Victor likes crickets. It surprised me too.
First, I should tell you my terrier Victor is a picky eater and usually doesn’t like crunchy treats. But he willingly lapped up Wilder & Harrier’s baked heart-shaped training treats – both flavours: banana peanut butter (slightly preferred) and cranberry apple.
Second, I should tell you Wilder & Harrier’s training rewards are made with crickets.
Yes, insects are the protein source of choice for this Montreal-based pet food company.
Eating insects is good for the planet, according to co-founder and CEO Philippe Poirier. “Producing crickets requires 2000 times less water than beef to produce the same amount of protein,” he says. “Also, meat production is the primary source of greenhouse gases.”
I met Poirier a the 11th Annual Green Living Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this weekend – get there April 9, 2017 – in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
More than 400 companies are there promoting sustainable products and healthy lifestyles. You can find anything and everything, from energy sources to folding bikes to plenty of food to cosmetics and yes, even pet stuff.
And hey, if people are eating crickets, why not dogs?
Whole crickets are dried and ground into a fine powder, then added to Wilder & Harrier’s pet products. The powder apparently contains Omega 3, essential amino acids, vitamin B-12, iron, calcium, fiber and twice as much protein as beef.
Plus, he liked it. He liked it! Hey Mikey, Victor actually liked it.
If you’re feeling left out, there’s something at The Green Living Show for people too. Crickets and mealworms are the protein source in One Hop Kitchen’s pasta sauce. Both the cricket and mealworm Bolognese are gluten free, sugar free, soy free … but not bug free.
Pack the pasta for a camping trip with the dog, but don’t forget the dishes for either you or Fido. Eco Dinnerware is biodegradable, reusable (if you wash by hand) and made entirely from palm leaf – no coatings or additives.
When you’re finished eating, throw the dishes in the campfire or tear them into strips and bury them in the garden (or forest soil). No garbage to lug back home.
Speaking of the cottage, West Lake Cosmetics based in Perry Sound, Ontario creates handmade, all natural soap, bath salts, body butter and soy candles. Scents are inspired by the great Canadian outdoors and named accordingly: Algonquin Soap, Birch Bark Canada Soy Candle, and Muskoka Mimosa Body Polish.
Plus, owner Wendy Dabek says she’s created an all nature ‘bug repellant’ for dogs inspired by her Doodle Guuci that she sprays under his legs and along his back – “away from his nose,” she says.
I wouldn’t be shopping if I didn’t find jewelry … in the form of these understated silver pendants. My favourite shaped like a paw print, of course. Each is made from recycled silver by Spirit of Vera. Owner Vera (first name only) says she uses ‘sustainable’ silver from a supplier who breaks down consumer electronics and extracts the metal inside. All pieces are handmade in Toronto.
Finally, Victor gets to cleanse his palate with a more traditional taste – oven baked Woof Organics Dog Biscuits in blueberry flavour. This certified organic product is Canadian-made with 100 percent human quality ingredients (both domestic and imported).
Love other healthy living lifestyle shows? Check out our coverage of the Toronto Veggielicious Festival 2016.