The pet industry and the planet
It’s estimated that 70% of U.S. households own a pet (or several!), setting an all-time high. So it’s no surprise that the pet industry has a significant impact on the environment. For example, if Americans’ 163 million cats and dogs comprised an independent country, their fluffy nation would rank fifth in global meat consumption.
But we shouldn’t feel bad for having pets or for what makes them happy and healthy. As we strive to be more sustainable individuals, there are opportunities to be more mindful in all areas of our lives, including how we care for our furry friends.
You can feel good knowing that any product you see on Hive is good for your pets and good for the Earth. All of our brands are vetted against the Hive Five, our criteria for reviewing companies, to ensure we find the best in each category. We also have our very own pet panel that tastes and approves every pet product we carry, so we expect yours to bark and meow for more. Our products are ethically sourced, all-natural, and primarily use non-GMO and organic ingredients—all made to preserve the nutrients. Our brands are always working towards better agricultural practices, too, so your pet can have the best quality ingredients and protein sources.
Remember that transitioning your furry friend to a new food is a process. Introduce the food into their diet slowly, following each brand’s guidelines. Pets can be picky, so they may need to sample a few brands before finding the right one for them.
Not sure where to start? Here are some of our picks:
Sustainable protein sources
Petaluma is working to reduce dog food’s impact on the planet by removing animal-based protein from their pet food. They’ve worked with veterinarians to create a plant-based formula made with peanut butter and sweet potato that gives your dog all the protein, vitamins, and healthy fiber they need. The food is gently baked in a convection oven (to preserve the nutritional quality) at a solar-powered facility. Bonus points: over 50% of their ingredients are certified organic, and the brand is Climate Neutral Certified.
Petaluma currently offers dry adult dog food, and their new treats are on the way.
Best low-impact proteins
Chippin is a small women-owned business that reduces their carbon pawprint by offering proteins that use 80%+ fewer resources than your typical proteins. They work directly with American farmers to source sustainable crickets, vegan spirulina, and silver carp (an overpopulated fish in the Great Lakes), prioritizing the ecosystem in every way they can. Their oven-baked dog food is rich in omegas, prebiotics, and probiotics that will make your pup drool.
Meat, poultry, fish
Best in show
Open Farm is all about transparency. So much so, they’ve created an ingredient tracing tool that tracks everything in your pet’s bowl back to its source—just scan the lot code on the bag. So when they say their meat is sourced from farms that follow strict animal welfare standards and their pole-caught fish are free from antibiotics and artificial feeds, you (and your pet) can believe them. You’ll also find that around 90% of their fruits and veggies are grown locally, helping the brand lower their environmental impact.
Best use of upcycling
Primal Pet Foods takes animals’ diets back to the basics, nourishing them the way nature intended. Their bones- and raw food-based products (like freeze-dried nuggets) use all the nutrient-dense parts of animals that would have been wasted otherwise—with no added hormones. All of their meat is ethically raised and USDA-certified, while the fruits and veggies are always certified organic.
Best quality protein
ZIWI is a holistic pet food brand that only sources grass-fed, free-range meats and poultry raised under New Zealand’s Freedom Principles. Their food is protein-packed with up to 97% of meat, seafood, and superfoods, so there’s no need to worry about unwanted carbs. Committed to their role in protecting the planet, ZIWI invests in sustainability and reducing their environmental impact, like implementing solar power and water recycling in their new state-of-the-art kitchen. Our recommendation: slowly transition your four-legged friend to ZIWI since their food is much higher in protein than most brands.
Best (and first) human-grade
The Honest Kitchen introduced the world’s first human-grade food for pets way back in 2002. Their food is non-GMO, free from chemicals and preservatives, and fair-trade when possible—only made with real ingredients you would want on your dinner plate. They monitor their carbon footprint by sourcing 84% of their ingredients from the U.S. and producing 46% of their finished products using solar energy (and they’re working towards 100%). The Honest Kitchen is also Animal Welfare Certified, so you know the care of the planet and its creatures is a top priority.
Portland Pet Food Company creates human-grade food that’s 100% sourced and made in the U.S. with USDA-certified meats and veggies, so you can feed your dog as you would feed yourself. Their food is best for supplemental feeding as a topper, mix-in, or a full meal from time to time. Portland Pet Food Company keeps things local by working with Oregon-based businesses that align with their sustainable and ethical practices. Going above and beyond, they also donate 5% of their net profits to local and national animal welfare organizations.
And there’s more where that comes from. It’s never too late for a sustainable upgrade to your best friend’s diet. Not sure which food is right for your pet? Reach out to customer care for any questions, recommendations, and tips and tricks. We have everything you need (and so much more!) at Hive.