Everything people always wanted to know about edible insects in dog food


May 8 to May 11, Eat Small participated in the international pet industry’s largest exhibition : INTERZOO.The fair takes place every second year in Nuremberg and around 2000 exhibitors and over 39 000 visitors from over 65 countries gather in the German city. It is THE place to meet all the actors of the pet industry.

During 4 days, INTERZOO gives the opportunity to meet with key people related with this gigantic business that caters to those beloved furry creatures with whom we share our lives. Pet product creators and developers (food, treats, toys, accessories), distributors, raw material & ingredients providers, packaging specialists, wholesalers, retailers, colleagues veterinarians of mine and… a lot of dogs (!) Eat Small | Insect Power for petswas among the 21 young innovative start-ups supported by the German government department of economy and energy, and we are thankful for this extra visibility provided via INTERZOO.


We were waiting for them and they arrived just in time for INTERZOO: ENERGY, MINDFULNESS and SPIRIT are the newer products from Eat Small. Our 3 lines of cold pressed training treats for dogs are soft and chewy, contain 25% of Insect Power and a super food for each line : ENERGY with goji berries (antioxidants source), MINDFULNESS with chia seeds & bananas (magnesium and omega 3 source) and SPIRIT with spirulina, a source of prebioticsthat feed the good bacterias of the digestive system. In our colorful stand, surrounded by our tasty treats and dry food for active dogs WALD (Forest), we were more than ready to welcome our visitors. We were filled with (insect) power to answer questions about our nutritious and sustainable products and the so many advantages of edible insects used in pet nutrition.

Here are some of the questions that were asked to Eat Small:

– Are insects as nutritious as meat for dogs? Yes, Hermetia illucens nymphs – the specie we use in our products – possess more protein, iron, calcium than what is found in any type of meat, and similar content of vitamins (like B12 vitamin that is otherwise only found in animal products) and minerals.

– Do dogs like the taste of Hermetia illucens?

The majority loooove it from the first smell/bite. Its fleshy taste with a nutty perfume is very attractive for them. Some dogs are less sure and would take a couple of days to really enjoy it. But once they eat it on a regular basis, they don’t want to change.

– Where do your insects – Hermetia Illucens – come from?

They come from certified German or European farms that meet all EU standards of production and hygiene for food of animal origin.

– Why have you made cold pressed treats?

The cold pressing process preserves the great flavor and the nutritional qualities of our ingredients: Hermetia illucens, sweet potatoes, brewer’s yeast, rosemary (natural antioxidant) and… the special super food chosen for each line: goji berries, chia & bananas or spirulina. It was important for us to create treats that would really be enjoyed by dogs – with an intense flavor – and bring benefits to their body, while being very natural (without additives nor preserving agents).

– Why is the dog food Eat Small’s WALD (Forest) intended for active dogs?

Actually, every dog with any activity level can enjoy WALD (read the feeding recommendations). But WALD is especially good for active dogs, because we have included a high content of Hermetia illucens (30% of insect power!) that has already a very high protein content. Also, our fat level reaches 15%, insuring to sporty and working dogs a continuous energy supply during physical activity. Our upcoming food line (Eat Small’s Urban Nature ©) will have a lower protein/fat level for less active dogs or dogs with normal activity level.

– What is the advantage to give a food made of insect protein to my dog?

FFor a healthy dog, insect proteins & nutrients are equivalent to meat’s when included in dry food. Of course, this depends on the amount of insect or meat used in the recipe. With 30% of Hermetia illucenscontent, Eat Small’s WALD has a very high ratio, one of the highest in the young industry of pet foods made with insects. The quality of the raw matter is also a clear advantage: our insect proteins are free from GMO and antibiotics and 100% of the Hermetia illucensnymph’s body is edible. It means that there are no « insect by-products » like those often used in dry foods made of meat (bone, cartilage, viscera) and that our raw matter has a constant high-quality standard. What’s more, for allergic dogs, insect proteins are clearly a good choice because the majority of food allergies are caused by meat proteins.

Hermetia illucens’s nymphs are yummy, as nutritious as meat (with higher protein, iron and calcium content), free from GMO, growth hormones or medication; they constitute the perfect choice for allergic dogs, as well as for healthy dogs.

But there is obviously more.Insect farming needs a tiny fraction of the water, food, space used for any other livestock farming. Insect farming emits an infinitesimal fraction of the greenhouse gas emitted by any other livestock farming in the atmosphere. Insect farming is very ethic. Insect protein is among the most ecological and sustainable animal protein available at the moment.

With Insect Power, it’s possible to feed dogs with a high quality animal protein and turn your four-legged friend – an yourself – into green champions of sustainability!!!

Have your dog try it!

Véronique Glorieux is a canadian-board veterinarian who cumulates more than 10 years of medical work and experience with dogs and cats. Animal wellfare and environment are 2 topics that moves her. She lives now in Berlin, where she co-founded Eat Small and uses her experience in a different field of practice. With healthy and sustainable insect-based pet food she aims to support both the health of pets and of the planet.

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