We don’t deserve dogs. They’re too loveable, too loyal, too beautiful and too brave for the likes of us. And yet they graciously allow us to make them members of our families, and – increasingly – treat them as people.

There’s no better illustration of the humanisation of pooches than innovation in petcare. Fido and pals are privy nowadays to the same kind of hip grocery products that we enjoy.

There’s free-from food, CBD snacks, oatmeal shampoo, pomegranate-scented body mist, and even ‘white wine’ (from a brand named, unsurprisingly, Pawsecco).

And as of this week, the category has entered ‘The Future of Protein’ – to borrow Beyond Meat’s strapline. The company’s plant-based Beyond Burger and its rival, the Impossible Burger, are the inspiration for Wild Earth, the US biotech startup that yesterday officially unveiled its high-protein, meat-free dogfood made from renewably sourced fungi.

Read more: Why the rise of the ‘gastropooch’ is no laughing matter

Claiming an industry first, Wild Earth says it wants to rival “the highest-quality animal-based foods on the market” while also loosening “the grip of factory farming and its ruinous effect on the health of our pets and the environment”.

The brand’s new meal – which will roll out in the US from next month – follows its lineup of meat-free treats and, more significantly, great interest from investors. In May, for instance, it secured an investment of $11m (£9m) led by venture capital firm VegInvest.

It’s activity that mirrors the financial fascination with the likes of Beyond Meat, which sparked a frenzy when it went public in May – becoming valued at a jaw-dropping $3.8bn (£3.1bn) on its first day of trading.

Only today, the Financial Times reports that JP Morgan has “flipped” in favour of Beyond Meat, giving it a ‘bull’ rating as its wares are “catching on with consumers”. Bloomberg data shows the Californian plant-based sensation now has one ‘buy’ rating on Wall Street, seven ‘hold’ ratings and one ‘sell’.

It was pretty much inevitable, then, that the allure of fashionable ‘fake meat’ and its money-making potential would extend to dogfood – especially given the compulsion for taking human trends into the animal world.

Indeed, some hi-tech challengers to Impossible, Beyond and, indeed, Quorn are considering expanding their portfolios into pets. Glasgow’s 3F Bio, for example, is looking to make mycoprotein available to Rover and Mittens.

Such ambitions will make for a gripping future for petfood – albeit one not without conflict given the panoply of opinions over what constitutes a healthy and, indeed, sustainable diet for man’s best friend. Is it the meat-free options from the likes of Wild Earth? Or are meaty ‘paleo’ brands such as Poppy’s Picnic the answer?

Oh, and how the heck will all these wonderful innovations fit on to supermarkets’ shelves? We could be about to witness a scrum akin to a pack of terriers fighting over a tennis ball.