If you love dogs, cats, or both, you’ll be pleased to know you are not alone. In fact, 38.4% of households own a dog, while 25.4% own a cat. And those numbers are consistently growing. But have you ever wondered if your cats or dogs have a carbon footprint (pawprint)?
For many families, their pet is just like another member of the family. It requires food, equipment, and toys to truly be happy. And yes, all of those things have a carbon footprint. In fact. the pet food industry as a whole is massive.
Did you know that pets actually eat 20% of the world’s total meat supply? That, by itself, has a massive carbon footprint that cannot be ignored, not to mention all of the other pet commodities.
The good news is that there are plenty of options to help slash their impact.
How to Slash Your Cats or Dogs Carbon Pawprint
1. Don’t Overfeed Your Pet
It can be really hard to properly manage your pet’s weight just because of how hard it is to say no to them. However, it’s not just important for the environment, but for their personal health. And the US is failing at that.
In reality, 55.8% of dogs are considered obese in the US. And it’s not just dogs that are chunky, as 59.5% of cats are also obese. This can lead to serious health risks that could shorten your pet’s life and cost you thousands of dollars.
Instead, spend time learning the proper amount of food to feed your pet. Every animal is unique, and so is its diet.
2. Choose Sustainable Pet Food
The pet food market is valued at over 110 billion dollars. There are a ton of options and varieties of foods available for your pet. Picking one that not only provides the nutrients your pet needs but also comes from sustainable sources is imperative.
And as you might expect, there are a ton of eco-friendly options to feed your pet. Of course, if you really want to go the extra mile, and who doesn’t for their furry friend, you can actually make your own pet food.
This way you can make sure all of the products are locally sourced to reduce the carbon footprint as low as possible.
3. Buy Sustainable Pet Supplies
While different pets need different things, there is a sustainable option. And in some cases, it can make a massive difference. For example, did you know kitty litter actually comes from strip mines? It’s actually terrible for the environment.
Buying sustainable options for pet supplies can drastically reduce the footprint. Of course, even simpler options like collars, leashes, or toys all have sustainable options. It’s also worth considering second-hand items, as many of these are fully functional.
The good news is that a lot of these are readily available, but be prepared to spend a little extra.
4. Use Biodegradable Poop Bags
While this is probably the least glamorous part of being a pet owner, it’s a really important one. A lot of people, just use the plastic bags you get from the supermarket. And to be fair, this is at least a second use for them.
However, using a bio-degradable bag is really the best option. To be honest, they are much nicer to use than normal plastic bags. They are often made thicker and are easy to tie. And they are not even that expensive.
If you live in an area that requires you to pick up poop, use a biodegradable bag.
Take Care of Your Pet In a Sustainable Way
Everybody loves their pet and wants to make sure they have everything they need. However, that can sometimes lead to us buying things they don’t need or overfeeding them. By following these tips, you can help reduce your cat’s or dog’s carbon pawprint without much effort.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.