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Our Furry Friends and their Carbon Pawprint

OK, so a tricky subject for this month’s blog – my own carbon pawprint! 

Whilst most of our owners have probably considered their own (human) carbon footprint, I’m not sure many of them have thought about the carbon pawprint of their family pet.  To our utter dismay, research shows some pretty damning evidence to suggest that the pets our British owners love best, the family pooch & moggy, are the worst household pet contributors to climate change, especially dogs (eek!!).  

According to recent studies (reported by Forbes) “Dogs and cats are responsible for a quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by animal agriculture, which adds up to a whopping 64 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted in the production of their food”. Us dogs tend to eat meat, after all, and meat production is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and is even considered to be largest, ie above cars, planes etc. And dogs tend to eat highly processed meat, so their carbon pawprint grows as their food is manufactured, and again as it is transported.

However, did you know that it’s not necessary for us canines to eat meat?  One remarkable example is that of Bramble, a 27-year-old border collie whose vegan diet of rice, lentils, and organic vegetables earned her consideration by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest living dog in 2002. My humans, (especially Nonna Jaqui), will need to stop feeding me those meaty treats and morsels of chicken/beef/lamb when she reads this – arhhhhhhh!!!! 

So, as in an earlier blog (in which our dogs won hands down),  let’s have a little ‘competition’ between cats and dogs.   On the face of it, and because less is more on the carbon pawprint front, this time it’s the pet moggy in the lead as they are reported to have a lesser carbon pawprint than dogs. 

However, there are other factors to consider here (we can’t let cats win and not say something about that), such as walking – we all know it’s good for the environment, right?  Well – have you ever seen anyone walking a cat??  So, get your owners to take you for more walks that don’t use their car!  Also, most cats are prettily readily put in kennels whilst their owners jet off abroad – whereas dog owners (as a general trend) tend to stay in the country and take man’s best friend with them (see earlier blogs about dog-friendly places).  That’s because we are friendlier and just generally nicer to be around than cats too and our owners can’t bear to be parted from us. Plus – if you look at the earlier point about the amazing Bramble, it’s proven that our dogs can actually be vegetarian!  I haven’t seen any proof of veggie moggies!  Soooo Dogs win again :)

So humans, don’t get rid of us pets because of our carbon pawprint, just consider changing the way you think about it. 

If you are interested in making a change, here is a great website to inform our lovely owners how to improve our carbon pawprint.https://www.mnn.com/family/pets/stories/dogs-and-the-environment

And here’s another one that tells you the top 10 Healthy Vegetables for dogs (I swear this dog looks like my sister Bernie – she gets everywhere that dog!! https://www.petguide.com/blog/dog/top-10-healthy-vegetables-for-dogs/




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