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10 Best Eco-Friendly Dog Foods in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks

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Many people are implementing more eco-friendly lifestyles to help take care of our environment and those around us. There is no doubt supporting sustainable practices in the pet food industry has some all-encompassing benefits. For eco-friendly pet parents, finding food that fits the right criteria can pose a bit of a challenge.

Thankfully, there are plenty of companies out there that are taking a stance and putting their focus on sustainability and more earth-conscious practices. We went ahead and took the guesswork out for you by researching those brands and diving into the reviews of the food itself.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Winners (2022)

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Castor & Pollux Organix Dog Food Castor & Pollux Organix Dog Food
  • USDA Certified Organic ingredients
  • Crafted in the United States
  • Easy to find
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Tender & True Organic Grain-Free Dog Food Tender & True Organic Grain-Free Dog Food
  • Reasonably priced
  • Certified as being humanely raised
  • Organic chicken is first ingredient
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Freshpet Vital Fresh Cuts Dog Food Freshpet Vital Fresh Cuts Dog Food
  • Cooked to FDA and USDA standards
  • Locally sourced ingredients
  • Undergoes over 20 quality and safety tests
  • Best for Puppies
    Castor & Pollux Organix Puppy Recipe Castor & Pollux Organix Puppy Recipe
  • USDA Certified Organic ingredients
  • Crafted in the United States
  • Great for your puppy’s healthy
  • Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
  • Ethically and humanely sourced meats
  • Real meat is always the first ingredient
  • Ensures sustainable practices
  • The 10 Best Eco-Friendly Dog Foods

    1. Castor & Pollux Organix Dog Food – Best Overall

    Castor & Pollux Organix

    Main ingredients: Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Sweet Potatoes, Organic Potatoes, Organic Peas
    Protein content: 26% min
    Fat content: 15% min
    Calories: 3,660 kcal/kg, 387 kcal/cup

    Our pick for the best overall eco-friendly dog food goes to Castor & Pollux Organix. Castor & Pollux relies on only sustainably sourced, organic ingredients and is by far one of the most popular eco-friendly dog food brands. All recipes are crafted in certified organic kitchens in the United States.

    This food is made with organic, free-range chicken as the first ingredient and contains nothing but USDA-certified organic ingredients overall. This means no ingredients have been exposed to synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides. This food is also formulated without any artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors and offers a complete and well-balanced nutrient profile.

    This is a grain-free food made without corn, wheat, soy, chickpeas, or lentils. This dry food is well-loved by dogs and owners alike, and as a perk, it’s one of the most convenient eco-friendly foods to find in pet stores and online. Castor & Pollux offers a variety of other recipes in both dry kibble and wet food formulas. It can be a bit expensive, but that is to be suspected with organic foods, just like it is in our own grocery stores.

    Pros
    • Made with only USDA Certified Organic ingredients
    • Crafted in certified organic kitchens right here in the United States
    • Easy to find in stores and online
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Grain-free may not be suitable for all dogs

    Disclaimer: Check with your veterinarian to ensure a grain-free diet is necessary for your dog. The inclusion of grains is beneficial to most dogs unless otherwise specified by their medical condition.


    2. Tender & True Organic Grain-Free Dog Food– Best value

    Tender & True Organic Grain-Free Chicken & Liver Recipe

    Main ingredients: Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Tapioca Starch, Organic Dried Pea, Organic Chickpea
    Protein content: 26% min
    Fat content: 16% min
    Calories: 350 kcal/cup

    If you are needing eco-friendly food that will offer you the best value for your money, then Tender & True has you covered. Their Organic Grain-Free Chicken & Liver Recipe gets our pick not just for their sustainable practices, but for being more wallet-friendly.

    Tender & True is independently owned and works alongside its owner growers and fisheries working to make quality dog food at the best price. The chicken is GAP Certified Step 3 by the Global Animal Partnership for being humanely raised and all their foods are made right here in the United States.

    This recipe offers real, organic chicken as the number one ingredient and offers your dog a completely balanced diet without the use of GMOs, grain, corn, soy, and wheat, and is always free of any artificial colors or flavorings. The reviews did have some complaints that certain dogs turned their nose up at the kibble, which is a fairly common complaint amongst most dry foods.

    Pros
    • Reasonably priced
    • Chicken is certified as being humanely raised
    • Real organic chicken is the number one ingredient
    Cons
    • Some dogs refused to eat the kibble

    Disclaimer: Check with your veterinarian to ensure a grain-free diet is necessary for your dog. The inclusion of grains is beneficial to most dogs unless otherwise specified by their medical condition.


    3. Freshpet Vital Fresh Cuts Dog Food – Premium Choice

    Freshpet Vital Fresh Cuts

    Main ingredients: Chicken, Sweet Potato, Carrots, Pea Protein, Pea Fiber
    Protein content: 16% min
    Fat content: 6.5% min
    Calories: 1,485 kcal / kg 675 kcal / lb. 171 kcal / cup

    Freshpet Vital Cuts get the spot for premium choice of eco-friendly dog food. Freshpet uses locally sourced ingredients and 100 percent farm-raised chicken, beef, or fish, and all-natural fruits and veggies that are grown only in the United States. Freshpet is completely GMO-free and is made without preservatives, meat powders, meals, or by-products.

    All Freshpet Kitchens are registered with APHIS and the FDA and the recipes are cooked according to FDA and USDA standards and undergo over 20 quality and safety tests before all is said and done. Their cooking process and vacuum-sealed packaging ensure all essential nutrients remain well intact.

    Freshpet is a great choice for even the pickiest eaters and can help with digestion and maintaining optimal weight. The food can get quite expensive, as most fresh foods do. In this case, a lot of owners choose to use Freshpet as a topper to other eco-friendly dry kibbles to get more for their money while still reaping the benefits of healthy freshness.

    Pros
    • Cooked according to FDA and USDA standards
    • Uses locally sourced ingredients and 100 percent farmed-raised animals
    • Undergoes over 20 quality and safety tests
    • Great for use as a full meal or a meal topper
    Cons
    • Expensive

    4. Castor & Pollux Organix Puppy Recipe – Best for Puppies

    Castor & Pollux Organix Healthy Grains Organic Puppy Recipe

    Main ingredients: Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Oatmeal, Organic Barley, Organic Brown Rice
    Protein content: 26% min
    Fat content: 16% min
    Calories: 3747 kcal/kg, 408 kcal/cup

    Our top pick for the young ones also goes to Castor & Pollux, this time it goes to the Organix Healthy Grains Organic Puppy Recipe. As mentioned previously, Castor & Pollux is arguably the most mainstream dog food brand that offers eco-friendly practices. Though expensive, Castor & Pollux makes up for it with quality. All foods are made in the USA in organically certified kitchens using only organic ingredients.

    This recipe can really help your pup get off to a healthy start with all organic ingredients with added DHA to support cognitive health. All foods within the brand are made without artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors and are free from corn, soy, wheat, chickpeas, and lentils.

    The Healthy Grains Puppy Recipe offers organic, free-range chicken as the top ingredient. You get all the benefits of Castor & Pollux’s sustainable practices and healthy recipe formulas in a way that promotes healthy growth and development for your little pooch. Once they graduate to adult food, it’s not a hard transition, as Castor & Pollux has many adult food recipes to switch to when the time comes.

    Pros
    • Made with only USDA Certified Organic ingredients
    • Crafted in certified organic kitchens right here in the United States
    • Great for your puppy’s healthy growth and development
    • You can easily transition to Castor & Pollux Adult Dog Food when the time comes
    Cons
    • Expensive

    5. Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw Turkey Recipe Dog Food

    Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Dehydrated Chicken, Organic Barley, Dehydrated Potatoes, Organic Flaxseed, Organic Oats
    Protein content: 24.5% min
    Fat content: 14.0% min
    Calories: 4270 kcal/kg, 485 kcal/cup

    Open Farm is a company that puts its sights on sustainability through ethical and humane farming practices and a farm-to-bowl approach to dog food. The origin of every ingredient in their foods can be traced specifically by using the lot number. Open Farm partners up with the Certified Global Animal Partnership to ensure every protein source is raised humanely and ethically in the United States.

    Real meat is the number one ingredient in each recipe, and this recipe uses certified humane dehydrated chicken. Their food is packed full of high-quality protein and ingredients for a well-rounded and high-quality diet that offers all the essential vitamins and nutrients your dogs need to thrive.

    Open Farm is also partnered with Terracycle to create the first dog food bag recycling program so that they can be upcycled rather than thrown away and tossed in landfills. They’ve even committed to implementing practices through their emission offset program to reduce the company’s carbon footprint for the sake of climate change.

    Pros
    • High focus on ethically and humanely sourced meats
    • Real meat is always the number one ingredient
    • Open Farm has partnerships with several organizations ensuring sustainable practices of the company
    • Each ingredient can be tracked by lot number
    Cons
    • Not a wide variety of age-specific recipes
    • Not a wide variety of single protein recipes

    6. The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Dog Food

    The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe

    Main ingredients: Dehydrated Chicken, Organic Barley, Dehydrated Potatoes, Organic Flaxseed, Organic Oats
    Protein content: 24.5% min
    Fat content: 14.0% min
    Calories: 4270 kcal/kg, 485 kcal/cup

    The Honest Kitchen is another dog food company that is doing its part for sustainability and eco-friendliness. They use only non-GMO produce, seeds, and grains in every recipe. All foods are made right here in the United States and their food is dehydrated to take up less space and reduce emissions. Also, regarding environmental friendliness, this company uses only green packaging that is either reusable or recyclable.

    This recipe is formulated with real whole food ingredients with free-range chicken as the first ingredient on the list. The Honest Kitchen uses human-grade facilities and produces only human-grade pet foods for a well-balanced diet that is suitable for all types of dogs. You won’t find any by-products, fillers, or preservatives in these foods.

    Pricing for The Honest Kitchen is a bit high but comparable to high-quality dry food options. It offers a wide variety of protein options, and the softer food is much easier to chew, which is beneficial for senior dogs and those with dental issues, though it can be messier than your average kibble.

    Pros
    • Uses only non-GMO ingredients
    • Real chicken is the number one ingredient
    • Uses only green packaging
    • Food is dehydrated to free up space for shipment and emission reduction
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • Messier than kibble

    7. Newman’s Own Organics Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

    Newman's Own Organics Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Broth, Organic Chicken Liver, Tricalcium Phosphate, Organic Pea Flour
    Protein content: 10% min
    Fat content: 7% min
    Calories: 5.5 oz Can: 189 kcal/can; 12.7 oz Can: 437 kcal/can

    Newman’s Own Organics Grain-Free Canned Food is a wonderful wet food variety for those looking for an eco-friendly brand. Newman’s Own focuses on holistic formulas to provide pooches with optimal nutrition for a healthy lifestyle. These cans are made of recyclable aluminum and Newman’s Own donates profits to certain charities, like the Safe Water Network and Farmer Veteran Coalition.

    The first ingredient in this recipe is organic chicken, followed by organic chicken broth and organic chicken liver. It will leave the mouths watering of even the pickiest eaters and in addition to being so appetizing, the food is also highly digestible and contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

    All foods are crafted with at least 70 percent organic vegetables and grains. The canned food is cooked under government-regulated specifications for safety, though there are some limited options in terms of protein sources for the canned food, specifically.

    Pros
    • Well-known environmentally friendly brand
    • Profits are donated to charitable organizations
    • The first three ingredients are organic chicken, organic chicken broth, and organic chicken liver
    Cons
    • Limited option for protein sources in canned food

    8. Jiminy’s Cricket Crave Dry Dog Food

    Jiminy's Cricket Crave Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Cricket, Oats, Quinoa, Sweet Potato, Brown Rice
    Protein content: 24% min
    Fat content: 12% min
    Calories: Metabolizable Energy Kcal/cup: 378

    Would you have ever thought that dog food would feature crickets as the main protein source? Well, that’s exactly what Jiminy’s Cricket Crave does. Jiminy’s is focused on being a sustainable and humane pet food brand that offers up optimal nutrition while remaining as environmentally friendly as possible.

    Crickets are high in protein and have much less of an environmental impact than larger animal sources. All insects at Jiminy’s are raised humanely and harvested at the end of their life cycles. The food is made right here in the United States and per the Carbon Credit Capital measurements, Jiminy’s produces fewer greenhouse gasses than food varieties that use alternate forms of protein.

    This food is minimally processed and veterinary formulated. It works well for those with sensitive stomachs though it may not be a huge hit among all dogs. It is very expensive, which could impact the finances of large dog owners and those with multiple dogs.

    Pros
    • Crickets are a sustainable protein source
    • All insects are humanely raised and harvested at the end of their life cycle
    • Offers well-balanced nutrition that is great for sensitive stomachs
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Some dogs refuse to eat the food

    9. Steve’s Real Food Freeze-Dried Raw Nugget Dog Food

    Steve's Real Food Freeze-Dried Raw Nuggets

    Main ingredients: Ground Beef, Beef Heart, Beef Liver, Beef Kidney, Broccoli
    Protein content: 45.5% min
    Fat content: 31% min
    Calories: 4920 per kg

    Steve’s Real Food harvests grass-fed cattle and free-range poultry for their recipes and uses all non-GMO ingredients overall. They offer reduced processing for their formulas, which reduces carbon emissions. This food is nutrient-dense, high in protein, and low in fat to support lean muscles and overall health and immunity.

    Raw food does result in smaller, more formed poop which leaves less waste behind, though raw diets may not be suitable for all dogs, especially those with sensitive digestive systems, so it’s best to talk to your veterinarian before opting for a raw food diet. The first ingredient is grass-fed ground beef, followed by the heart, liver, and kidney.

    This food is very expensive, so it certainly won’t work for everyone and may be best used as a topper. It is great for picky eaters and owners to rave about how much their dogs love this food. While Steve’s does put forth some sustainable practices, they do not utilize any organic ingredients.

    Pros
    • Great for even the pickiest eaters
    • High in protein and nutrient-dense
    • All non-GMO ingredients
    Cons
    • Beef is the least sustainable protein option
    • Expensive
    • Not ideal for sensitive stomachs

    10. Gather Free Acres Organic Dry Dog Food

    Gather Free Acres Organic Free-Run Chicken Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Sweet Potatoes, Organic Potatoes, Organic Peas
    Protein content: 30% min
    Fat content: 15% min
    Calories: 3628 kcal/kg or 399 kcal/cup

    Gather Free Acres Organic Free-Run Chicken Dry Dog Food is another sustainable option made from certified organic free-run chicken and non-GMO vegetables and fruits for a balance of protein, vitamins, and minerals. The recipe also contains sustainably harvested krill for some added EPA and DHA for optional skin and coat health.

    Gather only uses certain farmers, fishers, and growers for their food. They ensure anyone they use practices sustainability and produces only quality ingredients. Gather is owned by the parent company, Petcurean, which states they are committed to minimizing waste, reducing consumption, and reusing recycling, and composting materials.

    This food wasn’t a huge hit among some dogs that refused to eat it. Some owners warned that the kibble smells awful. As far as kibble goes, it is on the expensive side.

    Pros
    • Organic, free-run chicken is the number one ingredient
    • Sustainably harvested krill for added EPA and DHA
    • Parent company practices sustainability efforts
    Cons
    • Kibble smells bad
    • Not a big hit for the taste
    • Expensive

    divider-dog pawBuyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Eco-Friendly Dog Food

    What Makes a Dog Food Eco-Friendly?

    For dog food to be considered eco-friendly, the company must be committed to preserving the environment through the practices and the products that they use and promote. Eco-friendliness and sustainability come in the form of many actions, including the source of ingredients to company policies.

    Corporations and smaller companies all over are starting to implement sustainable practices and dog food companies are following along as well. Here’s a list of some things you can look for that can help you identify a dog food company’s eco-friendly effort:

    • Using locally sourced ingredients to reduce in-transit pollution from shipment
    • Purchasing from small, reputable farms rather than large commercial farms
    • Choosing organically sourced, pesticide-free produce and grains
    • Using only responsibly harvested fish
    • Full transparency of ingredients in their recipes
    • Use of only ethically and humanely raised protein sources (grass-fed, cage-free, certified humane)
    • Using reusable and/or recyclable material for packaging
    • Using low-emission processing techniques (freeze-drying, dehydrating)
    • Choosing the most sustainable protein sources (chicken, turkey, fish, crickets)
    • Implementing eco-friendly policies within the company to reduce carbon footprint
    • Donating to environmental causes and other charities

    Ways to be an Eco-Friendly Dog Owner

    Use Only Sustainable Products

    There’s no shortage of pet supply products available on the market. When shopping for your beloved pooch, opt for products that are sustainably sourced or packaged or those that are made from recycled material.

    Buy Sustainable Food Sources

    This is the reason you came here in the first place, to find an eco-friendly food choice for your dog. Use the section above to guide you in making your purchase and seek out brands that are committed to environmentally friendly practices.

    Recycle and Compost

    When it comes to the products you buy and the waste created, make sure that you recycle any packaging or cans rather than simply trash them. You can also consider composting your pet’s feces to keep it from being dumped in landfills. Make sure to purchase biodegradable poop bags for when you’re out and about with your pup.

    Provide Your Dog with Eco-Friendly Toys

    Curious puppy biting toy for Birthday celebration
    Image Credit: Sam Lion, Pexels

    Take the time to research some eco-friendly toy options or even try using some recycled or upcycled materials yourself to create some entertainment for your best pal. Chances are, your dog will be very entertained by anything you whip up out of some unused junk. Just make sure that you use safe materials and supervise your dog while they are playing with toys.

    Try DIY Treats

    Not only can you put less of a dent in your wallet, but you can be friendly to the environment by skipping out on purchasing treats and making them at home. This eliminates the extra packaging and allows you to control what is put into your dogs’ treats. There are plenty of recipe options available online. Make sure to check with your veterinarian before adding anything new to your dog’s diet.

    Adopt from a Shelter or Rescue

    If you are looking into bringing home a new pet, head to the animal shelter or contact your local rescue. Many unwanted animals make their way into animal shelters across the country, it truly is a sad reality, and many animals are euthanized due to overcrowding. It’s a rewarding and sustainable way to add to your family and the best gift of all is that you are saving a life.

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    Conclusion

    Castor & Pollux Organix is a popular dog food brand that implements eco-friendly, sustainable practices and offers high-quality, organic-only ingredients for a well-balanced diet.

    Tender & True Organic is a company that works with its farmers to make sure their quality ingredients can be offered at the lowest prices possible. They do their best to be both eco and wallet-friendly.

    Freshpet Vital Fresh Cuts is a top-quality fresh food variety that comes from a company that cooks its food according to FDA and USDA standards and uses only farm-raised animals and locally sourced ingredients in its recipes.

    Now that you know some eco-friendly options, coupled with the reviews of dog owners just like yourself, you should be well on your way to finding the most sustainable dog food that works for you and your beloved pup!


    Featured Image Credit: cottonbro, Pexels

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