9 Sustainable Dog Food Brands Making Every Bowl Eco Friendly
Attention conscious canine owners: you can help change the world, one kibble of sustainable dog food at a time.
The environmental pawprint of pets is huge—the equivalent of driving a large SUV!
While some of that can be mitigated by choosing things like sustainable dog beds, a sizable serving of it must be remedied through diet.
If cats and dogs established their own country (cadountry?), they would rank 5th in the world for meat consumption.
Pet food releases ~64 million tons of CO2 a year, or 30% of meat consumption’s total environmental impact.
If you choose one of these sustainable dog food brands, you (and your pooch) can take a big bite out of the methane emissions associated with pet food.
The Honest Kitchen’s eco friendly dog food ingredients will have your pup feeling like they’re dining à la five star Michelin restaurant.
Certified B Corp Petaluma isn’t just one of the few vegan sustainable dog food companies, but a solar-powered one.
For snacking and rewarding your good boy in between meals, Chippin’s eco friendly pet food treats are worth rolling over for.
Sniff to the end of the article to see how these sustainable pet food brands were chosen.
*This post contains affiliate links
Petaluma’s Sustainable Dog Food Online
What does sustainable dog food mean?
To Petaluma, it means dog food that is veterinarian formulated, extensively lab-tested, and meat-free.
This is not to say protein free. Each cup of Petaluma has 33 grams of protein—as well as a complete amino acid profile and balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats.
They’ve published a full nutrient analysis and have conducted vitro digestibility tests showing dogs can absorb ~80% of the nutrients.
Their “Dog Food of Tomorrow” comes in two forms: Roasted Peanut Butter & Sweet Potato baked dog food and Sweet Potato jerky chews.
Both contain non-GMO and about 50% organic-certified ingredients like chickpeas, potato protein, pea protein, peanut butter, flaxseeds, whole grains, and vegetables.
Purchase their five or 18-pound bags once or sign up for an eco friendly dog food delivery subscription.
If you’re not already barking up their tree, you can request a free sample scoop.
While this is some of the top sustainable dog food, it’s reserved for adult dogs only as it does not meet AAFCO growth guidelines for puppies.
One of the most eco friendly dog food companies Petaluma is a Certified B Corp, Climate Neutral Certified, and a member of 1% for the Planet.
And if that weren’t enough, this sustainable dog food company bakes everything in a solar-powered facility and sources (as much as possible) from organic, biodiverse farms.
Their treats come in home compostable bags and they’re still working on low waste dog food packaging solutions. Currently, they’ve swapped the polyethylene outer layer for kraft paper.
Check out how much smaller of a pawprint your dog will have by switching.
For example, if you’re buying this as sustainable big breed dog food for a 60-80 pound pup, it’ll be like buying 18 outfits second hand instead of new.
2. THE HONEST KITCHEN
The Honest Kitchen’s Ethical Dog Food
The Honest Kitchen found a new tree to pee on two decades ago.
By that we mean they were the first to create 100% human-grade food for pets.
Most pet food is deemed “feed grade”. Human grade food contains higher quality ingredients and safer standards.
The eco-friendly dog food and eco-friendly cat food from The Honest Kitchen is designed to match the individual needs of your pooch—including both grain-free and whole-grain options.
If your dog is growling for gourmet, here’s what’s on offer: whole food clusters, dehydrated food, one-pot stews, toppers, and a base mix (just add protein).
There’s also pour overs and butcher block pâté—pâté….for dogs.
About The Honest Kitchen
Founder Lucy Postins became concerned with her dog’s ear infections and skin problems, which led her to question whether food was the cause.
This questioning manifested into a full line of human-grade pet food.
To maintain optimal pet health, The Honest Kitchen tucks its tail to GMOs, chemical preservatives, and unhealthy ingredients typically found in dog food.
84% of ingredients come from North America, some of which are organic or MSC certified.
They share a list of ingredient origins in their Food Source Map and only work with 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 ingredients from China.
Keep wagging that tail.
The company also has a discount program for non-profit rescues.
Available: The Honest Kitchen
Chippin’s Sustainable Dog Food US
What would happen if we all chipped in for pets and our planet?
Chippin wants you to find out by choosing their vet-formulated hypoallergenic nutrition and proteins to satisfy your dog’s hunger—or just to reward those “good boy” moments with some of the most sustainable dog food treats.
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.
With Chippin, it’s possible to reduce the carbon pawprint of man’s best friend, which has the likes of BBC, Forbes, and The Guardian begging for more.
Chippin is committed to healthy dogs—so much so that they have a chart to evaluate dog poop to better support your pup’s microbiome (“happy logs = happy dogs”).
They’re committed to our planet, too, down to the eco friendly dog food packaging.
While not plastic free dog food, each bag is made with 29% post-consumer recycled materials.
Jiminy’s Eco Friendly Dog Food Online
Just call us Pinnoccio because we’re jumping for joy at Jiminy’s (and no, our nose is not growing when we say so).
Jiminy’s makes kibble free of corn, wheat, soy, and animal meat, instead utilizing oats (so not grain-free), quinoa, sweet potato, and other all-natural, minimally-processed ingredients.
For protein, their Cravin’ Cricket and Good Grub eco friendly dry dog foods utilize crickets and dried black soldier fly larvae, respectively.
Both are complete forms of protein that are good for skin conditions and dogs who need an anti-inflammatory diet.
Insect protein is also hypoallergenic, safe for sensitive stomachs, provides prebiotics, and is safe from common meat pathogens.
If you have any concerns about the ingredients on the list, their next-level FAQs are (almost) exhaustive.
All products are veterinarian formulated (by someone with two PhDs in animal nutrition and entomology) to meet AAFCO standards for adult dogs.
Jiminy’s is appropriately named, not just because they use crickets, but because they let their conscience be their guide.
To ensure ethical dog food is the order of the day every day, too, the crickets are humanely raised in ‘cricket condos’, mimicking their natural environment.
Compared to traditional dog food, you’ll save 500,000 gallons of water per year switching your dog to theirs, making it some of the most sustainable dog food.
The kibble is oven baked in the USA in small batches, rather than extruded (cooked in high heat and pressure), ensuring more nutrients remain.
This award-winning eco friendly dog food brand also offers treats and pet accessories (like a recycled material leash).
Pezzy’s Waste Free Dog Food
Pezzy doesn’t make plastic free dog food, per se, but they do make waste free dog treats without any of the fillers and chemical preservatives in most.
Their solution to ensuring dogs get sufficient protein without the environmentally damaging meat industry?
100% invasive fish.
Specifically, the devil fish (AKA armored catfish) that infests Mexican freshwaters, now accounting for up 70% of fish captured in some places.
Fishing for these actually increases biodiversity by removing competition from necessary native species and
Suitable for both dogs and cats, these single-ingredient treats are high in protein but low in calories—so can still reward your chunky pup for being the good boy he is.
Based in California, Pezzy Pets is a branch of the Certified B Corp Acari Fish.
These ethical dog food treats begin with fish being wild caught by “artisanal fishermen” in Mexico who earn 40% more on average than those in similar positions in the region.
So far, they’ve removed 80 tons of invasive fish and helped restore native fisheries.
After that, the fish are processed in an FDA-registered facility in Tabasco, Mexico where they are dried partially using solar dehydrators (with the goal of being 100% solar in the future).
Their eco friendly pet food packaging (including stickers and boxes) is 100% compostable.
6. WILD EARTH
Wild Earth’s Organic Vegan Dog Food
Pooch and planet-friendly, Wild Earth makes 100% plant-based superfood kibble for all breeds—sustainable small breed dog food as well as that for massive-mastiffs.
They call it Clean High Protein Dog Food, with Zero Junk.
Instead of fillers, “mystery” meat, and preservatives, their vegan sustainable dog food ingredients include dried yeast, oats, peas, sweet potato, and chickpeas.
Don’t think that means your canine is lacking in protein.
The secret is in the yeast, which they call “miniature protein factories”. This food is 31% natural clean protein, full of fiber, and provides all the joint and digestive support dogs need.
Just like a meat-free (or even meat-reduced) human diet, getting rid of animal products helps to drastically reduce Fido’s environmental impact—by as much as 90%.
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.
They not only make some of the best sustainable dog food but snacks and treats, too.
About Wild Earth
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 ethical dog food is totally plant-based, protein-packed, and CEO-approved (there’s even a video of him eating a spoonful on their website…).
If your dog doesn’t love it, you can get a full refund within 30 days, no questions asked.
Available: Wild Earth
7. BECO PETS
Beco Pets’ Affordable Sustainable Dog Food
There’s bound to be some wagging tails for Beco Pets’ large selection of the top sustainable dog food.
Whether your pooch prefers sustainable dry dog food, wet dog food, or puppy food, Beco promises you’re getting something real.
With the likes of pumpkin, spinach, chickpeas, and kale, you’d be forgiven for sneaking a taste.
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.
Blends are chosen with selective taste buds, allergies, and intolerances in mind.
Because our planet is allergic to plastic, the eco friendly wet dog food comes in a recyclable TetraPak made with 70% renewable materials and FSC-certified cardboard.
About Beco Pets
The one-stop-doggo-shop got its unlikely start with an order of General Tso’s.
Curious about the impact of their chopsticks, founders George and Toby had the idea to turn bamboo chopstick manufacturing waste into bamboo dog bowls.
Now they have a large range of bowls, toys, food, and other eco-friendly pet products.
They regularly donate a portion of profits to organizations supporting animals and the environment.
Available: Beco Pets
8. LILY’S KITCHEN
Lily’s Kitchen’s Sustainable Dog Food UK
Lily’s Kitchen “menu” gets the award for the most creative culinary selection.
Clever names like “Breakfast Crunch” and cute packaging will catch the eyes of anyone wrapped around their dog’s (or cat’s) paw.
The company produces “proper food” in the form of both sustainable wet dog food and sustainable dry dog food.
Instead of cheap fillers, you can expect to see wholesome, nutritious, and natural ingredients like real meat and/or vegetables.
The sustainable dog food packaging is recyclable, 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 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, which is why they offer vegan dog food options, use organic ingredients, and finish with low waste dog food packaging.
Available: Lily’s Kitchen (UK)
9. PORTLAND PET FOOD COMPANY
Portland Pet Food Company’s Sustainable Dog Food USA
Portland Pet Food Company is paw-sitiviely one of the best sustainable dog food brands.
Available with whole grains or grain free options, they rely on super simple contents with only about ten eco friendly dog food ingredients.
These consist of entirely human-grade, locally-sourced whole foods (think: vegetables and USDA-certified meat) that are gently cooked to maintain its nutrient profile.
You’ll find no preservatives, GHGs, BHA, BHT, synthetic dyes, or other artificial mystery ingredients.
The handmade dog food is available for a one-time purchase or via subscribe-and-save options if you want some of the most affordable sustainable dog food.
In the way of sustainable dog food packaging, the BPA-free bags can be recycled via their partnership with Terracycle.
About Portland Pet Food Company
Portland Pet Food Company’s “#1 goal is to give humans more years with their dogs”.
Or cats, as they also add cat meals to their lineup of dog food and biscuits.
From day one, their founder, Katie, wanted to source locally and they’ve stayed true to that. They source only US ingredients, the majority of which come from the Pacific Northwest.
Here’s the cool part: their five main ingredients (including salmon and bacon) are actually upcycled from industry waste.
In 2021, they upcycled 68,600 pounds of ingredients, including spent grain from local breweries and eggshells from liquid egg manufacturers.
PPFC is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise, members of the Good Food Merchants Guild and Specialty Food Association, and donates 5% of profits to local non-profit animal shelters.
Available: Portland Pet Food Company
MAKE YOUR OWN ECO-FRIENDLY DOG FOOD
What is the most sustainable dog food?
As with most products, it’s (usually) that which you make yourself.
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.
But how do you make your own zero waste dog food?
Hint: It’s not rolling and baking little bits of kibble. It’s 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.
- Check out our guide on freezing meat without plastic as it’s important to keep your doggy mince fresh too!
HOW WE FOUND ETHICAL DOG FOOD
It’s normally scarfed down so quickly we don’t get a chance to think about the environmental impact of our puppies’ dinner.
But the fact is, pet food is an environmental disaster, accounting for around 25% of the negative impact of animal agriculture as a whole.
Not to mention 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:
Sustainable Dog Food Ingredients
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.
We’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 food wasn’t a requirement, it is certainly the most sustainable dog food option, so we were thrilled to see several companies offering it. Though worth noting that vegan cat food is not recommended, as cats being ‘obligate carnivores’ need meat to thrive.
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, then newsflash – sustainable food packaging is becoming 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 at least partially recycled packaging.
Community & charitable giving:
Three barks for brands that give back!
While not a requirement to be an eco-friendly dog food brand, we’ll always roll over for companies that donate to charities or provide discounts to animal shelters.
Many organic dog bed brands do their bit here too.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON SUSTAINABLE DOG FOOD COMPANIES
Every zero waste 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 sustainable food brands 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 (as well as those of your friends by sharing the love) for the health of your dogs and/or cats and our planet.