This article is sponsored by Chippin but the opinions expressed in the editorial blog article are our own.
Climate change is on everyone’s mind today. From reducing emissions and food waste to eating less meat and more plant-based foods, more companies are taking action to combat climate change. And it is happening in the pet space, too. Chippin is one of those companies.
Founded in 2019, the company’s mission is to reduce the carbon “pawprint” by making “high quality, drool-worthy products that use 80 percent fewer resources.”
“Chippin is really all about chipping in and finding a way to have fun with doing things that are great for our four legged family members and the planet,” co-founder Haley Russell tells This Dog’s Life.
Russell grew up in a primarily vegetarian household. She says there had always been a tension between her family eating a fresh, veggie-rich diet then feeding their golden retriever a can of wet food and dry kibble.
“It always felt a little weird, but we were interested in feeding our dogs a vegetarian diet,” Russell says. “In my late 20s, I’d spent some time working within the food and beverage industry, really focused on healthy foods for people, then started to learn a little bit more about alternative proteins, like insects.”
Despite a massive shift in healthy foods and eco-friendly products for humans, she was surprised to see the same bags of beef and chicken kibble on the shelves at pet retailers.This got her thinking about creating a healthy, tasty and eco-friendly option for our four-legged friends.
“We started working with PhDs and veterinarians years ago to do all the foundational research into our core proteins and ensure that we’re crafting recipes out of these proteins in a way that would be really tasty for dogs and meet their nutritional needs,” Russell says.
She began with cricket protein treats for dogs and noticed they were helpful to dogs with allergies, including her own pup. She, along with her co-founder Laura Colagrande, have expanded beyond just crickets, focusing on ingredients that are planet friendly, including carp and spirulina. Russell says she wants to take part in reducing emissions, land use, and water use that our agricultural system is driving.
“We want to feed our dogs the best quality nutrition we possibly can, and at the same time, we are in a climate emergency,” she says. “We haven’t seen options within the pet food industry that deliver on both high quality foods that help save critical resources.”
While lofty goals, the team acknowledges it has some hurdles to overcome. One of the biggest challenges, Russell says is education, noting that the concept of sustainability within pet food is “not baked into people’s day-to-day yet.”
Chippin also has to consider the lack of research into alternative proteins, but Russell says these complete proteins all have essential amino acids that not only ensure a health benefit, but are also tasty options pet parents can feel great about feeding their dog. She believes quality nutrition shouldn’t come at the expense of our planet.
This alternative, she says, “doesn’t carry the baggage of harming our planet, which ultimately harms the water, the air quality, and the nature that our dogs love and people love too.”
And she may be onto something — many brands are popping up in the pet space to take on climate change. Indeed, according to the New York University Stern Center for Sustainable Business, pet treats marketed with sustainable claims experienced a 70 percent sales growth from 2015 to 2019, a clear sign more pet parents are taking note.
We had to try it out!
With Chippin, you’re welcomed with friendly, yellow packaging (made up of 28% post-consumer recycled materials), which adds to the overall excitement of feeding your canine companion these all-natural treats. The ingredients list is short, containing words you can pronounce. You also get a breakdown of how the main ingredients benefit your dog and the planet.
If you’ve ever opened a bag of dog food or treats and been taken aback by the smell, you can rest assured that’s not the case here — even if you’re wondering, ‘How the heck are crickets going to smell?’ Chippin’s food and treats all smell pretty good.
We tried Chippin’s:
- Silver carp daily food
- Cricket jerky
- Silver carp jerky
- Smokehouse BBQ treat
- Spirulina dailies
My 1-year-old Chihuahua, Ozzy, immediately sniffed and scarfed down the silver carp daily food, smokehouse BBQ treat, spirulina dailies and silver carp jerky…and came back for more! He was so ready to chow down, I had to break the treats into smaller pieces so he wouldn’t inhale them. The cricket-based treats took a few more sniffs before he decided to nibble on them, which is understandable considering it was his first time trying this alternative protein. However, he was interested in sampling everything!
Ozzy’s brother, Andy, is a bit finicky when it comes to food, he trotted along to try the silver carp daily food too. I also shared the food and treats with my senior dog, Billy, who experiences allergies. The result: he ate them without a single sniff and wagged his tail in approval. (I think we’ve found our new favorite treats.)
Since my dogs do eat products containing meat, I was happy — and pleasantly surprised — to see them enjoy Chippin’s protein-packed food and treats. If you’re a dog parent who’s looking for a nutrient-rich, hypoallergenic and eco-friendly food option at a reasonable price, Chippin is definitely worth a try.