The Truth About the Environmental Paw Print of Dogs (And Cats) and How to Reduce It

Does your adorable furry friend have an impact on the planet? While the exact carbon footprint of our pets is a subject of scientific discussion, one thing has become increasingly clear: no matter how lovely they are, cats and dogs have an influence on the environment.

The earth is warming, the ice caps are melting, and woods are catching fire. In terms of the ecology, it's all a bit of doom and gloom. Thankfully, we gradually realise that every one of us must make significant adjustments in our lives to help safeguard it.

If you are concerned about the environment, you may be wondering how you can lower your carbon footprint. Let’s look at five ways you may help protect the environment by reducing your pet's carbon footprint.


Carbon Footprints and Climate Change

Do you like your dog but are concerned about the impact of their meat-heavy diet on the environment? Reduced meat consumption is one of the best things we can do for the environment, but there are not many alternatives for our ravenous four-legged companions. According to studies, pets are thought to consume approximately a fifth of this earth’s meat and seafood, and their carbon footprint is double or even more than that of a Toyota Land Cruiser.

Pet ownership is now on the rise. About 51% of Indian households own a pet, with 10.9 million cats and 10.1 million dogs. With the epidemic causing a significant spike in impulse puppy purchases, this trend is only predicted to continue. 

India has an estimated 60 million dogs, making it the world's fourth-largest dog population. Kids adore their pets, whether it's a dog or cat, and many people regard them as members of their family. However, pets consume resources such as food, water, medicine, and toys, generating garbage. Thus, many pet owners are concerned about the harm to the environment.

Sustainable Pet Ownership to Improve the Impact

There is no doubt that pets can be the best companion to humans and play a massive role in bringing health and happiness to us. Several studies have also suggested that pets have benefitted those with mental or psychological stress during the COVID-19 lockdown. But do the benefits always outweigh the drawbacks, or have pets become another extension of a consumerist culture in desperate need of reform? We'll look at strategies to lessen your pets' environmental impact, with an emphasis on dog and cat ownership that's sustainable.

  • It will help if you avoid buying or adopting a pet unless you have complete knowledge about them and their needs. Make sure to research well before committing and be sure to provide the money, time, and most importantly, the love that a pet deserves.
  • If possible, you can adopt a rescued or unwanted pet instead of buying them from a breeder. Also, get your pet neutered after consulting a vet.
  • If you're using a breeder, do your homework and stay away from puppy farms. Although it may seem that you are rescuing them from a difficult situation, purchasing a puppy from such a place encourages more unethical breeding.

Best Ways to Reduce Pet Carbon Paw Print

Here are six strategies to lower your dog's carbon footprint:

  • Food Choice 

  • According to researchers, domesticated dogs and cats are thought to be responsible for a fourth of the environmental effect of meat consumption. Don't put them on a vegan diet just yet; our dogs obtain a lot of their nutrition from meat. You may create your dog food and reduce the use of non-recyclable packaging or look for fresh delivery services in your area if you are willing and able. You may also introduce your dog to a dog meal made with locally grown, organically grown fruits and vegetables.

  • Avoiding Overpopulation

  • Nearly 2.7 million homeless dogs and cats get killed every year. Instead, why not adopt one of them? Purchasing dogs from breeders merely adds to the problem of overpopulation. As a result, additional carbon emissions are produced. Spaying or neutering also helps to minimise the number of stray animals.

  • Cut Out Waste

  • The elimination of non-essential items should be your next goal. It's only natural that you want to indulge your dog since they feel like a member of the family. But keep in mind that they have no idea if it's Halloween or Tuesday, and there are several ways to show your affection besides giving them things. Nothing is likely to make them happier than a vacation to the beach or mountains or an additional 10 minutes at the dog park with their friends.

    Set up a toy exchange with other owners if your dog grows tired with new toys soon. Choose toys made of long-lasting natural materials like sisal rope, or get creative and construct your own from broken household objects or clothing. You may even try your hand at crafting your dog treats.

  • Travel with Your Pet

  • We're well aware that flying or driving leaves a significant carbon impact, so why not think about it while travelling with your pet? Instead of taking a plane to another country, you might want to examine other possibilities. Perhaps taking the train or bus across the country? Closer to home, before you put your dog in the car, consider if the journey requires a car or one that can be completed on foot. Because having a dog encourages you to walk, and you should take advantage of this.

    If you must travel, pet-friendly public transportation is always more environmentally beneficial than driving your car. 

    The Final Note

    On the one hand, your pet can be a great companion to you, but on the other hand, their impact on the planet can be pretty high. You can make specific changes to ensure that you and your pet play a part in saving planet earth.