Go ECO And Don’t Forget The Dog….
Should We Be Thinking About Our Pet Dog’s Impact On The Environment?
The answer is a clear YES. It is estimated there are over 200 million pet dogs in the world, consuming food and other products daily, so naturally with such significant number of pet dogs in the world, their impact on the environment is of significance.
Over the centuries as human populations have grown, so too have the pet population. It is no surprise that man’s best friend, the dog, is the most loved and popular of household pets. It is estimated that there are around 200 million pet dogs in the world. Research done by UCLA geography professor, Gregory Okin estimates “that dogs and cats in the US alone create about 64 million tons of carbon dioxide and methane annually, which is the equivalent of the climate impact that 13.6 million cars create in a year and consume about 19% of calories a year, which is the equivalent of the number of calories the entire population of France will consume in a year.”
So, let’s sit up and take note; the decisions we take every day to buy our dog’s food, treats, toys etc, all added up to a significant amount consumption which in turn impacts the environment.
As dog owners, we love our dogs and naturally treat them like a member of the family. This should mean, as we humans start to watch our footprints about how much meat we eat, how much damaging chemicals we pump into the environment and how much plastic waste we create, we must remember that our pet dogs too are consumers in the home and have eco pawprints of their own.
Whilst the pet industry hasn’t caught up with the needed and possible changes that can be made to reduce the impact of owing a dog and the impact on the environment, there are many things we can do ourselves and thoughtful, eco-friendly dog products already in the market, that can we can use to reduce paw prints.
For example, we can consider how to reduce the eco impact of food consumed by our dogs. Dogs are carnivores and need protein but can be vegetarians if the food is created with the correct protein, vitamin and mineral composition. For example, Benevo are vegetarian dog food manufactures, they have been creating some time now. If going vegetarian feels extreme, then we can mix veggie with meat or choose products that have been made with the environment and sustainability in mind, such as BECO. Insect protein as dog food and dog treats is a new area of environmentally friendly dog product, which are high in protein with none of the environmental issues of meat.
Plastic waste in packaging is an issue in all areas of life, and no less with pet products. We can certainly significantly reduce plastic waste and chemical usage in our dog products by choosing biodegradable poop bags, natural rubber biodegradable rubber and natural toys and treats that are sustainably sourced. Health and hygiene dog products which are natural and chemicals free will also help the environment.
Every day we make choices, choices for ourselves and our pets, each of these choices matter and make a difference to how we live and impact the environment.
“One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between man and nature shall not be broken.” Leo Tolstoy