)
- House crickets (Acheta domesticus)
- Yellow mealworms (Tenebrio molitor)
The Nutritional Profile And Potential Additional Benefits Of These Insects
Hermetia illucens larvae, also known as soldier worms or black soldier fly larvae (BSFL), are the most common and frequently used insect in providing protein to canines (usually BSFL treats and toppings are best). BSFL has an amino acid profile similar to fishmeal and includes up to 56% crude protein, up to 34% lipids.
Furthermore, black soldier fly larvae and house crickets are simple to cultivate. As a result, they can be used as a source of protein that is thousands of times more abundant than typical terrestrially farmed animals such as chickens, pigs, and cows. And for a fraction of the cost to the environment!
These insects mentioned above can readily stack their colonies, which is impractical or immoral with agricultural animals. They may be raised on almost any organic food source, including food that organic farms and distilleries usually throw. Due to their rapid reproduction, the fast-growing larvae can be farmed dozens of times every year.
These insects produce both a high-protein insect meal and oil when they are ready to be harvested. That oil has qualities that are very similar to fish oil or soy oil, and it can be used to meet the nutritional demands of dogs.
In recent decades, fish protein sources in commercial dog food and supplements have increased dramatically. But that might all change if more of us switch our pets to insect protein-based alternatives.
Crickets, grasshoppers, and locusts are among the insects studied as potential protein sources for dog diets. However, crickets may prove to be the most popular because they are high in protein, low in fat, and can quickly grow with similar environmental benefits to black soldier fly larvae. So, when new possibilities become available, keep your eyes peeled.
Why do insects produce less pollution than animals?
The entire life cycle spans less than two months, from larvae to fly. As a result, it is much smaller than beef, chicken, and other meat-producing animals’ cycle. On a surface, the size of an average bedroom, one tonne of fly larvae may be produced in just two weeks. As a result, there are very few emissions. But, on the other hand, Cattle require a lot more land for breeding and raising and producing a lot more greenhouse gas.
Why is insect protein suitable for the environment?
Insect breeding also helps to conserve water. For example, the larvae of the black soldier fly and mealworms need only 4% of the water required to manufacture the same amount of protein from cattle to generate 1 kilo of protein.
This is even more astounding when we remember that agriculture consumes more than two-thirds of all fresh water on the planet. Last but not least, preparing insects is a simple operation. The majority of the larvae and creepy-crawlies are mashed and eaten whole. Only half of a cow or chicken, however, is edible.
It’s reasonable if you’re still hesitant to give your dog a cuisine that has insects as an ingredient. However, as we move toward more environmentally friendly insect protein, food sources like black soldier fly larvae, crickets, and mealworms are not only good but possibly even better than what we’ve been utilizing previously.
Feeding with an insect protein treat offered on occasion is a fantastic method to incorporate insect protein into your dog’s diet. Plus, if you want a more traditional protein source, you can add a nutritious topper.