The Best Sustainable And Ethically Produced Dog Food Brands

Delicious and healthy, these environmentally-friendly dog food brands are great alternatives.
Open Farm, Wild Earth and The Honest Kitchen.
Open Farm, Amazon
Open Farm, Wild Earth and The Honest Kitchen.

When I first adopted my dog and brought her home almost 15 years ago, it didn’t occur to me that I should put more thoughtful consideration into the kind of food I gave her and I stuck to run-of-the-mill kibble. Nowadays, trying to decide what kind of food to give my fragile senior dog occupies precious space in my mind. I agonize over every decision, in the hopes that I can keep my very picky creature healthy and happy for as long as possible. And I know I’m not alone in this preoccupation.

Aside from trying to find the most wholesome and nutrient-rich dog food available, I also prioritize brands that are sustainably made with ethically-sourced ingredients. This is not as easy as one might hope. Like so many lightly regulated industries, you can’t always trust what labels tell you. Buzzwords such as “holistic” are often used in the pet food industry, but it doesn’t actually mean much.

That said, there are actually a few dog food brands out there that prioritize sustainability and responsibly-sourced ingredients, without sacrificing vital nutrients and vitamins. Some use human food-grade organic ingredients, while others focus on eco-friendly farming practices. I’ve rounded up some of the best and most reliable environmentally-conscious dog food brands, so that your sweet little pup can eat well and you can feel good about the impact to our planet.

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Primal works with vendors who are committed to humanely raising and responsibly processing proteins as well as sustainably growing organic fruits and veggies. Their raw pet foods and treats use high-quality ingredients made in manufacturing facilities that ensure strict quality control. Primal sources antibiotic- and steroid-free USDA proteins and certified organic produce that is rich in unrefined vitamins and minerals, so you can rest assured your pup is getting a balanced meal. Raw dog foods like Primal are what they sound like: raw meat that is often ground with bones and other ingredients that mimic how dogs would eat in the wild. You can learn more about BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diets here. For the curious, Primal has a primer that explains how to transition your pet to raw food.
Open Farm
Open Farm has a range of different recipes, but my dog loves the harvest chicken rustic stew. They use humanely-raised and antibiotic-free meats that are wild-caught and sustainably farmed and sourced. It's free of growth hormones, artificial flavors or fillers, and can be used as a topper or a whole meal. Every provider the company works with is audited to make sure they meet high environmental and health standards. Open Farm also holds itself accountable to certification partners that make sure they maintain the highest standards of farm animal welfare.
Lily's Kitchen
Lily's Kitchen is committed to creating healthy, sustainable dog food without greenwashing. They use organic ingredients that are nutritionally complete and balanced and use eco-friendly packaging for all their foods. All of their foods include important vitamins and minerals like glucosamine and chondroitin to support bone and joint health, prebiotics to support digestion and essential nutrients for the immune system, while salmon oil supports the coat, heart, brain and joints. They have a wide range of recipes, including options for dogs with sensitive stomachs or who are recovering from illness, vegetarian recipes and more. Lily's Kitchen is certified B Corp, a designation for brands that act responsibly and have a positive global impact.
Wild Earth vegan dry dog food
Research is still being done on the benefits of vegan dog food, such as Wild Earth, but if you decide it's the best type of food for your pup, then Wild Earth is a wonderful sustainable option. It is high in protein, with quality ingredients like oats, pumpkin and sweet potato, and contains zero fillers. And since there is no meat in Wild Earth's food, production requires less water and emits less CO2.
The Honest Kitchen
The Honest Kitchen has a wide variety of food options, including this veggie, nut and seed base mix, which is designed to be mixed with a homemade protein of your choice. All of their foods are made with human-grade ingredients and produced in a human food facility, which results in high-quality products and more safety standards. These ingredients are free of preservatives, by-products, fillers and GMOs. Their fish-filled blends are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council and their chicken recipes are made with humanely raised free-range GAP-certified chicken. The Honest Kitchen is made in the U.S. and has also been designated Climate Pledge Friendly by Amazon.
Candidae Sustain
Candidae's Sustain line is specially formulated for those seeking eco-conscious dog food. It's made in the U.S. with responsibly-sourced ingredients like wild-caught salmon from fisheries that prioritize maintaining sustainable salmon populations and farms that support regenerative agriculture. Their particular blend of vitamins and minerals supports healthy joints like glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-6 and omega-3 (vital for older dogs), skin and coats. Candidae even prioritizes sustainable packaging; their dog food bags are made with 40% post-consumer recycled materials. Candidae's food was developed with veterinary nutritionists to exceed AAFCO standards.

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