As food and diet trends go, lean proteins are usually at the top of the list of healthy ingredients we’re directed to consume. There’s chicken, fish, pork, legumes such as chickpeas, and many other sources to choose from. If you were to become trapped in the wild, any survivalist would tell you to start foraging for insects to eat, but you’d likely have to be starving before you took their advice. So, what about putting your dog on an insect-based diet?
Insect-Based Pet Nutrition
Yup, you read that right. In addition to vegan-based diets surfacing for pets recently, insect-based foods are here as well. Granted, your dog or cat already consumes a fair amount of bugs if they spend any amount of time outdoors. But would you go out of your way to purchase foods for them where insects were the main ingredient? To most people, this sounds absolutely disgusting. Gross or not, is it a healthy alternative for them?
According to Dr. Amber L. Drake, Professor of Biological Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, “While sustainable pet food may not be as biologically appropriate for our pets as the ancestral diet, there is some promise in this type of pet food.”
Call of the Wild
Dogs are considered omnivorous, which means they’re able to eat and maintain their health with both animal and plant foodstuffs. Interestingly enough, though, cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they must have meat or something comparable to it in their diet. The ASPCA notes that “their gastrointestinal tracts and metabolism have adapted to eating meat. They can’t digest plant material well, and they require essential nutrients that only meat can provide to them.”
Meat is also seen as an integral source of their liquid intake, as cats tend not to drink as much water as dogs.
Pet Food Options
If going green and sustainability are a priority in your life, there are several brands of insect-based dog foods on the market today you can explore as options. One of them is Jiminy’s cricket-based foods and another is MindfulMeals, which is comprised mainly of black soldier fly larvae and grains — yum! Not completely sold on the idea yet? You can always start out small and experiment with the choices available to you. Try some pet treats before buying an entire bag of food. But before you do anything, consult with your veterinarian about whether it’s appropriate to try with your dog. Due to their age or breed or health, or whatever, it may not be suitable for them. Better safe than sorry.Whizzco