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11 Best Eco-Friendly & Sustainable Dog Treats

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on August 18, 2023
iHeartDogs is reader supported. Some of the links below may be paid affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on a product at no additional cost to you. 

In a world where environmental impact is a growing concern, pet parents are looking for ways to reduce their footprint, starting with what they feed their furry friends. Eco-friendly and sustainable dog treats are more than just a trendy option; they are a responsible choice for those committed to protecting the planet. These treats are crafted from responsibly sourced ingredients, produced with minimal waste, and often come in biodegradable or recyclable packaging. In this article, we explore the best options for eco-friendly and sustainable dog treats that are not only kind to the Earth, but also nutritionally balanced and irresistibly delicious for your pup.

 

#1 – Jiminy’s Cricket Treats – Chewy Hypoallergenic Dog Treats, 100% Made in The USA, Cricket Dog Treats, Gluten-Free, Sustainable, All Natural Dog Treats, High Protein – Variety Pack (4 Bags)

Jiminy’s Cricket Treats are hypoallergenic dog treats made in the USA. They are gluten-free, sustainable, and contain high levels of protein. The treats are made with cricket protein, which is easy to digest and contains important nutrients for aging dogs. Additionally, the use of insect protein reduces the carbon footprint compared to traditional meat sources. These treats are also small and chewy, making them great for training or as a pill pocket. They are made with recognizable ingredients like peanut butter, cranberries, oats, and pumpkin, providing a tasty yet healthy option for dogs. The insect proteins used in these treats have scored high in digestibility studies, making them safe for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Overall, Jiminy’s Cricket Treats offer a hypoallergenic, sustainable, and nutritious option for dogs.





 


#2 – Chippin Fish Jerky Dog Treats Made in The USA | Natural Grain-Free, Hypoallergenic, Soft & Chewy | Puppy, Senior, Small, and Large Dogs | Low Fat Alternative to Chicken -1 Pack (5oz)

Chippin Fish Jerky Dog Treats are a natural, grain-free option for dog owners looking for a healthy alternative to chicken-based treats. Developed with veterinarians, these treats are formulated to provide ultimate nutrition for dogs. Made in the USA from wild-caught fish overpopulated in American waterways, these treats are high quality and easily digestible. Chippin is a woman-owned, USA-based small business that is committed to sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint.





 


#3 – Scout & Zoe’s Super Fly Larvae Dog Treat | Whole Dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae Unique Novelty Pet Chew | Sustainable High Protein Snack | Interesting New Reward Dogs Love – 3 Ounce

Scout & Zoe’s Super Fly Larvae Dog Treat is a unique and sustainable pet chew made from whole-dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae. With a high protein content of 34%, it offers a nutritious and delicious snack for dogs. Additionally, these larvae are produced using food waste from restaurants, making it an environmentally friendly option. Dogs are sure to enjoy this interesting and fun new reward.





 


#4 – Jiminy’s Puffed Dog Treats – Dog Training Treats, Cricket Protein, Human Grade, 100% Made in North America, All Natural Dog Treats, Sustainable, Hypoallergenic, Low Calorie – Nooch Puffs, 4.2oz Bag

Jiminy’s Puffed Dog Treats are a type of dog training treat made with cricket protein, which is hypoallergenic and easier to digest for dogs. The treats are made with recognizable and human-grade ingredients, including cornmeal, lentil, fava bean, rice flour, crickets, sunflower oil, and nutritional yeast. In addition to being a healthy option for dogs, Jiminy’s treats also prioritize sustainability, using insect protein which requires less water and produces fewer greenhouse gases compared to traditional products. These treats are also suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs, as the insect proteins have been shown to be highly digestible.





 


#5 – Foragers Feed Sustainable Insect Protein Dog Treat for Canine Health, Mixed Fruit and Veggie Flavor, 6 Oz. Resealable Bag

Foragers Feed Sustainable Insect Protein Dog Treats are a nutritious and natural snack option for dogs to support their dental and bone health. These treats are made with sustainable protein, providing essential amino acids, and have a mixed fruit and veggie flavor that dogs enjoy. With anti-inflammatory properties and healthy fats, these treats also help boost immunity. They are free of preservatives, additives, hormones, and antibiotics, making them a healthy choice for dogs.





 


#6 – Jiminy’s Cricket Treats – Chewy Hypoallergenic Dog Treats, 100% Made in The USA, Cricket Dog Treats, Gluten-Free, Sustainable, All Natural Dog Treats, High Protein – Pumpkin & Carrot, (Pack of 3)

Jiminy’s Cricket Treats are hypoallergenic dog treats made in the USA. These treats are gluten-free, sustainable, and all-natural, providing a high-protein snack for dogs. Made with cricket protein, these treats are hypoallergenic, easier to digest, and packed with omega-3 and B12. Additionally, these treats are environmentally friendly, as insect protein requires less water and produces fewer greenhouse gases compared to traditional meat sources. They are made with digestible protein, making them suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs, and promote gut health by supporting a balanced level of gut bacteria diversity.





 


#7 – Wild Earth Vegan Dry Dog Food | Plant-Based Maintenance Formula | Vegetarian, Allergy Relief, Veterinarian-Developed for Complete Nutrition | Classic Roast Flavor, 12.5 Pound Bag

Wild Earth Vegan Dry Dog Food is a plant-based maintenance formula designed to provide complete nutrition for dogs. It contains real ingredients like sweet potato, ancient grains, and turmeric, and is free from the major food allergens for dogs. The formula combines protein, digestive support, and healthy fats to offer total body benefits, and comes in savory flavors that mimic the taste and smell of meat without harming animals. Additionally, this product is sustainably sourced and helps reduce the environmental impact of the pet food industry.





 


#8 – Halo Purely for Pets Plant-Based Dog Treats with Peanuts and Pumpkin, Vegan Dog Treat Pouch, 8oz bag, Packaging may vary

The Halo Purely for Pets Plant-Based Dog Treats with Peanuts and Pumpkin is a vegan dog treat made with real ingredients. The 8 oz pouch contains crunchy and delicious meatless snacks that dogs love, with no meat, dairy, or artificial ingredients. These treats are suitable for dogs with sensitivities to animal protein and can be used for training or as a special reward.






#9 – Addiction Zen Vegetarian Dry Dog Food, Rich in Isoflavones and Antioxidants, Vegan Dog Food, Crafted in New Zealand, for All Dog Life Stages 20lb

Addiction Zen Vegetarian Dry Dog Food is a vet-formulated vegan dog food designed to promote wellness and vitality in dogs of all life stages. It is made with vegetables and plant-based ingredients, providing a nutritious option for dogs with allergies. Enriched with coconut oil and omega-3 fatty acids, it supports healthy skin and coat. The formula is complete and balanced, ideal for dogs allergic to meat, and it does not contain animal proteins, potatoes, artificial flavors, or preservatives. Addiction Pet Foods has been a pioneer in vegan dog food for over twenty years and is proudly made in New Zealand with high-quality ingredients.






#10 – Fetch Fries Organic Turkey & Sweet Potato Jerky Fries for Dogs

Fetch Fries Organic Turkey & Sweet Potato Jerky Fries for Dogs are certified organic and Non-GMO dog treats specifically designed for dogs with sensitive tummies/allergies. These treats are soft and chewy, making them perfect for puppy training. They also contain Vitamin A from sweet potatoes, which supports a healthy immune system. Made and sourced in the USA, Fetch Fries are grain-free and high in protein, making them an ultimate choice for dog training.






#11 – MAECK Insect Grub Protein Dog Training Treats, 1 Pound, All Natural, Gluten Free, Sustainable – Sweet Potato & Squash

The MAECK Insect Grub Protein Dog Training Treats are an all-natural and gluten-free option for pet owners looking to train their dogs. Made with sweet potato, squash, lentils, and cane molasses, these treats are both tasty and healthy. They also have a positive environmental impact, as the protein source is sustainably harvested and reduces pets’ carbon paw print. With no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors, and no gluten, wheat, soy, or grain, these treats are a highly palatable and nutritious choice for dogs.





 


What Should I Look for When Choosing an Eco-Friendly Dog Treat?

When choosing an eco-friendly dog treat, it is important to consider several key factors to ensure you are making a responsible and healthy choice for both your dog and the planet.

  1. Sustainable Ingredients: Look for treats made from sustainably sourced and responsibly farmed ingredients. These could include organic fruits and vegetables, humanely raised meats, or plant-based proteins. Check for certifications like USDA Organic or Non-GMO.
  2. Packaging: Opt for treats that come in recyclable, biodegradable, or compostable packaging. Avoid excessive plastic and look for brands that use minimal and sustainable materials.
  3. Nutritional Value: Just like with any dog treat, nutritional content is vital. Look for treats with natural, whole ingredients and minimal fillers or artificial preservatives. The treats should be appropriate for your dog’s age, size, and health needs.
  4. Company Ethics and Practices: Research the company’s sustainability practices. Do they engage in ethical business practices? Do they contribute to environmental causes? Look for companies that are transparent about their manufacturing processes and have a strong commitment to sustainability.
  5. Local Sourcing: Consider treats made with locally sourced ingredients, as they tend to have a smaller carbon footprint due to reduced transportation emissions.
  6. No Harmful Chemicals or Preservatives: Make sure the treats are free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, which are not only unnecessary but can be harmful to your dog’s health.
  7. Customer Reviews and Recommendations: Check customer reviews and consult with your veterinarian. Recommendations from other pet owners and professionals can help guide you to trusted, high-quality eco-friendly products.

By taking these factors into account, you can select a dog treat that is not only eco-friendly but also nutritious and delicious for your beloved pet.

 

What Are the Most Eco-Friendly Sources of Protein for Dog Treats? What Are The Least Eco-Friendly Proteins for Dog Treats?

The most eco-friendly sources of protein for dog treats are those that have a lower environmental impact in terms of water use, land use, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy consumption. On the contrary, the least eco-friendly proteins are generally those that require more resources and are associated with higher emissions. Here’s a breakdown:

Most Eco-Friendly Sources of Protein for Dog Treats:

  1. Insects: Insect protein, like that from crickets or black soldier, fly larvae, is emerging as a highly sustainable protein source. They require very little water, feed, and space, and can be raised on organic waste products.
  2. Plant-Based Proteins: Lentils, chickpeas, and other legumes, as well as quinoa and hemp, are excellent and sustainable sources of protein. They require less water and land than most animal agriculture and are generally associated with lower greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Sustainably Sourced Fish: Look for treats made from fish that are certified by a credible agency such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). These fish are caught or farmed in a way that ensures the long-term health and stability of that population, as well as the associated ecosystem.
  4. Upcycled Proteins: Some companies are now producing pet foods and treats using upcycled ingredients — food byproducts or “waste” that humans won’t eat but are perfectly nutritious for pets.
  5. Pasture-Raised or Grass-Fed Meats: Animals that are raised on pasture generally have a lower environmental impact than those in feedlots, especially if the pasture is managed in a regenerative way that helps to sequester carbon dioxide.

Least Eco-Friendly Proteins for Dog Treats:

  1. Conventionally Raised Beef: Beef generally has the highest environmental impact of all the meat proteins. It requires a significant amount of water, land, and feed, and produces substantial greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Lamb: Like beef, lamb has a relatively high environmental impact, largely due to the methane emissions produced by the animals and the amount of feed required.
  3. Unsustainably Sourced Fish: Fish that are not caught or farmed sustainably can have a severe environmental impact, including overfishing and damaging aquatic ecosystems.
  4. Factory-Farmed Meats (e.g., Poultry, Pork): Animals raised in large, industrial operations often have a higher environmental impact due to the intensive use of feed, water, and energy, as well as significant pollution associated with these operations.

Choosing eco-friendly proteins for your dog’s treats involves a careful examination of the source of that protein and the practices of the companies that produce it. It’s essential to read labels, look for certifications and research companies to ensure that their claims of sustainability are backed by transparent and responsible practices.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Eco-Friendly Dog Treats

  1. What makes a dog treat eco-friendly? Eco-friendly dog treats are made in a way that minimizes negative impacts on the environment. This might include using sustainably sourced ingredients, minimizing waste in production, using renewable energy, and opting for recyclable or biodegradable packaging. The goal is to create a product that is both good for your pet and good for the planet.
  2. Are eco-friendly dog treats more expensive? While eco-friendly dog treats can sometimes be more expensive due to the higher costs associated with sustainable sourcing and production, the price is often comparable to other high-quality treats. Investing in eco-friendly options often means supporting companies that prioritize ethical and sustainable practices, which some pet owners find to be worth the higher price point.
  3. Where can I buy eco-friendly dog treats? Eco-friendly dog treats can be found at specialty pet stores, health food stores, online retailers, and sometimes in mainstream supermarkets. Look for specific labeling like “sustainably sourced,” “organic,” or “all-natural,” and be sure to research brands for their sustainability practices.
  4. How can I verify if a dog treat is genuinely eco-friendly? To verify the eco-friendly status of a dog treat, look for certified labels such as USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, or a certification from a reputable third party like the Marine Stewardship Council. Additionally, research the company’s sustainability practices on their website or reach out to them directly for more information.
  5. What ingredients should I look for in eco-friendly dog treats? Look for sustainably sourced proteins (like insects, plant-based proteins, or certified humane meats), organic vegetables and fruits, and natural preservatives. Avoid treats with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, as the production of these ingredients can be harmful to the environment.
  6. Are eco-friendly dog treats healthier for my dog? Eco-friendly dog treats are often made with high-quality, natural ingredients, which can be healthier for your dog. They tend to avoid artificial preservatives and fillers, focusing instead on wholesome, nutritious ingredients. However, it’s important to check the label and consult with your vet to ensure the treats are appropriate for your dog’s specific health needs.
  7. Can eco-friendly dog treats help with my dog’s allergies? Because eco-friendly dog treats often use high-quality, limited, and natural ingredients, they may be a good option for dogs with certain food sensitivities or allergies. Always check the ingredient list and consult with your veterinarian before introducing a new treat to your dog’s diet.
  8. What is the shelf life of eco-friendly dog treats? The shelf life of eco-friendly dog treats can vary. Because they often avoid artificial preservatives, some may have a shorter shelf life than conventional treats. Always check the expiration date on the packaging and store the treats as directed.
  9. Are the packaging materials of eco-friendly dog treats also sustainable? Many companies that produce eco-friendly dog treats also use sustainable packaging options, such as recyclable or compostable materials. Check the packaging for labels indicating its recyclability or compostability, and for company statements regarding their packaging sustainability practices.
  10. Can I make eco-friendly dog treats at home? Absolutely! Making dog treats at home using organic and sustainably sourced ingredients is a fantastic way to ensure your treats are eco-friendly. There are many simple recipes available that use minimal ingredients, allowing you to have control over what your dog is consuming while minimizing waste and packaging.

 

Conclusion: Best Eco-Friendly & Sustainable Dog Treats

Choosing eco-friendly and sustainable dog treats is a simple yet impactful way to align your pet care routine with your environmental values. By opting for treats made from responsibly sourced ingredients and packaged in a conscientious manner, you are contributing to a greener, more sustainable future. Not only are these treats designed to minimize harm to the planet, but they are also crafted to provide optimal nutrition and delight for your beloved canine companion. Make the switch today, and let your pup enjoy treats that are as good for the Earth as they are for their taste buds.

iHeartDogs is reader supported. Some of the links below may be paid affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on a product at no additional cost to you. 

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