Would You Feed Your Dog Insect Protein?

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If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, you know how limited the meat selection can be. While we’ve long done a “Meatless Monday” meal here, we’re now preparing–and enjoying–many meatless dishes throughout the week.

The impact of skipping meat one day a week can be huge on the environment. A recent article on the environmental impact of foregoing on meat meal a week noted that, “Skipping a single quarter-pound hamburger can save more than 400 gallons of water and the energy it takes to power a smartphone for six months. Do it every week for a year, and the greenhouse-gas savings are equivalent to biking 1,000 miles instead of driving.” And that doesn’t even take into consideration the lives that are saved with a one-meal meat hiatus.

Which got us thinking: what if our dogs could eat a meat-protein substitute as part of their usual meal rotation? Our dogs are on a rotation diet–alternating their diet every week. What if one week they went meat-free by substituting cricket protein for their usual beef, chicken or turkey?

Would You Feed Your Dog Insect Protein?

Jiminy’s–a fun play on the name Jiminy Cricket–first began creating cricket dog treats and now offers dog food made with insect protein.

The food looks much like traditional kibble; it is baked rather than extruded:

Jiminy's insect protein dog food

Jiminy’s dog food comes in two varieties–Cricket Crave and Good Grub:

cricket and insect protein dog foods

Cricket Crave is made using cricket protein:

Cricket, Oats, Quinoa, Sweet Potato, Brown Rice, Chickpeas, Milo, Potato Protein, Peas, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Dicalcium Phosphate, Beet Pulp, Flaxseed, Natural Vegetable Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Brewer’s Yeast, Salt, Menhaden Fish Oil, Choline Chloride, Inulin, Vitamins (Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Mineral Oil, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Taurine, Minerals (Zinc Methionine Complex, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Organic Sunflower Oil, Sodium Selenite, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide), Turmeric, Mixed Tocopherols.

While Good Grub uses insect protein as its source of protein:

Dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae, Oats, Potato Protein, Dried Sweet Potato, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Monosodium Phosphate, Beet Pulp, Natural Vegetable Flavor, Flaxseed, Salt, Menhaden Fish Oil, Vitamins (Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Mineral Oil, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Choline Chloride, DL Methionine, Minerals (Zinc Methionine Complex, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Organic Sunflower Oil, Sodium Selenite, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide), Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols.

Now, before you squirm, we all know that our dogs are happy to catch and eat a bug now and then!

This food contains no corn, wheat or soy.

The impact of adding an insect protein to your dog’s meal rotation is considerable. Jiminy’s says:

Switching a dog from a chicken diet to Cricket Crave saves 480,000 gallons of water per year (more if the dog is eating a diet sourced from a bigger animal).

And the impact from a switch to Good Grub is even greater: Jiminy’s estimates a savings of half a million gallons of water per year!

What did Barli think?

Jiminy's dog food

He loved it–and he is a very picky eater!

Jiminy’s Dog Treats Made with Crickets

cricket dog treats

Jiminy’s also offers wholesome dog treats made with cricket protein. The cricket protein (powdered in the mix…these treats don’t look any different than other dog treats) means they contain the value of a superfood and the protein of a meat treat but in a far more sustainable form.

Crickets are an incredibly sustainable protein source, using exponentially less land, water and feed than traditional protein. In addition, crickets emit far fewer greenhouse gases like methane. Compared pound for pound with beef, crickets feature a fantastic nutrition profile with more protein, higher iron and fiber, and lower in fat. Finally, cricket protein is humane, the crickets live most of their natural life in the environment they love.

— Jiminy’s

cricket dog treats and dog

Why Crickets Instead of Beef or Chicken?

According to the company, “Jiminy’s is determined to change the way dogs get their nutrition by replacing animal protein with cricket protein. Jiminy’s sees crickets as a healthy, sustainable and humane alternative to grazing cattle and other meat sources, which require far more resources to produce protein and emit large amounts of greenhouse gases. Crickets are also incredibly high in protein, great for building muscle, high in omegas, and high in fiber and other nutrients.”

“At Jiminy’s, we are dedicated to taking care of our planet and ensuring our furry little friends consume good, wholesome, nutritious foods,” said Anne Carlson, the company’s founder and CEO.

“We feel inspired and proud to be reducing the ‘carbon pawprint’ by embracing new protein alternatives that ensure the health of our dogs and create sustainable habits.”

Cricket Cookies and Cricket Dog Treats

Jiminy’s offers multiple flavors in the original cricket cookies:

…and in the new CHEWY dog treats that Barli and Tiki tried:

I’m so glad to have learned about new food and treats to add to our rotation!

We have received Jiminy’s treats and food for review.

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