The Feed For Thought Dog Food Review: Tested & Evaluated 2023
When it comes to sustainable food for your pets, Feed For Thought is an innovative start-up shaking things up. In today’s Feed For Thought dog food review we’ve examined everything you need to know about this brand so you can decide if it’s a good option for your dog!
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Australia's Feed For Thought Dog Food Reviewed
Feed For Thought Dog Food - 3 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Black soldier fly larvae, wholegrain sorghum, rolled oats, field peas, yeast, omega 3 and 6 poly-unsaturated fatty acids, natural flavours (non-meat), essential vitamins and minerals.
- Named Protein First: Yes.
- Dog Food Type: Grained kibble
- Recipe Range: Adult dog food
- Suitable For: Adult dogs older than 12 months
- Cost: $$
- Australian Owned: Yes.
Honestly, we were expecting our dogs not to like this food. After all, dogs love meat, right? Against all odds, our dogs were big fans of the smell and taste of this food. After some research, we figured out larvae protein is high in fat and phenolic compounds (AKA it smells meaty), so it’s not really a surprise .
This food lists “natural flavours (non-meat)” in the ingredient list, without mentioning the specifics. It isn’t clear where these come from, and personally I’d like to know exactly what this is.
Overall, this food was a hit in the taste department, so we’re giving Feed For Thought 4 out of 5 in this category.
This brand only has a single recipe available, but it’s supposed to be a complete food for adult dogs. Feed For Thought’s adult food has a streamlined ingredient list: the first ingredient is black soldier fly larvae, followed by sorghum, oats and peas. The bulk of the food is completed by yeast, Omega-3 and -6, “natural flavours” and a vitamin/mineral mix.
We’ll discuss the specifics about the fly larvae protein in the next category. As far as overall composition goes, this is a carb-heavy recipe. The bulk of the food is made of cereals (sorghum, oats and peas), while insect protein represents around 25% of the food.
We have no issue with sorghum, oats and peas: in fact, oats are a whole grain and miles above corn or wheat. However, it would have been nicer to see some veggies thrown in to round up the micronutrient profile.
We’re taking off 2 stars because a bare-bones ingredient list isn’t always the best choice. This seems to be the case with this recipe!
Protein content 4/5
This is where this brand really breaks apart from your regular dog food. Feed For Thought dog food uses zero animal protein, and instead the kibble is made with black soldier larvae.
Insect-based proteins have been on the rise recently, mainly because they are an environmentally-friendly protein source. Black soldier fly larvae are particularly good for your home’s carbon footprint, since they are fed food waste that would otherwise be thrown out. We love the idea of feeding a Planet-conscious food, and according to market research, insect protein will become more mainstream in future years.
This food packs a good 30% minimum crude protein, and 10% crude fat. The fat is slightly lower than what I’d like to see in dog food, but it’s not the worst either.
One issue that might be worth noting is the chitin intake that comes with insect protein. Chitin is the compound that makes insects’ exoskeletons and is what makes up the shells of crabs and lobsters. Chitin is also one of the toughest materials in the environment, and it’s quite difficult to digest. Studies on chitin and dogs are basically non-existing. However, we found a recent study that showed that, while chitin is difficult to digest, some animals are able to produce an enzyme to digest it . Unfortunately, unlike pigs and chickens, dogs don’t have the gene to make this enzyme . This means that, when eaten in excess, chitin might cause digestion issues. Two of our testers had no issue, but one of our pups had loose stools after eating this brand. Nothing major, but it might be worth noting if you have a sensitive pup.
Although, we’re satisfied with the protein content, so we’re giving this brand 4 out of 5.
The “extras” in this food are ok, but nothing to rave about. There’s yeast, omega-3 and -6, flavourings and a vitamin and mineral mix. Most dog foods have trace minerals from animal protein to top off the usual vitamin premix, but this has none. The lack of information on the specific vitamins and minerals used makes me think it’s a pre-made mix. While pre-made mixes are fine, it’s often a way to cut costs instead. On a food at this price point, we would’ve expected to see chelated minerals at least. Since this is a higher-end food, we’re taking off 3 stars.
At the time of writing, there’s a single recipe available. This is understandable, considering the main difference in regular dog food is the choice of protein. This is also a small company, so having a limited range is common. This food is also meant exclusively for adult dogs, and there are no exclusive puppy or senior options.
Overall, variety is scarce so we’re giving this brand 1 out of 5.
This is solidly in the mid-range category. But we’re not sure if it’s worth it if there are no meats and the add-ons are not particularly great. Because of it, we’re giving this brand 3 out of 5 in this category.
Do not buy if…
While this can be a good option for many households, keep looking if you:
Our team had no issues with the protein sources, we’re all for making dog food more sustainable! However, while this food offers a reasonable amount of protein and our dogs happily ate it, we have some issues with the large chunk of carb-based ingredients. Although dogs can eat grains (in moderation), this food is grain-heavy. For low-grain dog food, check out Petzyo (although that one uses regular animal meat).
If you want to give some variety to your pup, get this one for the rotation. But we wouldn’t feed it as a main food due to the high carb percentage.
Have you ever tried feeding alternative protein sources to your dog? Let us know in the comments down below!
- Lu, S. et al. (2022). “Nutritional Composition of Black Soldier Fly Larvae (Hermetia illucens L.) and Its Potential Uses as Alternative Protein Sources in Animal Diets: A Review”. Insects, 2022 Sep, 13(9), p831. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13090831
- Tabata, E.et al. (2018). “Chitin digestibility is dependent on feeding behaviours which determine acidic chitinase mRNA levels in mammalian and poultry stomachs”. Scientific Reports, 8, 1461(2018). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-19940-8