Grubs – The benefits of Insect protein for dogs

Your pet’s health is one of your highest priorities, and that is why Vondi’s is proud to present the next tool in your arsenal of pet health and wellness. Our latest product, GRUBS, is made from a unique, nutritious insect protein that takes the pet food industry by storm. 


Black soldier fly larvae are a well-studied source of protein, approved for use in pet foods by the American FDA and AAFCO. But why choose our black soldier fly larvae-based GRUB pet nutrition products?


Healthy proteins


One of the biggest challenges in getting your pet’s diet right is sourcing the right protein source. For example, did you know that up to 15% of dogs are allergic to chicken? In addition, one of the most common protein sources in dog food causes a histamine response in at least one in ten dogs. 


Fortunately, there is the option of beef protein. But unfortunately, studies suggest that up to 34% of dogs may have an allergic reaction to beef. Similar studies show concerning percentages of allergic responses to protein sources like dairy and mutton. 


So, what are your options? Many pet owners opt for novel proteins. These include things like crocodile and kangaroo meat. Such options might work, but they are neither cheap nor ecological sound. 


Enter black soldier fly larvae-based protein. A protein source that has yet to cause any significant allergic reactions in dogs or cats during clinical trials. But what sets GRUBS apart from other novel proteins?


Eco friendly


Traditional livestock farming accounts for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. However, consider that cars, trains, plains and every other form of transportation on earth make up 24% of the global CO2 emissions per year. 


As electric vehicles become more efficient and accessible, livestock farming will surpass all transportation on earth in greenhouse gas emissions within a couple of decades. So then perhaps plant-based proteins are the solution?


Plant-based protein has a low bioavailability, making it harder for your pet’s digestive system to absorb and utilise. Furthermore, crop farming does more ecological damage per square kilometre than livestock farming. It is one of the industries most responsible for deforestation and extinction. 


So then, what are the shocking stats for GRUBS black soldier fly larvae based farming? Well, close as possible to none at all. 


There are no serious greenhouse gas emissions. Farming can scale easily and does not require disrupting ecosystems. It is completely organic. Pesticides and chemicals are the last things you want anywhere near your crops!


More than just a healthy protein source


We have looked at how GRUBS makes a fantastic alternative to more common protein sources, but there is more to black soldier fly larvae than protein. 


In general, black soldier fly larvae get made into powder. This powder maintains all the nutritional value of the GRUBS in a more concentrated form. In addition to that all-important protein, black soldier fly larvae powder is rich in essential amino acids, digestible lipids and antimicrobial compounds.


Along with fully formed proteins, amino acids are quite literally the building blocks of life, so it is easy to appreciate their value! Digestible lipids are essential fatty acids that are not water-soluble and can convert to calories naturally in the body. They are good fats. 


Antimicrobial compounds help your pet combat potential bacterial infections and, in that way, support a healthy immune system. 


A 2020 study found that the digestibility of black soldier fly larvae products is an astonishing 85.4% to 93.7%. That is higher than most organic foods we humans think of as highly bioavailable. 


Socially responsible 


It is not only the global climate crisis that stands to benefit from the sustainability of black soldier fly larvae farming. The Rockefeller Foundation published an article in 2020 outlining how black soldier fly larvae can combat poverty and food insecurity in Africa and across the globe. 


The philanthropic Rockefeller Foundation partnered with the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology to test possible business models to scale insect-based protein feed. The project’s ambitious goal is to alleviate poverty, promote food security, and improve the overall health of smallholder farmers. 


The project kicked off in Kenya and continues to show promising results despite the scope of its goals. Initially, they focussed on 28 insect species as potential candidates for the project. Finally, however, they settled on black soldier fly larvae as the most promising species out of all species.

“Black Soldier Flies are exceptional,” says Dr Chrysantus Mbi Tanga, an ICIPE research scientist specialising in insect-based feed.


75% of working Kenyans make most of their income through farming. However, 46% of people lived on less than one USD per day. 


In addition, 35% of children under the age of five are severely malnourished. 


Black soldier fly larvae farming stands to make a real, measurable difference in Kenya and across the globe as food shortages continue to rise.


Because they are delicious


Did you know that people now farm black soldier fly larvae for consumption? You may have your doubts, but you will have a new perspective on GRUBS once you try them as a snack. 


For one, you will understand why most dogs and cats prefer the taste of GRUBS over beef, chicken, pork, and mutton. 


GRUBS is not only tasty. It is the perfect source of protein and other essential nutrients that will meet your pet’s nutritional requirements while being an ecologically sound choice and a socially responsible option.