An insect-based diet is literally what it sounds like. A diet that is comprised largely of insects. Insect-based pet food manufacturers and vegan pet food manufacturers will undoubtedly argue that meat-based food is bad for the environment and has a large carbon footprint. This may be true, but manufacturing most goods post the industrial revolution is bad for the environment.
Let's say for a moment that the carbon footprint were equal, would you actually consider feeding your dog an insect-based diet?
Let's consider that kibble is already made up of meat by-products and sugar by-products as well as other less than nutritious ingredients, which are simply used because humans won't eat it. Remember, kibble companies are the same companies producing M&M's and have lots of sugar to go around. These same companies are in the business of profiting and NOT keep your animals healthy.
Feeding kibble already strays far from a species appropriate diet made up of high protein, some fat and fruits and veggies. Feeding insects is next level cray because dogs definitely would not eat insects in the wild on a regular basis. So to get them to actually eat the insects, manufacturers will have to throw in a bunch of sub-par ingredients to entice dogs to eat it.
Let's take a look at a food called "Lovebug," produced by Mars Inc. This is for cats, but I have no doubt that a dog food version is on the way. The ingredients of this science experience includes: Dried Insect Meal (30%), Maize, Wheat, Dried Cereal Protein, Vegetable Oil, Minerals, Soy Protein, Flavour From Vegetable Sources, Cellulose, Rice, Dried Beet Pulp, Yeast. You can read more on this here.
There is actually literally nothing healthy in this product. First, we don't know what kinds of insects are being used and what those insects ate. Second, this is not a complete protein with the appropriate amino acids for dogs to remain healthy.
Third, the rest of it is actual slow poison. Maize is corn. So corn, wheat and dried cereal protein, rice, yeast, cellulose, dried beet pulp (candy by-product) all are filler ingredients, very high in carbohydrates, which will cause glucose to spike consistently. Regular glucose spikes like this cause inflammation and glycation, which absolutely lead to chronic disease like diabetes, obesity and cardiometabolic problems.
Vegetable oil is extremely high in omega-6 fats, which can lead to increased inflammation and contribute to disease as well. Soy protein is high in phytoestrogen, which can disrupt natural hormone levels in the body. Lastly, flavour from vegetable sources is very cryptic and does not actually tell you where the vegetables came from and what kind of vegetables were used. This could be very problematic because the vegetables used could be by-products, are definitely highly processed and most likely full of carbs.
If you need help on figuring out what kind of food is right for your dog, please click here. If you want your dog to thrive, do your best to stay away from insect-based anything and vegan anything because dogs are descendants of the wolves and are meant to eat meat.