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Best Insect Dog Food : Grab some Grub

Updated: Nov 26

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From both a nutritional and environmental point of view, insect-based dog foods are well placed to lead the dog food industry.


Amazingly, insects are exceptionally high in protein with essential amino acids as well as important minerals, making insects nutritionally comparable with meat and fish.


Environmentally, insect farming is significantly less demanding on the environment compared to traditional meats: it uses less water, needs less land and generates fewer greenhouse gases.


Why is this important ? Well a scientific study estimates that pets account for 20% of global meat and fish consumption. I know - mind-blowing !


So why aren't we all opting to feed our dogs insect-based dog food ?


Well insects are a bit....... yucky !


Despite the strong credentials of insect-based dog foods, many of us still have a psychological barrier to feeding them to our dogs. We have long-held negative perceptions of insects and struggle to view them as food.


To make the jump to insect-based dog food we need to alter our mindset. Let's be clear here, insect-based dog foods do not resemble insects. They look like every other dog food.


So, are you ready to feed your dog insect-based dog food ?


We take a closer look at some UK companies pioneering dog food using this novel protein source.

Best insect based dog foods
Grub Club - All Day Buffet

TABLE OF CONTENTS Buying Guide

Our Picks of the Best Insect Dog Food

1. Best Overall - Grub Club

2. Best Insect-Based Range - Yora

3. Best Calming Insect Food - Percuro

4. Best Fresh Dog Food Option - Tuggs

5. Best High St Option - Wainwrights

Our Verdict

FAQ's

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Buying Guide


There are several pioneering insect-based dog foods on the UK market with a wealth of information on their websites for you to wade through.


We've collated the key points that all the brands featured here have in common :-


Hypoallergenic

Insect-based dog food is ideal for dogs with sensitive tummies and those suffering with allergies. They don't contain common allergens such as livestock products, dairy, wheat, corn etc.


Insect Choice

All the brands featured here use the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia Illucens); a sustainable source of protein. Highly digestible and nutritious, these little bugs contain all the essential amino acids, vitamins and fats that you find in bigger animals.


Production

Dried Foods - The insects are gently dried and ground to form a flour called insect meal. Superfoods such as blueberries, seaweed and linseed are then added to the recipe. The result is a kibble with similar shape, size and texture to traditional dog foods.


Fresh Foods - The food is gently cooked using fresh human-grade meat, fresh insects and vegetables.



If you are looking for the best insect-based dog food, Smart Bark can help. Our comprehensive review looks at 5 of the most innovative companies in the UK.

UPDATE : NOVEMBER 2023 - After a new round of testing, we've added Tuggs as the Best Fresh Option. We've also updated this article to reflect the recent changes All About Dog Food (AADF) have made to their Nutritional Ratings.



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Our Picks of the Best Insect Dog Foods



1.Best Overall

Grub Club


Reasons to Buy :

+ 30% Insect protein

+ Added superfoods

+ Money-saving bundles

+ Great value introductory packs

+ Subscribe & Save

+ Similar price to other premium dry foods


Reasons to Avoid :

- Limited range


Behind the Brand: Innovative dog food brand launched 2022


Range: All Day Buffet, 3 types of treats, (dental sticks launch soon)


Price: ££


Insect Species: Black soldier fly larvae | Insect Ratio: 30% | Other Ingredients include : Blueberries and pomegranates, sweet potato, yucca extract, linseed, apple, prebiotics | Options: Adult | Pack Size: 1.5kg, 6kg & 12kg

Grub Club All Day Breakfast - Insect dog food

Grub Club is a next-generation high-quality dog food which is ethically farmed and formulated from insect proteins.


Their dog food has been created by animal nutritionalists alongside the world leading black fly soldier farms in the UK and the Netherlands. The result - All Day Buffet, a complete and nutritionally balanced dog food.


In addition to insect protein, Grub Club includes more traditional superfood ingredients such as - blueberries, pomegranates, sweet potato, spinach, apples, sunflower oil and yucca.

Grub Club dog food ingredients

Grub Club hasn't been rated by All About Dog Food yet, but we'll keep you posted.


Price-wise, Grub Club is on a par with other premium dried kibble such as Forthglade cold-pressed which features in our Best Dog Foods article.


In testing, we found that the kibble looked exactly like other more traditional dried foods we've tested but without that strong, meaty smell.


Freddie can be quite fussy when it comes to dried dog food, but he happily ate Grub Club's All Day Buffet.


Available in 1.5kg, 6kg and 12kg bags, clearly the larger bags work out the best value. Also it's worth mentioning that further savings can be made be choosing a regular subscription.


Don't like subscriptions? Don't worry! You can opt for a single bag to try their food and make sure your dog loves it first (they offer big savings on your first bag).

Grub Club insect-based dog food and treats

Grub Club also offer a range of 3 different dog treats. All healthy, hypoallergenic and sustainable so you can work on those training goals whilst looking after the planet.

We recommend Grub Club for eco-friendly dog lovers looking to try insect-based dog food at a great price.

A great time to dip your toe in the water with insect-based dog food.

Grub Club are offering 30% OFF your first two orders

& subscriptions get an EXTRA 10% OFF with code POOP30

 

2. Best Insect-Based Range

Yora


Reasons to Buy :

+ Wide product range

+ 40% insect protein

+ Added superfoods

+ Added joint care

+ Wet food options


Reasons to Avoid :

- Wet food is very pricey

- No subscribe and save option

- No money-saving bundles


Behind the Brand: The world’s first range of insect based pet foods.


Price: ££-£££


Insect: Black soldier fly larvae | Insect Ratio: 40% | Other Ingredients include : Oats, potato, seaweed, beetroot, parsley, joint care | Options: Puppy, Adult, Senior, Small Breed, Large Breed | Pack Size: 1.5kg, 6kg & 12kg

Yora insect dog food with cockapoo

Yora Pet Food was launched way back in 2018 and since then it has lead the way, pioneering the development of insect-based dog foods in the UK.


Their innovative product range has expanded since then to offer dry food aimed at different sizes and ages of dog, wet food (pate), a range of treats and dental sticks.


It's worth noting that Yora's dried dog food contains the highest percentage of insects of all the brands featured in this review.


Their dry food scores a respectable 65-69% nutritional rating on All About Dog Food.


The wet food (pate) is a great addition to the range as it can be used as a complete meal or as a tasyt topper alongside the dry range.

Yora dry and wet insect dog food

Research has shown that wet foods have a satisfying texture and strong aromas making them ideal for fussy dogs. However, be aware that Yora's pate is extremely pricey, so we'd suggest adding it as a topper as opposed to offering it as a complete meal.


Available on-line (plus a few specialised pet stores), Yora offer free next day delivery on orders over £42 but it's worth noting that they don't offer a Subscribe and Save option.

​Essentially, Yora is a great option if you have a picky dog and are looking to add a tasty topper to their kibble. Plus, their wide range of products is ideal for those dog-lovers looking for insect-based alternatives to traditional treats and dental sticks.

 

3. Best Calming Insect Food

Percuro


Reasons to Buy :

+ Formulated with Nature Calm Complex

+ Subscribe and save option

+ Added probiotics


Reasons to Avoid :

- Lower % of insect-protein

- Pricier than Grub Club


Behind the Brand: A 100% insect plus plant-based dog food


Range: Dry food and treats


Price: ££-£££


Insect: Black soldier fly larvae | Insect Ratio: 28% | Other Ingredients include : Dried potato flakes, peas, oats, olive oil, Omega 3 & 6, calming complex | Options: Puppy, Adult S, Adult M/L | Pack Sizes: 2kg, 6kg, 10kg

Percuro insect protein dog food

Percuro formulate their insect-based dog food with their own Nature Calm Complex. Perfect for anxious dogs, it's blended from hemp seed oil and dried camomile to calm and help deal with common anxiety triggers such as separation and fireworks.


It's also worth noting that they include natural prebiotics to help promote a healthy gut.


Ultimately at only 28%, Percuro has the lowest percentage of insect protein in their dog food of all the dry dog foods in this review (Tuggs fresh dog food offers a combination of insects and meat)


All Percuro recipes are veterinary approved, fully compliant with FEDIAF nutritional guidelines and their food scores a solid 67-68% on the independent nutritional rating website All About Dog Food.


With a range of adult and puppy foods plus treats, Percuro offer a substantial saving on subscription orders and 1 year subscription to Vidivet for free. Vidivet is an on-line vet service which offers personalised advice 24/7.


Percuro is available on-line direct or through Amazon.

​With the addition of the calming complex, Percuro dog food and treats are a good choice if you struggle with an anxious dog

 

4. Best Fresh Dog Food Option

Tuggs


Reasons to Buy :

+ Fresh dog food

+ Combination meat and insects

+ Two week money-saving trial available

+ Small weekly deliveries available

+ 4 different recipes


Reasons to Avoid :

- Will require freezer storage


Behind the Brand: First UK insect-based fresh dog food brand


Price: ££


Insect: Black soldier fly larvae | Insect Ratio: 20% | Other Ingredients include : 4 different recipes available (turkey, cod, beef & pork) plus sweet potato, broccoli, carrot, salmon oil, kelp powder, chia seeds and minerals | Options: Tailored meal plan | Pack Sizes: 300g & 700g

Delivery of Tuggs fresh dog food

Launched in 2022, Tuggs are the first insect-based fresh dog food on the UK market.


A highly innovative dog food company, award-winning startup Tuggs offer an alternative to the other insect-based dog foods we review in this article.


Their unique dog food using a combination of meat, vegetables and insects to offer a more sustainable alternative to more traditional dog foods.


If you have a fussy pup, it's worth bearing in mind that fresh, cooked dog food is often more palatable to dogs than traditional dry foods so it's ideal to entice fussy dogs to eat a healthy diet.

Dishing up Tuggs insect-based dog food

With an 'All About Dog Food' nutritional rating of an exceptionally high 90%, all their recipes are high in protein and free from grains, legumes and other nasties like artificial preservatives. In fact all their recipes contain at least 65% meat and insects.


We love that Tuggs are offering a blend of insect and meat protein, as for many dog-lovers this could be their first foray into the world of insect-based dog foods.


If you're thinking that you'll see insects in the food then you're going to be disappointed. The food looks just like other fresh or raw dog foods.

Different Dog - best fresh dog food

Tuggs offer an on-line subscription service. Their questionnaire is very simple, with standard questions regarding age, breed, activity levels, allergies etc. Tuggs then use all this information to formulate a bespoke meal plan for your dog.


Delivered frozen, we particularly liked the flexibility of the delivery schedule. Small freezer? No problem, you can request small weekly deliveries. In fact you can select the frequency of your delivery from 1–6 weeks.


Simply defrost the pouches as you need them (Tuggs suggest 24 hours to fully defrost in the fridge). Once defrosted, their fresh food needs to be used within 2 days of opening.

Tuggs dog food recipe assortment

Lets talk cost. There's no denying that Tuggs is the most expensive dog food in this review. However, it is fresh and it achieves an exceptionally high 90% on the All About Dog Food nutritional scale.


You could opt to feed your pup a complete diet of Tuggs or choose half-and-half by mixing it with your current dog food to keep the cost down.


Tuggs also offer a two week money saving trial. This is a great opportunity to check that your dog loves the food but it also lets you check how much dog food you can store in your freezer. The more you can store = less deliveries = cheaper per day.


The menu is personalised for each dog but generally if you chose to feed your dog exclusively on Tuggs, small dog (5kg) plans are around £1.50, medium (15kg) £2.50 and large (30kg) from £3.50 a day. Of course we'd recommend taking the on-line questionnaire to get a more accurate price for your dog.

Our Verdict - Ultimately, if you are looking to reduce your carbon pawprint whilst offering your four-legged friend highly nutritious dog food, then then we'd suggest taking a closer look at Tuggs. What's more, if you have a picky pup who turns their nose up at kibble, then a fresh insect-based dog food will like Tuggs could be just what you're looking for.

For 50% OFF on your first order, enter discount code SMARTBARK50 at checkout

 


5. Best High St Option

Wainwrights - Pets at Home


Reasons to Buy :

+ On the High St

+ Well known brand


Reasons to Avoid :

- Not focused on insect-based dog food

- Lack of detailed information

- Limited range


Behind the Brand: High St Pet Superstore


Price: £


Insect: Black soldier fly | Insect Ratio: 30.5% | Other Ingredients include : Sweet potato, spinach, blueberry, beet pulp, linseed, yucca extract, seaweed | Options: Adult | Pack Sizes: 2kg, 12kg

Wainwrights Insects with Superfoods dog food

Last in our review is another dry dog food, Wainwrights, Pets at Home own brand dog food. Ideal for dog owners on a budget it's at the cheaper end of the dog food scale.


Last summer, they launched a plant-based and insect-based dog food range to compliment their ever-popular traditional meat based range.


When researching this article we found it difficult to find the same level of detail regarding Wainwrights insect-based dog food as the other featured dog foods.


Ultimately we feel that the other dog foods featured in this article are more transparent with their information. Trying to identify which insects Wainwrights use in their recipe proved extremely tricky and after 3 phone calls, 2 emails and a live chat, we eventually uncovered the information ourselves via a Facebook post from June 2022 !


However, on a more positive note, their Insects with Superfoods is the cheapest dog food we feature and achieves a solid 65% nutritional rating on the All About Dog Food website.

Wainwrights Nutritious Insects with Superfoods could be worth exploring as an option if you're looking at a economical insect-based dog food available on the High St.

 


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Our Verdict


If you're looking for a dog food from a company dedicated entirely to insect-based nutrition, then we'd recommend exploring Grub Club, Yora or Percuro. All three companies are committed to offering the most sustainable and nutritious dog food in an ever expanding market.


They all have very informative websites and are amazingly transparent regarding the composition of their dog foods (in our view, far more than many mainstream dog foods).


Our top pick has to be Grub Club based on the price, money-saving bundles, great value introductory packs and of course the subscribe and save options. Whilst they don't offer the widest range of products yet, undoubtably there's more to follow.


If you are interested in exploring insect based dog foods, then Tuggs offers an alternative to a complete insect-based dry dog food. With an exceptionally high nutritional rating and 60% meat and insects in all their recipes, Tuggs fresh dog food is the perfect choice for picky pups.




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FAQ's


Is insect dog food hypoallergenic?

All the brands featured offer highly digestible hypoallergenic recipes, which are perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs and allergies. Insect-based dog foods offer a superb alternative for dogs suffering with allergies to meat and grains.


Which insects are used in dog foods?

Currently, Black Soldier larvae, crickets and mealworm are used in the majority of insect foods. All the foods featured in our review are formulated with Black Soldier larvae.


What are probiotics & prebiotics ?

Probiotics and prebiotics are often misunderstood. Probiotics (sometimes called microbiotics) are foods or supplements that contain a source of live, beneficial bacteria. Prebiotics, provide sustenance to these bacteria.

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Thank you for stopping by and reading our review of insect-based dog foods. From our research, we think that these are the best brands on the UK market, you of course may have other ideas. Please let us know if you recommend other brands.

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