The most sustainable pet food brands around the world for 2021

Pets are widely popular and if anything their popularity has only increased during the COVID-19 crisis. 67% of American households have at least one pet.1 In Germany 47% of households have pets2, the most popular pet being cats, closely followed by dogs.3

While we all love our fluffy, furry companions, their impact on the climate is massive. In this article, we explore what conscious pet parents can do to reduce the carbon pawprint of their pets. The world of climate-friendly pet parenting is full of amazing innovations and possibilities.

Prefer listening? Check out Episode 15 of the How to Make a Difference podcast to learn more about climate-friendly pet parenting.

This article is structured into two parts:

Part 1 – The climate impact of pets

Part 2 – Where to find more sustainable pet food alternatives

Part 1 – The climate impact of pets

According to The Clean Pet Food Revolution – How Better Pet Food will Change the World by Ernie Ward, Alice Oven, and Ryan Bethencourt one-quarter of all meat consumed in the US is eaten by pets. They also state that if they were to form a nation, US cats and dogs alone would be the 5th largest country in the world in terms of meat consumption. 

Breaking this down to the individual pet, this corresponds to an average carbon pawprint of 1 ton for dogs and 0.4 tons for cats per year. Of course, this depends a lot on the actual size of the dog (or cat). To put that into perspective: The average person living in India has a carbon footprint of 2 tons per year. 

The German Pet Food company Green Petfood has a very nice visualization on their website, showing the carbon pawprint of the average cat and the average dog, split up into food (dark green), accessories (orange), and care (turquoise).

Source: Green Petpood (Foodforplanet GmbH & Co. KG)

By choosing more sustainable pet food alternatives you can make a significant impact in terms of reducing your pet’s carbon pawprint. Depending on the food you’re currently feeding your pet, the size of your pet, and what alternative you switch to, you could be saving between 100kg and more than 1 ton of CO2e per year.4

Part 2 – Where to find more sustainable pet food alternatives

Worldwide

  • VeggiPets – Vegetarian and Vegan options (cat and dog food); Cheapest shipping in the UK
  • Evolution Diet – Vegan (cat and dog food); Cheapest shipping in the US

America

Canada

United States

  • Because Animals – Cruelty-free, organic (cat and dog food), currently developing recipes based on cultured meat
    • Check out Episode 17 of the How to Make a Difference podcast for an interview with Shannon Falconer, the CEO and co-founder of Because Animals
  • Bond Pet Foods – Vegan treats (dog food only), currently developing recipes based on cultured meat
  • Chippin – Insect-based (dog food only) 
  • Earth Animal – Humanely raised animals, organic, human-grade (dog food only) 
  • Evermore Pet Food – Humanely raised animals, organic, human-grade (dog food only) 
  • Jiminy’s – Insect-based (dog food only) 
  • MeatMe – Certified humane, organic, human-grade (cat and dog food)
    • Check out Episode 16 of the How to Make a Difference podcast for an interview with Laura Clark from MeatMe
  • Open Farm – Certified humane, human-grade (cat and dog food)
  • Shameless Pets – Treats containing 30% misfit and surplus produce (cat and dog food)
  • Sustainable Pet Foods – Meat byproducts (cat and dog food)
  • The Honest Kitchen – Human-grade (cat and dog food)
    • Check out Episode 18 of the How to Make a Difference podcast for an interview with Lucy Postins, the founder and chief integrity officer at The Honest Kitchen
  • Vecado USA Guide to vegan pet food (cat and dog food)
  • Wild Earth – Vegan (dog food only)

Australia

Australia

  • Open Farm – Certified humane, human-grade (cat and dog food)

Asia

China

Europe

Europe-wide

Finland

  • Alvar – Meat byproducts, CO2-neutral (dog food only) 
    • Check out Episode 15 of the How to Make a Difference podcast for an interview with Hanna Lemmetti, the CMO and co-founder of Alvar Pet

Germany

  • Alvar – Meat byproducts, CO2-neutral (dog food only)
    • Check out Episode 15 of the How to Make a Difference podcast for an interview with Hanna Lemmetti, the CMO and co-founder of Alvar Pet
  • Green Petfood – Veggie, insect-based, animal welfare options – climate positive (cat and dog food)

United Kingdom

  • Yora – Insect-based (dog food only)

Resources:

1) https://spots.com/pet-ownership-statistics/

2) https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/859229/umfrage/anteil-der-haushalte-in-deutschland-mit-haustieren/

3) https://www.forschung-und-wissen.de/nachrichten/biologie/in-deutschland-leben-immer-mehr-haustiere-13372999 

4) See e.g. Yora’s carbon pawprint calculator 

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