22nd March, 2023
At Alectro, we’re constantly on the lookout for sustainable and impact-driven alternatives to everyday items. This is an opportunity to share the brands that we love and that are making the world a greener place to live.
Noochy Poochy is a 100% vegan and nutritionally complete dog food
We caught up with Dr Lucy, Vet and Founder of Noocy Poochy, to discuss her detemination to make the pet food industry kind and sustainable.
Why does Noochy Poochy exist?
"I used to love trips to the pet shop to buy my dog's food and treats - but a few years after becoming vegan those trips became harder and harder as it started to weigh on me that I was still supporting the livestock industry.
All the things I had seen on farms and hatcheries as a vet had made me decide to go vegan in the first place, and I reasoned it must be possible to make a food that was not only completely plant-based, sustainable and completely nutritionally sound, but also with an ingredients list that contained only ingredients of a quality I would be happy eating myself.
There's not many people who would be happy eating the food they currently feed their dog and I would argue, for very good reason! I wanted Noochy Poochy to be completely different."
What are the key things Noochy Poochy does best?
"We pride ourselves on being an all-round great company - where nutrition and ethics are considered equally.
Just for a dog food being vegan you could argue that was 'ethical' by default - but for us, it wouldn't be so if the ingredients weren't of a high quality, or the recipe wasn't formulated to truly be fully nutritionally complete. That wouldn't be ethical by the dogs we are feeding.
Then you have the packaging to consider, how far away the ingredients come from, whether they are responsibly sourced, or if the company supports charities or initiatives. Our packaging is certified fully recyclable, we source 99% of our ingredients from the UK or EU, and we support Dogs on The Streets - a truly awesome charity who help feed and treat the dogs of people without housing in London."
What are the trends in your market space?
"More and more people are starting to question what goes into their pet's food. A survey in 2019 showed 51% of pet owners had concerns about conventional meat-based pet food. Farm animal welfare was the top concern among all owner groups (i.e. meat-eaters, pescatarians, vegetarians & vegans), but also there were also concerns about the meat itself (i.e. its sourcing and processing).
Welfare, sourcing, and processing concerns are starting to make for a very polarized market. You have vegan, sustainable dog foods at one end, and 'premium-meat' containing dog foods at the other. These premium quality meat based pet foods are not using the meat off-cuts from the human food industry, causing increasing demand for livestock and making the industry even less sustainable.
A number of studies, namely from the UK and Canada in the last 24 months that indicate complete plant-based diets may be actually better for dogs than conventional meat-based pet food - specifically that dogs may live for up to 18 months longer, and with fewer illnesses. If they are healthier, and more sustainable - its a true win win for everyone."
What's up next for Noochy Poochy and what should we get excited about?
"We aim to completely revolutionise the pet food industry, creating more seriously incredible dog foods with awesome natural flavours - all nutritionally complete and completely vegan, with an emphasis on gut health and the microbiome. I hope as we grow, more people will question both ingredients and the ethics of the food they feed their dogs - they need to be considered together in order for the industry to do right by our dogs and the planet at the same time."
What are the challenges of starting a sustainability journey for a business such as Noochy?
“Oh wow! Well we had a few initial challenges of course. For instance, a complete dog food should have all the recommended amounts of all the different nutrients - as set out by FEDIAF, the pet food industry trade body. Those nutrients include vitamins but there was no vegan vitamin D3 on the pet food market. We had to make a prototype with a vegan vitamin D3 that had been available on the human market for years, and test it to ensure it was stable and available in the final product.
Amazingly enough, results showed our vegan D3 had a better stability than the 'normal' D3 and we were able to bring a completely vegan dog food to the market.
Our second challenge was finding a combination source of vegan Omega 3s EPA and DHA for our Puppy food. Puppies need both EPA and DHA in their diet for proper development - and conventional puppy foods get these from fish oil, causing increased pressure on dwindling fish stocks. But where do fish get their EPA and DHA? From algae! We went straight to the source, using oil from a sustainable, scalable micro-algae!"
Thanks so much to Lucy at Noochy Poochy for taking the time to talk to us about their sustainability journey and future.
If you're interested in finding out more, make sure to keep an eye on their socials @noochypoochy and visit their website for updates or more information!
Let us know who you'd like to see us cover next in our Brands we Love series by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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