A Look at Sustainable Pet Food Choices
Sustainability is a growing movement that touches almost every household. In regards to pet food, many brands have been taking active steps to ensure there are options available on the market. Dog and cat owners can also make a few changes to put their pets on a more eco-friendly diet.
The Move to Sustainable Pet Food
With how adorable canine and feline friends are, it can be hard to believe they’d ever contribute to climate change. Unfortunately, their meat consumption releases 64 million tons of carbon dioxide in the U.S. every year. If researchers account for every single pet across the globe, those numbers may seem even more unfathomable.
As a result, brands worldwide are looking to be more sustainable, starting with ingredients. Pets typically consume chicken, beef and pork to get their protein. As it is the main problem for pet food’s lack of sustainability, there’s now a look into other organic alternatives.
Manufacturing is another aspect that the pet food industry is also working on. Sustainable pet food companies will share how their farming practices work. For instance, they may use less energy and water compared to their non-sustainable counterparts.
Bringing Sustainability to Paw Parenting
Most of the responsibility for creating a sustainable world rests on the shoulders of pet food companies. That being said, pet parents also need to help normalize sustainability. However, before jumping into the possible options you can introduce your favorite animals to, there are a few tips to remember.
1. Review Sustainable Brands
Many brands claim that their pet food is sustainable. Unfortunately, some might jump on the label without sharing how their products are more eco-friendly. For all you know, they just attached the buzzword to their marketing strategy while keeping the product as is.
Check other paw parents’ recommendations to ensure that you’re supporting a sustainable company. You can also run a review to see whether they’re truly sustainable or not. Look at how they source ingredients and manufacture their packages.
2. Speak with a Veterinarian
While it’s paramount to prioritize sustainability, it’s equally important to construct a healthy diet for your pet. Check in with a veterinarian to determine what vitamins and minerals your dog needs. You can also discuss the timeline and portions.
No paw parent should expect their dog or cat to change their eating habits overnight. It’s important to slowly transition into this newer diet. If they show resistance or allergies to a particular pet food, hit pause and speak to your vet again.
3. Think Outside the Box
When you’re getting sustainable pet food, try to think outside the box by looking at other things you can do in conjunction with changing food brands. For example, buying products in bulk results in less non-biodegradable packaging in the long run.
Aside from sustainable feeding, you can also look at other avenues of pet care to lower your carbon footprint. For example, there are sustainable pet toy, bed and crate options that you can explore and buy for your fur baby.
Sustainable Pet Food Options
Sustainable pet food can be a good way to lessen a household’s environmental impact. Plus, pets will also get the health benefits that other organic alternatives offer.
Fruits can be sweet dog treats that are low in calories and high in vitamins. Apples and mangos are best for pets when pureed or diced. Plus, they can be sustainable when you source them from local farmers.
Mashed bananas are another excellent option for your pets from time to time. Just remember to remove all the peels and moderate the portion. Some dogs may get an upset stomach if they eat too much.
A veggie-heavy regimen can lower the chances of infections, hypothyroidism and obesity in dogs and cats. Sweet potatoes are a popular choice since they are fiber-rich. In fact, you might come across this ingredient when browsing sustainable pet treats on the market. You can also keep an eye out for broccoli, carrots and beets.
Seafood is a fantastic alternative meat that offers quite a bit of protein, making it loved by humans and pets. Salmon is among the most sustainable seafood choices approved by the Marine Stewardship Council in the U.K.
Plus, the fish is suitable for your dogs. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which improve the skin and coats of your fur babies. They also fight off inflammation, making it ideal for the joints and heart of your furry friend.
4. Meat By-Products
Certain meat by-products like liver and intestines are utilized in pet food. And yes, they do come from the same resources that sustainable pet food tries to shy away from. However, there is an argument that they’re more sustainable than regular muscle meat.
Most by-products often become food waste since most people reject them for human consumption. But for our pets, these components are delicious and nutritious meals. Upcycling these organs into pet food ingredients can be a great way to use the available resources.
If you’re looking at other novel meats, bison is becoming a popular choice. These sources of protein aren’t necessarily quite big for industry brands yet, but it is possible to obtain and cook them as a substitute for dogs.
The taste and experience of bison are relatively similar to beef in some ways. Utilizing this particular animal meat results in less ecological damage compared to cattle. Supporting their consumption can also help conserve and ranch this specific form of wildlife.
Does your pet try to chase and catch insects? They’re actually a great sustainable pet food choice, too. Crickets are the most common ingredient, but a new and smaller contender had just topped this animal.
The Black Soldier Fly insect was first utilized as canine jerky when it started gaining traction. The insect can convert what it eats into a higher level of protein compared to other insects, making it desirable for other manufacturers.
Choose Sustainable Pet Food
It is possible to keep your furry best friends healthy and well-fed while helping the environment. And while shifting to sustainable pet food is a conscious choice that takes effort, it can be a good one for many owners who want to be more eco-friendly.