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Vegan vs insect-based dog food: the pros and cons

We often fall guilty into believing that dogs are like wild wolves and need a hunky meat-based diet. But before you start grabbing your loin cloth, bow and arrow and heading out into the wilderness, we want to assure you this isn’t the case. Dogs are more than capable of surviving without any traditional meat at all. 

We explore the pros and cons of vegan dog food versus insect-based dog food.

Now we know you might be thinking ‘Why would you be writing an article about vegan-based dog food? Aren’t you guys all about bugs?’ 

Well, yes true, but we also like to be balanced at Grub Club HQ (just like our dog food wink, wink), and arm dog owners with the knowledge that helps them choose what’s best for their pooch. 

Plus, we’re planet conscious bro, and if we can all do our bit to lower meat consumption then we think that’s a pretty cool thing. *Cue fist pump.*

We get it, you’re super busy, so this handy chart is a quick guide to the best dog food for nutrition, sustainability, price, allergies, awareness (most common and longer term research), and ease (preparation, serving and transition). 
But for the full lowdown, please keep reading! 

Vegan dog food: what are the benefits?

Vegan dog food is good for allergies

In general, a vegetable-based diet for dogs is generally well tolerated by our canine pals. Dogs can happily live on a vegan-based diet due to it being naturally low in fat and rich in fibre - great news for your dog’s gut. 

It’s also good for pets that face any difficulties or intolerances to traditional meat-based proteins such as chicken, salmon or beef. 

Vegan dog food is a sustainable alternative to meat

You probably know by now that we’re pretty big fans of this little rock we live on, but with our climate rapidly changing we need to take some considerate steps before things start getting a bit too hot for our liking.

Feeding your dog a vegetable or vegan-based diet goes a considerably long way to reducing you and your pet’s carbon footprint. Our four-legged pals consume over 20% of the world’s meat - which I’m sure you know already has a significant impact on land and water resources as well as producing a fair amount of that pesky CO2 stuff. 

‘Empawering’ stuff. We’ll just leave that there… *Closes door quietly.*

What are the downsides to a vegan diet for my dog?

Vegan dog food is new to the market

There is still a lack of clarity over the long-term benefit of feeding dogs a vegetable or vegan-based diet. Early data has suggested that sustained feeding on heavy grain and alternative vegan-based proteins sources can have a strain on a dog’s long-term wellbeing. 

Vegan dog food can be nutritionally imbalanced

When shopping around for dog food, you might see the term ‘nutritionally complete’. This means the dog food provides balanced nutrition for everyday feeding. AKA… You don’t need to feed your dog anything else other than their dog food to provide them with the nutrients they need to survive (and thrive!).  

Many vets and animal nutritionists suggest that vegan diets can carry a significant risk of potential dietary insufficiencies for dogs and nobody’s got time for that. 

A lack of a nutritionally balanced and complete diet can have lasting effects including heart issues for larger breed dogs, such as canine dilated cardiomyopathy

Insect protein: what are the benefits?

It's official: bugs taste best. Just check out our glowing reviews *we're blushing*.

We tried over 20 recipes, ran lots of tests (let’s say we weren’t short of four-legged volunteers) and when compared to other meat-based treats, 90% of dogs chose Grub Club every time.

Insect protein has officially been approved by Reggies, Berties, Bellas and Teddys, all over the UK. Oh and vets too, lest we forget!

Insect-based dog food is sustainable

We already mentioned that pets eat 20% of the world’s fish and meat. *Cue the simultaneous sound of jaws dropping all over the UK* 

Good news hoomans and doggos alike. Insect protein requires less land and water than farmed meat and generates up to 97% less greenhouse gases. Win, win.

Insect-based dog food is naturally hypoallergenic

Insect-based dog food is a great alternative for dogs that suffer with allergies to meat and grains. That means less itching and scratching and much rosier farts (from the dog that is). 

We can’t do anything about yours, and after feeding your dog our All Day Buffet - you can’t get away with blaming your toots on your dog anymore either. Sorry, not sorry.

Insect-based dog food is higher in protein than a vegan diet

Insects can provide up to two times more protein per 100g compared to beef. Holy cow!

Are there cons to feeding my dog insect protein?

They’re few and far between (we promise!).

Does it look and smell like bugs?

Insects don’t have a reputation for being the cutest creatures on the planet and one of the questions we’re most frequently asked is: ‘Does your dog food look like insects?’. The answer? Absolutely not. It’s just kibble. Nice crunchy brown nuggets that your dog will love. 

INSECT PROTEIN IS STILL NEW TO THE MARKET

Insect-based dog food is still a pretty new phenomenon but we know it’s here to stay. Compared to other dog foods that have been around for much longer, there is less long term evidence to back up the efficiency of insect protein. However, the current view is very positive for its benefits. 

VERDICT: WINNER WINNER IT’S BUGS FOR DINNER!

Ready to make the switch? Take the #BugsTasteBest Challenge! Order a sample pack here and test our complete food with your dog. We know they’ll love it. 

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