Nutrition: Are Insects good for my pets?

Are insects really good for my pet?

YES, even better than what you’re feeding them right now!

Insects are loaded with protein and a large range of other nutrients that will do nothing but good for your pets health. To put it into perspective for you, chicken is 19% protein, beef is 20% and mealworms are 54%. Mealworms are the clear winner here.

Studies have also revealed that insects contain more calcium, zinc and iron than chicken, pork and beef. As well as this, they have also been shown to contain an array of helpful vitamins, beneficial fats, minerals, antioxidants and they are a prebiotic fibre. What’s not to love?

Not only are insects nutritional but they are less likely to cause harm to your pets. At least 10% of an insect is made up of Chitin which has been shown to reduce the growth of pathogens in the stomach such as E-coli and Salmonella. So, they could even be protecting your pet from food poisoning and other illnesses.

Which animals thrive on insect protein?

For many animals protein is really important. Livestock, fish, birds and reptiles need protein to be included in their feed. Without this their chances of survival are low. A mass die-off of birds in South-western US during 2022, has been linked to starvation and malnutrition. Due to climate change, food sources are becoming more scarce and populations of wild birds are depleting. Find out why growing your own mealworms might help to raise numbers of wild birds near you!

Currently, most chickens will be getting their protein through soy feed or fishmeal. Though these are high in protein, they are having severe effects on the environment, whereas insects are actually higher in protein and of no threat to our planet. So why not feed your chickens home grown mealworms? Read more here.

If you’re a reptile owner, you may thinking “yes, I know, thats why I am already feeding my lizard insects”. But are you feeding them dried or live insects. We are willing to bet the answer is probably dried ones. Though your pet reptile may doing perfectly fine eating their dried insects, feeding them live ones that you have homegrown could cause them to really thrive. Find out why here.

Last but not least, if you have a treasured fish pond in the back of your garden, they can also benefit from feeding on insects. Like chicken feed, most fish feed contains fishmeal which is environmentally problematic. But fish still need a source of protein as plant-based diets for fish can be too high in fibre so we need an alternative. This is where insects come in! Learn about growing mealworms for fish feed and fishing here.

Insects for humans?

We don’t think it will be long before we are all munching insects. In many cultures this is already a staple part of their diet. There are numerous African countries that have considered entomophagy, the eating of insects, normal for years. However, in most places around the world, insects are still more of a novel food and the EU legislation still regards them only as this . You have probably seen scorpions and ants stuck inside lollipops but in reality insects can be a valuable source of protein for people.

So not only are insects good for your pets, but they are good for you too!