Dogs and people have been together for an estimated 40,000 years. In fact, if you have ever caught yourself wondering just who domesticated whom, you are a dog lover through and through!
So it just makes sense you want the very best for your furry bestie, from bedding and toys to meals and treats. And since you know dogs thrive when fed a biologically appropriate diet featuring real, whole protein, you have probably logged considerable hours reading food and treat ingredient labels trying to make sense of it all.
Yet some sources of protein have become problematic for many dogs, and not just because of concerns about added hormones or antibiotics. With the numbers of pet dogs and their people both on the rise, our planet is suffering under the burden of raising so much livestock.
Happily, there is a new, fresh option that offers pure, wholesome, nutritious and delicious protein for your precious pup – cricket dog treats!
What Are Cricket Dog Treats?
It is a valid question – does “cricket” mean what you think it means? It sure does! Did you know that crickets are pure, simple protein through and through?
Most dog owners don’t know this for totally obvious reasons. You’ve never eaten a cricket and you’ve probably never even been offered the option of eating a cricket. Even if you were offered the option of sampling cricket treats, you probably wouldn’t feel enthusiastic about it.
But your dog sees crickets a lot differently than you do! To a dog, a cricket is simply a crunchy, crispy, interesting new treat that is tasty and biologically appropriate.
What Is In Cricket Treats for Dogs?
So let’s ask the million dollar question: what is in cricket treats for dogs?
Unlike so many traditional protein sources today, there is only one ingredient in cricket treats – crickets.
Here is a basic nutritional overview of what is in crickets as dog treats:
Crickets offer whole and complete daily protein to your dog.
Even better, crickets are a sustainable, planet-friendly source of protein that places no extra burden on the planet to produce.
Ounce for ounce and pound for pound, cricket protein contains more of every amino acid your dog needs from puppyhood through the golden years.
Crickets contain taurine, threonine, tryptophan, valine, lysine, leucine, isoleucine, histadine, arginine, methionine, cysteine, phenylalanine and tyrosine – every major amino acid dogs need to develop and stay strong and healthy.
Omega essential fatty acids
Omega essential fatty acids are important for protecting and boosting immune system function, reduce inflammation, improve skin and coat health, strengthen and protect joints, promote brain development and improve cognition and memory.
Adequate intake of essential fatty acids is vital not just in puppyhood but all throughout your dog’s life and cricket treats offers these in abundance.
Vitamins B2 (riboflavin) and B12 (cobalamin) are vital to support your dog’s brain, nervous system, blood cell formation, skin and coat health, proper growth and development and so much more.
Crickets are a fantastic source of both essential vitamins.
Calcium, magnesium and potassium are three important minerals that your dog needs all throughout life.
Calcium and potassium are especially important for healthy bones, teeth and systemic pH. Magnesium provides for strong healthy organs, muscles and ligaments.
Crickets are a potent source of all three vital minerals.
Prebiotic dietary fiber
Crickets are a natural source of digestive pre-biotics.
This type of dietary fiber is especially important for puppies and beneficial for adult and senior dogs. It promotes digestive function and healthy elimination as well as ensuring healthy intestinal flora and fauna.
Crickets Are a Bona Fide Superfood
Now you can see how cricket protein is just one aspect of the complete and balanced nourishment these meaty insects can offer your dog.
Crickets are considered a legitimate superfood even aside from their protein content and sustainable planetary impact because of the additional amino acids, essential acids, vitamins, minerals and prebiotics they deliver.
Do Dogs Digest Cricket Protein Well?
This is a legitimate question that has been studied in great detail. As with any species, ensuring that canines receive not just adequate quantities of protein but also highly digestible protein is the key to ensuring health throughout life.
Here at Jiminy’s, we partnered with the Department of Animal Sciences at Iowa State University to determine how cricket protein compares to traditional protein sources such as beef and chicken.
The good news is that cricket protein more than held its own in repeated clinical trials – and our canine research participants enjoyed the entire tasty testing process thoroughly!
How Does Switching to Cricket Protein for Your Canine Help the Planet?
It is no secret our planet’s own native natural resources are rapidly disappearing. Unfortunately, with the ongoing human population explosion to content with, there simply is no longer enough farm and ranch land to go around.
Today, inroads are being made into some of the last rainforest, tropical jungle and wild savannah lands that exist on Earth for one simple purpose: to raise and harvest ever more animals for food.
In the process, rare wild species’ habitats are destroyed and those animals along with it. Adding the extra burden of providing protein for pet dogs and other companion animals has created a truly unsustainable situation for all concerned.
Enter cricket protein – a pint-sized solution to a planet-sized problem.
Crickets can be raised and harvested on a fraction of the land mass and water supplies as traditional protein sources such as chicken and beef.
And…not too be too indelicate about it, but….crickets do not emit methane, which is one of the most concerning of the so-named “greenhouse gases” that is eating away at Earth’s protective ozone layer.
How exactly does switching your dog to cricket-based protein help save the planet? We are so glad you asked!
Land mass use.
When compared side by side with chicken and beef, crickets require 93 percent less land mass than do beef cattle and 67 percent less land mass than do chickens.
Preparing a five-ounce bag of treats made with cricket protein saves 220 gallons of water, on average, versus the same bag prepared with beef or chicken protein.
Methane gas production.
Methane represents 90 percent of the greenhouse gases eating away at Earth’s ozone layer.
Cows are the number one producers of methane on this planet, although it really isn’t their fault – it is human livestock and farming operations that pumps so much methane into the atmosphere.
Turning to crickets for protein generates 740 percent less greenhouse gases than would the equivalent production of beef protein. It also generates 240 percent less methane than would the same amount of chicken protein.
How Well Are The Crickets Treated?
With so many humane options available today, there is never a reason for any creature to be raised and harvested under any other conditions.
The average lifespan for the typical cricket is around 90 days. But unlike traditional protein source animals, crickets are harvested only near the end of their natural life cycle.
Take the average chicken, for example, Most chickens live out only a fraction of their life expectancy before being harvested for food. Cows and chickens, the two most common protein source animals for today, each enjoy less than 10 percent of their life expectancy on average before being harvested for food – such is the demand today to feed the planet.
But crickets get to live out approximately 90 percent of their life expectancy prior to harvesting. They don’t require much space to live a humane life and they also enjoy the company of other crickets, which is a win-win from every angle.
Crickets Offer a Gut Friendly Protein Alternative for Dogs
Food allergies are not just on the rise with people today. They are also becoming increasingly common among pets.
Dogs today are becoming more sensitive to traditional protein sources that are made from beef and chicken. One of the chief causes and concerns is the higher incidence of certain bacteria, including E. coli, listeria and staph, each of which can quickly become resistant to available anti-biotic treatments and recurrent over a dog’s lifetime.
This has led to an increased pressure on the pet food manufacturers industry to find alternative sources of protein for allergic dogs.
Crickets represent pet food makers’ answer to those demands. Crickets from sustainable, “clean” cricket farms are a gut friendly protein source that is free from common bacterial agents that can lead to eye, skin, coat and internal illness and infection.
Crickets are also free from other common allergens that can be transmitted from traditional protein sources through livestock food sources. Corn, wheat, soy and similar food sources are fillers in many dog foods either overtly (as ingredients) or covertly (as incorporated into the protein through what those animals were fed).
Many dogs who aren’t even allergic to traditional cow or chicken protein become allergic because of what those livestock animals were eating before they were harvested. This puts dog owners in a real bind to find an appropriate protein-rich food source their dog likes and needs!
Crickets do not eat corn, wheat, soy or GMO (genetically modified organism)-based crop foods. They are scavengers that eat grain-free diets, making them an optimal choice for dogs that have developed more complex food allergies that can be triggered on multiple levels by mainstream commercial dog foods.
But How Do Crickets Taste?
Of course, all of this data, all the good cricket protein can do for our planet, all the benefits cricket protein itself has to offer, it all basically amounts to nothing if dogs don’t like the taste of cricket protein!
So, how do cricket treats taste? Do dogs like to eat them? Are they tasty? Are they as tasty as traditional protein-based treats?
As a dog owner, you want your pup to love their treats….but does this extend to sampling a cricket for yourself? Usually the answer here is “no.”
As it turns out, even in their natural state, crickets have a nutty, robust flavor that dogs savor.
But crickets also offer a fantastic base protein that can be incorporated into lots of other tasty flavors dogs love, from peanut butter and blueberry to pumpkin and carrot.
When combining crickets with these other ingredients, your dog gets the complete protein plus a superfood boost that is even amplified over what crickets alone provide.
How to Feed Your Dog Cricket Protein?
Crickets can be fed as a main staple protein source or in treats (or both)!
Because cricket protein seamlessly incorporates as a base protein into a variety of flavorful foods and treats, it is possible to feed your dog a biologically appropriate protein-rich diet that is still diverse with a full range of necessary nutrients.
Even for dogs who are doing just fine with traditional commercial dog foods, cricket protein as food or treats can be a great addition for dogs who need regular dietary rotation to avoid developing food allergies later in life.
Dietary rotation can include not just meal foods but also treat foods, whether you rotate your dog’s food and treats daily, weekly, monthly or every quarter as your dog’s canine veterinarian recommends.
Lear More About Jiminy’s Cricket Treats for Dogs
Here at Jiminy’s, we are passionate about dogs, people, the planet and producing pure and perfect food for pups.
This is why we specialize in cricket treats for dogs. We only work with “clean” cricket farms and all our crickets are happy crickets who live long (for a cricket, anyway) enriching lives.
Jiminy’s cricket protein dog treats come in four tasty flavors.
All of our dog cricket treats are low-calorie, made right here in the U.S.A., gut friendly, free from fillers and super tasty for training and treat time!