Are you looking for a new and interesting pet food to try? Insect based pet food may be the perfect option for you! This type of food is made from ground up insects, and it provides your pet with a host of important nutrients that they need to stay healthy.
The development of insect based food is booming in the petfood industry because of the environmental footprint that comes from e.g. traditional meat production normally used in petfoods.
Keep reading to learn more about insect based pet food, including why it’s becoming such a popular choice for pet owners.
The market research / market outlook in numbers:
- The global insect-based pet food market will hold around ~7% of the $~104.96 Bn worth of global pet food market in 2021. Demand for insect-based pet food is expected to reach $7.09 Bn in 2021, according to the latest Future Market Insights (FMI) study.
- The market value is expected to reach US$ 17.29 Bn by 2031, exhibiting growth at healthy CAGR of 9.3% for 2021-31.
- The pet food market in the U.S. is estimated at $42 Bn in sales, and a key U.S. animal food regulatory body has voted to accept dried black soldier fly larvae for use in adult dog food.
- Globally, pets consume an estimated 20% of meat and fish in their respective countries.
What is insect based pet food and how is it made?
Insect based pet food is made from insects that are harvested, cleaned and ground up into a powder. This powder forms the base of the pet food, which can then be combined with other ingredients to create different flavors.
The most common add ons in terms of ingredients are: naked oats, corn, peas, dried or sweet potato, olive oil, yeast, minerals, dried seawood, dried tomato, linseed oil to name a few.
Insects as the protein source in pet food
Insect based pet food can be a meaty addition to your pet’s diet because it is a common misconception that insects are high in fat.
In fact, many insects have less fat than lean chicken and even salmon! Insects are also extremely high in protein (such as cricket protein), thiamin (vitamin B1), copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.
Insect based dog food
Dog owners who want to give their dogs insect based pet food need to start by choosing a flavor. There are several different types of flavors, including the ones that dogs love such as beef and chicken.
All flavors are made with natural ingredients that make them healthy and safe for pets. You can also select the level of ground insects in the food, which ranges from small pieces to powder.
It’s important to note that no insects can be seen in the final product, as they are all ground up completely!
Insect based cat food
Just like dog food, insect based cat food is available in different flavors. It may be a bit more difficult to find cat food products made with insects than dog products, but they are out there!
Varieties of cat based insect foods may include: beef and cheese, chicken and tuna, salmon and sea fish, lamb with vegetables etc.
The flavors are natural and safe for pets, and they can help promote healthy digestion.
As carnivores, cats need a protein-rich diet to stay healthy. Insect-based cat food normally includes whole hermetia illucens grubs, a true superfood bursting with protein and many other nutrients such as vitamins, omega 6, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and minerals.
The benefits of feeding your pet insects
Better for your pet
There are many benefits for your pet when you give them insect based pet food. They will enjoy a wide variety of flavors, and all of these flavors are nutritious for your pet. Insects are also high in protein and low in fat, which is the best combination for pets.
Not only that but insects contain other nutrients as well such as omega 3 fatty acids, which help promote healthy skin and fur coat. Insects are also high in fiber, which can help promote healthy digestion for your pet.
Better for the environment and planet
While the entire pet food industry has made huge strides in sustainability, insect based pet food is one of the best ways to make a difference for the environment.
It takes significantly less resources to make insects meat compared to animal meat, which means less environmental impact on land, water and air quality.
Some of the premium insect petfoods are made up of up to 90% sustainable protein whereas beef, chicken, and other animal feed have lots of inedible parts that go to waste during food production.
These leftovers end up in landfills where they create toxic greenhouse gases. In fact, 60% of a cow and 45% a chicken is inedible. That’s an amazing waste!
Grubs are sustainably raised across the world, under clean and controlled circumstances.
Did you know that in the adult phase, the hermetia illucens fly does not even have an oral cavity, only very primitive mouthparts that they use to absorb water and nectar? These insects are super clean and not a vector for diseases.
Most grubs are voracious recyclers, feeding only on human-grade fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste. This saves tons of natural resources, including land and water that would otherwise go into producing animal feed.
Insect farms are stacked vertically, saving a vast amount of arable land.
It takes a ton of water to grow feed for livestock, while grubs hardly use any!
Low carbon emission
Rearing insects produces far less CO2 than other protein sources.
For every kg of insect food, grubs ate and recovered about 160 kg of unused cereals, fruits and vegetables.
Insect based pet food is a great option for pets with allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients. For example, dogs that are allergic to grains can still enjoy a tasty meal of insect based dog food. The variety of flavors is one of the best way to ensure that your pet will stay happy and healthy as they continue to grow.
The types of insects that can be used for pet food
It is made from a wide variety of insects, grubs and bugs, some of the most popular include:
These insects are all high in protein and low in fat. They also contain omega 3 fatty acids and other important nutrients that your pet needs to stay healthy.
Black soldier flies and black soldier fly larvae are also commonly used in insect based pet food. Because these insects are high in fiber, they can help promote healthy digestion in your pet.
If you are thinking about giving your pet insect based food, there are lots of interesting things to learn about the benefits for them!
While insects don’t make up the entire meal, they can be a great “protein booster” that makes these foods healthier and more sustainable.
How to introduce insect based pet food to your pet
Introducing insects to your pet can be a difficult process. It is important to remember that these insects are completely safe and healthy, although it may take some time for your pet to get used to them! Mixing the insect based food with their regular food will make them more familiar with the taste and smell.
If you notice that they start to reject their normal food, don’t give up! Keep mixing the two together until they start to eat it without hesitation.
It may take some time for your pet to get used to new flavors but this shouldn’t stop you from giving them insect based food. As more people discover the benefits of this type of pet food, it will become almost impossible to find non-insect based options.
Many people are already switching their pet’s food to insect based products because they are so high in protein, have little environmental impact and are full of nutrients!
Can my puppy eat insect based food?
Most parents of animals think of dogs and cats when they think about insect based food. But there are lots of other pets that can benefit from this type of protein!
Insects offer a great alternative to meat for fish and reptiles, and the high protein content will help them build muscle and stay healthy.
Recipes for insect based pet food
Insects can be incorporated in a number of ways into your pet’s food. For example, you can grind them up and mix them with the dry food before serving it to your pet.
You can also soak them in water or some other liquid before mixing it into their food for a unique flavor that is bound to attract their attention.
There are lots of different benefits to giving your pet insect based food. Insects are healthy, sustainable and nutritious, which makes them a great addition to your pet’s diet!
If you’re interested in learning more about this type of food, take the time to do your own research. You will find that there is an abundance of information on what kinds of insects are used, how they are prepared and which species of pet can benefit from this type of food.
Human grade and pet grade food
People who like to eat insects in the United States may be surprised when they find out that it isn’t always legal. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates which insects are considered “safe” for human consumption, so you will need to check local laws if you are interested in selling edible insects.
But even though not every insect is considered safe for human consumption, that doesn’t mean insects can’t be used to make food for pets!
Insect based pet foods should only contain the highest quality of insects. These whole grubs should be raised in a controlled environment and given time to eat their natural diet before they are processed into pet food.
You will also want to look for a pet food that has been certified as safe for your particular animal.
Alternatives to insect based pet food
There are lots of other ways to give your pet the protein and nutrients they need. Dog food made from chicken, beef or lamb is a popular option for those looking to feed their pets as many healthy ingredients as possible!
There are also organic alternatives in the market today, please read our article about the best organic dog food options out there.
Key brands in the market today
Insect based pet food has been shown to be a healthy alternative for many pets. However, there are lots of factors that need to be considered when choosing the best option for you and your animal companion.
Insects have less environmental impact than other types of meat and they still provide a high amount of protein – making them an excellent addition to any diet!
If you’re concerned about how insects will taste or smell in your house, don’t worry – most animals won’t notice a difference between insect based foods and their regular diets because it’s mixed with flavors they already enjoy eating.
In order to make sure these products are safe for consumption, look out for labels from reputable companies who offer human grade ingredients as well as certifications from the FDA.
FAQ – Insect Based Pet Food
There are lots of reasons insect-based pet food is a valuable addition to your animal’s diet. Insects have healthy fats and high protein levels that will help your pet stay energetic and strong!
Yes, cooking them first will kill any bacteria and make them safe for consumption.
Yes, insect protein is safe for dogs because it contains essential nutrients!
There are lots of reasons to consider including insects in your pet’s diet. Insects have high amounts of beneficial proteins and fatty acids, which help give your pet energy all day long!
Yes! Cats can benefit from eating insects because they contain lots of nutrients and amino acids.
Insect based protein is an excellent source of essential nutrients for your pet’s diet. They contain healthy fats and high amounts of protein, which will help your pet stay energetic and strong!
Insects have been a staple in the diets of cats for decades. In fact, they can survive on insects alone!