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Listen: your dog’s carbon paw print

8th March 2021
Posted by Ros Connors

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It has been widely discussed during the pandemic that the popularity of pets, and particularly dogs, has increased drastically. There has been concern over people rushing into decisions around getting a pet without having the proper knowledge and understanding about the true responsibility of owning a pet.  Part of this responsibility is around the impact having a dog has on the environment and sustainability. Though according to new research, this is lacking among dog owners generally, with over half (54 per cent) admitting this is not something they have considered.

With over 10 million dogs in the UK and 30% of reared livestock used for pet food, dogs and their food are a huge part of the carbon footprint. Annual greenhouse emissions from dry cat and dog food are found to be 106m tons of carbon dioxide and other recent data has shown that beef, lamb and mutton, ingredients commonly used in dog foods, generate the most greenhouse emissions. However, alarmingly almost a third (30 per cent) of dog owners admitted that they don’t even know what is in their dog’s food which is not only concerning for the environment but the dogs themselves. 

This is particularly surprising among vegan and vegetarian dog owners who while evidently care a lot about the food they consume, are not as worried when it comes to their dogs with almost three fifths (57 per cent) admitting they feed their dogs meat.

Ros spoke to Marc Abrahams TV Vet and Professor Andrew Knight:

Photo by Andreas Wagner on Unsplash

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