News Animals Cricket-Based Treats Hope to Calm Dogs, Ease Aches They have organic ingredients and are sustainably made. By Mary Jo DiLonardo Mary Jo DiLonardo LinkedIn Twitter Senior Writer University of Cincinnati Mary Jo DiLonardo has worked in print, online, and broadcast journalism for 25 years and covers nature, health, science, and animals. Learn about our editorial process Updated August 25, 2021 02:55PM EDT Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process Green Gruff Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive Your dog only cares that treats taste good. But there are so many other elements a human might want to consider, including how natural the ingredients are, any possible health benefits, and even the overall environmental impact of the product. Jonathan Persofsky is co-founder and CEO of Green Gruff, a new line of dog supplements. “My own experience with dogs showed me that problems like joint pain and anxiety are quite common, and a lot of owners see those issues as inevitable. We assume that our pets get everything they need from their packaged foods—wet or dry—and don’t need any supplements themselves,” Persofsky tells Treehugger. “When I made the connection between human wellbeing and pet wellbeing, I realized there was a way to give my dog, and other dogs, a better life.” Persofsky teamed up with a veterinary nutritionist who developed four different formulas using a mix of organic ingredients and vitamins. There are blends for joint and hip health, skin and coat health, overall health and immunity, and a formula for stress and anxiousness. Many of the ingredients are organic, including organic chamomile, organic turmeric root, and organic hemp seed oil. “Organic ingredients cost more but when dealing with dog health we want to ensure we are giving them the cleanest version possible,” Persofsky says. The primary protein is organic cricket flour, which is more nutritious than other animal proteins and much more sustainable. Crickets need 12 times less feed than cattle, four times less than sheep, and half as much as pigs and broiler chickens in order to produce the same amount of protein, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. They emit considerably fewer greenhouse gases. Land and habitat don’t have to be cleared in order to make room to farm them. The company also has other sustainable practices. The products are made in the United States in facilities that are solar powered and they use upcycled plastics for packaging. Sustainability is important, Persofsky says, because, “we know dogs and their consumption have a significant impact on the planet.” Testing Supplements One of the first dogs able to try Green Gruff was Persofsky’s black Labrador retriever, Nala. On a limited-ingredient diet her whole life, the family protector needed a knee replacement by age 9 and was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome at age 10. He was worried her quality of life was declining but says the supplements helped greatly. “I noted the remarkable difference in her attitude and energy. That became my purpose in giving dogs their best life possible,” Persofsky says. The supplements don’t promise medical benefits, but they have many positive reviews online. Users have found gradual success with dogs experiencing slight anxiety, for example, due to storms. Others found their dogs were scratching less or seemed to have shinier coats. The Treehugger test dog who has some anxiety issues tried the supplement during a severe thunderstorm and on a long car ride. They didn’t work like magic, but they did seem to calm him down to an extent. Plus, he definitely thought they tasted good. View Article Sources "Edible Insects." Food and Agriculture Organization.