Herbie Wilde is a new British pet food brand that has developed a nutritionally complete plant-based superfood for dogs, featuring 39 ingredients such as sweet potato, fruits, greens, ancient grains, herbs, and botanicals.
The company was founded by former film production manager Ella Daines-Smith, who has worked on films such as Beauty and The Beast, Winnie the Pooh, Fast and Furious, and Jurassic Park. After trying to figure out why her dog, Bertie, was suffering from digestive issues, Ella discovered that the culprit was food.
As pet food standards are lower than those for human food, manufacturers can include meat industry byproducts such as hair, feathers, hooves, bones, connective tissues, and beaks. While these are often high in protein, they are very difficult to digest, putting strain on pets’ internal organs. Legally, these ingredients only need to be labelled as “meat derivatives” in the EU.
Herbie Wilde’s food offers a hypoallergenic alternative that not only meets but goes beyond the FEDIAF (European Pet Food Industry Federation) standards. The product is regularly laboratory-tested to ensure it meets nutritional and digestibility expectations. According to Ella, Bertie’s digestive issues went away after switching to the food.
Creating higher standards
A recent study found good health outcomes in dogs fed a plant-based diet, with no impact on factors such as bone mineral content or density. Several other studies have also reported equal or even improved health outcomes in dogs fed a meatless diet.
Furthermore, plant-based foods such as Herbie Wilde’s are far more sustainable than conventional pet food. Studies consistently show that switching pets to a plant-based diet could have huge environmental benefits, saving huge areas of land and water while significantly reducing emissions. Herbie Wilde also uses recyclable and biodegradable packaging, while its headquarters have solar panels, a heat pump, and a wildflower garden.
“Our animals are our little family members, we love them, but we don’t always pay attention to how we’re nourishing their bodies, not like we do our own, and raw food diets can be expensive and not always complete,” said Ella Daines-Smith. “My conclusion was that the highest standards weren’t available in the dog food industry, so with the help of leading vets and nutritionists, who were equally concerned about poor canine diets and life expectancy, I decided to create them. That’s how Herbie Wilde came to fruition.”