Sniff Out These 6 Sustainable & Eco Friendly Dog Food Brands
Attention all conscious canine owners: you can help change the world, one kibble at a time.
Wet or dry, the environmental pawprint of pets is huge.
Studies have shown the environmental impact of a dog is equivalent to having a large SUV.
Pet food, particularly our reliance on cheap meat in pet food, releases up to 64 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, or 30% of meat consumption’s total environmental impact. If cats and dogs established an exclusive pet-only country, they would rank 5th in the world for meat consumption.
Your vegan diet won’t do much good if you’re still feeding your dog run-of-the-mill meat-derived kibble.
By switching your dog to one of these eco friendly dog foods, you’re taking a big bite out of the packaging waste and methane emissions associated with pet food.
If you want to make your zero waste dog or cat feel like they’re eating at a five star Michelin restaurant in the process, we’ve got some ‘dining’ recommendations for you.
Sniff to the end of the article to see how these sustainable pet food brands were chosen.
*This post contains affilate links
1. WILD EARTH
Wild Earth’s Organic Vegan Dog Food
Contemplating the switch to truly sustainable dog food?
Wild Earth is here to help.
Pooch and planet-friendly, the dog food is designed for all breeds, is filled with clean, superfood ingredients, and is 100% plant-based!
They call it Clean High Protein Dog Food, with Zero Junk.
Why vegan dog food?
Just like a meat-free (or even meat-reduced) human diet, getting rid of animal products helps to drastically reduce Fido’s environmental impact.
Instead of fillers, “mystery” meat, and preservatives, the vegan eco friendly dog food is made with ingredients like dried yeast, oats, peas, sweet potato, and chickpeas.
This means that hungry barks before dinner will be satisfied by food that requires 90% fewer resources than conventional, meat-based dog food.
Don’t think that means your canine is lacking in protein.
The secret is in the yeast, which they call “tiny miracles” that are basically “miniature protein factories”. In fact, this food is 31% natural clean protein, full of fiber, and provides all the joint and digestive support dogs need, whether old or young.
Not only is it better for the planet, but the 10 essential amino acids contribute to more energy, shinier coats, fewer allergies, and a healthier weight.
A survey of 3,000 of their customers showed that after just three bags of Wild Earth, 78% of dogs showed health improvements, like the 43% who saw less itching & scratching (good from them) and 41% who saw a reduction in flatulence (good for you!).
They not only make dog food but snacks and treats as well.
About Wild Earth
Now that we’ve piqued your interest with vegan(!) dog food, we’ve got more to share about Wild Earth.
If you caught their Shark Tank episode, you’ll realize Wild Earth is on a mission to reinvent the dog food industry.
They know that dogs are “om-nom-nivores”, but they also know protein doesn’t necessarily have to come from dead animals.
Their dog food is totally plant-based, protein-packed, and CEO-approved (there’s even a video of him eating a spoonful on their website…).
Almost 100% of dogs were reported to love the taste too.
If your dog doesn’t for whatever reason, you can get a full refund within 30 days, no questions asked.
Chippin’s Natural Pet Treats
What would happen if we all chipped in for pets and our planet?
Chippin wants to find out by using vet-formulated nutrition, premium ingredients, and hypoallergenic proteins to satisfy your dog’s hunger—or just to reward those good-boy-moments with some of the most eco friendly dog food treats around.
Healthy dogs are supported with human-grade sustainable proteins like spirulina and crickets.
The crickets are a complete protein, practically zero impact, and sustainably sourced from a USA family farm.
Chippin combines these protein powerhouses with other superfoods like kale, flaxseed, banana, and blueberry. The dog treats are available in a variety of flavors and can be purchased in 2, 3, or 5 packs.
With Chippin, it’s possible to reduce the carbon pawprint of man’s best friend, which has major news organizations like the BBC, Forbes, and The Guardian begging for more info.
Chippin is committed to healthy dogs—so much so that they have a chart to help evaluate dog poop to better support your pup’s microbiome (“happy logs = happy dogs”!).
They’re committed to our planet, too, right down to the eco friendly dog food packaging.
Each bag is made with 29% post-consumer recycled materials, a percentage that will hopefully keep growing with your new puppy.
3. BECO PETS
Beco Pets’ Eco Friendly Dog Food
There’s bound to be some wagging tails for Beco Pets’ natural dog food.
Whether your pooch prefers dry dog food, wet dog food, or puppy food, you can be sure you’re getting the best, real food available.
With quality ingredients like pumpkin, spinach, chickpeas, and kale, you may question if this really isn’t human food.
They do use animal products but always opt for those with lower carbon footprints than beef and pork, such as wild-caught wild boar, free-range turkey, and sustainably-caught tuna.
Not only is responsible sourcing important to Beco Pets, but picky pups are, too.
Some of their blends are chosen with selective taste buds in mind, as well as common allergies and intolerances.
Because our planet is allergic to plastic, the wet dog food comes in a recyclable TetraPak that’s made with 70% renewable materials and FSC certified cardboard.
About Beco Pets
Beco Pets doesn’t just carry sustainable dog food, but they also have sustainable dog toys to keep your pup’s mouth occupied when he’s not eating (instead of letting your favorite shoes do the job instead).
The one-stop-doggo-shop got their unlikely start with an order of General Tso’s.
Curious about the impact of their chopsticks, founders (and friends) George and Toby daydreamed about the byproducts of bamboo chopstick manufacturing and decided to transform this waste into bamboo dog bowls!
The two kept digging, and now they have a large range of bowls, toys, food, and other accessories made from more than just bamboo.
You’ll see dog toys made from all natural and non-toxic materials like recycled plastic bottles and cotton.
The company makes tails wag around the globe by regularly donating a portion of profits to organizations supporting animals and the environment.
Available: Beco Pets
4. THE HONEST KITCHEN
The Honest Kitchen’s Eco Friendly Pet Food
The Honest Kitchen found a new tree to pee on in 2002.
By that we mean they were the first to create 100% human-grade food for pets.
Most pet food is deemed ‘feed grade’. We don’t know about you, but we want to put the “oo” back in food for our family members, furry or not.
Human grade food contains higher quality ingredients and safer standards.
Not only does this taste better, but gets a thumbs up from veterinarians, food safety experts, and pet owners alike.
The eco friendly dog food and cat food from The Honest Kitchen is designed to match the individual needs of your pooch. They’ve got several different blends of food—including both grain-free and whole-grain options.
But it doesn’t stop there.
If your dog is growling for something gourmet, here’s what’s on offer: whole food clusters (for adults and puppies), dehydrated food, one-pot stews, toppers, and a base mix (just add protein).
Then there’s pour overs and butcher block pâté… Pâté….for dogs!
About The Honest Kitchen
The Honest Kitchen has dogs around the globe licking their chops for food that’s truly tasty.
Founder Lucy Postins became curious about her dog’s ear infections and skin problems, which led her to wonder if his food was the cause.
Over the next 15 years, this curiosity manifested into a full line of safe, healthy, and delicious human-grade pet food.
To maintain optimal pet health, The Honest Kitchen tucks their tail from GMOs, chemical preservatives, and these unsafe and unhealthy ingredients typically found in standard dog food.
In addition to healthy food, THK also wants a healthy supply chain.
84% of their ingredients come from North America, some of which are organic or MSC certified (yay organic dog food!).
In fact, they share a list of ingredient origins in their Food Source Map and also only work with a few suppliers who provide proof of food origins, screening, handling, cleaning, and adherence to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs).
Suppliers must use fair trade channels where possible and may not source any ingredients from China.
Keep wagging that tail.
The company also has a discount program for non-profit rescues to help them feed their animals high-quality food for less. Who says rescues shouldn’t get good food, too?
5. LILY’S KITCHEN
Lily’s Kitchen’s Eco Friendly Pet Food
One look at Lily’s Kitchen’s “menu” will likely have your mouth watering—so just imagine if your dog had an iPhone!
The company produces “proper food” for dogs and cats. It comes in wet and dry options and is made from wholesome, nutritious, natural, and delicious ingredients.
Clever names like “Breakfast Crunch” and cute packaging will catch the eyes of anyone wrapped around their dog’s paw.
And that’s before you get to the ingredient list.
Instead of cheap fillers, you can expect to see real meat and/or vegetables, along with healthy botanicals.
The packaging is recyclable, too, either through curbside collection or their partnership with Terracycle for a few difficult-to-recycle items.
About Lily’s Kitchen
Lily was the ill dog, Henrietta was the concerned fur mom.
After struggling to find natural food that would soothe Lily’s sore and itchy skin, Henrietta started to cook the meals herself.
Significant health improvements inspired Henrietta to share the love, so she partnered with vets and nutritionists to whip up the meals still sold today.
This UK company’s values drive its actions.
They do whatever they can to protect the planet, which is why they offer vegan dog food options, use organic ingredients, and finish it all off with eco friendly packaging.
Available: Lily’s Kitchen (UK Only)
MAKE YOUR OWN AFFORDABLE ECO FRIENDLY DOG FOOD
As with most products, the most sustainable option is (usually) to make your own pet food.
Because you can pick the ingredients and avoid packing and shipping altogether, it’s also often the most affordable eco friendly dog food.
Yes, this option takes time, but knowing exactly what’s going into Bruiser’s bowl can be well worth the added effort it takes to meal prep for your pup.
How do you make your own zero waste dog food? Hint: It’s not rolling and baking little bits of kibble. Rather, it involves mixing up a bowl of whole ingredients that will fill all your dog’s dietary needs.
Ideally, you want equal parts protein, raw veggies, and root veggies (like sweet potato and pumpkin).
You can even try sourcing these from local farmers who have meat and produce that maybe isn’t good enough to sell but would suit Fido just fine.
Have a look at Treading My Own Path’s dog food recipe for inspiration.
This is just a brief idea of this process, but if it’s the path you choose to take, make sure you do your research and ideally chat with your vet about your pet’s nutritional needs.
And while you’re at it, discuss how much food your dog should be getting based on their activity level, because overfeeding is a quick way to waste food.
- Know what foods are safe and unsafe for canine consumption
- Research the nutritional needs of your dog’s specific breed and lifestyle
- Talk to your vet about your pet’s needs
- Only commit to this if you have the time to follow through. Switching your dog’s food too often can be unhealthy, too.
HOW WE FOUND THE BEST ECO FRIENDLY DOG FOOD BRANDS
It’s normally scarfed down so quickly we don’t get a chance to think about the environmental impact of our puppies’ dinner.
Unfortunately, scientists understand that pet food is an environmental disaster, accounting for around 25% of the negative impact of animal agriculture as a whole.
Not to mention the fact that our precious pups are part of the family, and so they shouldn’t be forced to eat preservative soaked cow lips (and other scraps considered “feed grade”).
To keep tails wagging and support the health of our planet, we considered the following:
You probably don’t want to eat butylated hydroxyanisole or propylene glycol or rendered fat, and neither does your dog.
While some “human grade” foods are the real sustainable deal, not all are, so we were extra cautious of greenwashing for those that claimed this.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, “human grade” non vegan dog food can be one of the most wasteful because it relies on prime cuts of meat (which really aren’t that much better than the offcuts if the cows have been pumped with growth hormones and such).
We must look beyond the basic ingredients.
Fortunately, some of the healthiest and tastiest ingredients out there also happen to be good for our planet. W
e’re happy to report that many of these brands choose organic and natural vegetables and whole grains, and use sustainably produced meat (think: wild boar with a side of crickets) or plant-powered vegan alternatives.
While vegan dog and cat food wasn’t a requirement, it is certainly the most sustainable pet food option, so we were thrilled to see several companies offering it.
Especially since they were also going out of the way to make sure their plant-powered pup food was still plentifully proteinous.
Supply chain and labor practices:
Nothing makes our tails wag more than transparency, so we’re really happy to see that many of these brands work with local producers, or at least know where specific ingredients are produced.
Even better, some brands have elaborated on team dynamics or shared how they’re supporting workers with fair pay conditions.
Green business practices:
If you’re not hip to the world of pet food, you likely don’t know that there’ve been a lot of efforts over recent years to make the packaging more sustainable.
Unfortunately, due to regulations involved with retailing foodstuffs, there are still improvements to make. Still, we were happy to see some brands using compostable, recyclable, or partially recycled packaging.
Watch this space, because it’s likely to get even greener in the coming years.
Community & charitable giving:
Three barks for brands that give back!
While not absolutely necessary to make it into our list of eco friendly dog food brands, we’ll always roll over for companies that are donating to charities or providing discounts on food to animal shelters.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON SUSTAINABLE DOG FOOD BRANDS
Every dog has its day, but hopefully with this list of sustainable pet food, that day is a long way off.
Our pets are family, even when they poop on the carpet and eat our favorite pair of eco friendly sunglasses.
Just as we want a healthy planet and nutritious food for our hooman family members, so we should aim for the same for our fur babies.
Consider supporting one of these eco friendly pet food brands and your pets will surely go barking mad at dinner time!