Is your pet care planet-friendly?

Is your pet care planet-friendly?

People in North America love the companionship of pets — but those have a big impact on the planet. The good news: what you feed your dog or cat and how you look after it can help reduce your environmental “paw print.”

In Canada, there are about 8.2 million dogs and 8.3 million cats. During the COVID-19 pandemic, anywhere from three to ten per cent of Canadians (an additional 900,000 to 3.7 million) adopted, purchased or fostered a cat or a dog. Pet numbers are much larger in the U.S. — about 80 million dogs and 60 million cats.

Pet numbers are much larger in the United States — about 80 million dogs and 60 million cats.

One study found cats and dogs in the U.S. “through their diet, constitute about 25–30% of the environmental impacts from animal production in terms of the use of land, water, fossil fuel, phosphate, and biocides [and are] responsible for release of up to 64 ± 16 million tons CO2-equivalent methane and nitrous oxide, two powerful greenhouse gasses.”

They also produce millions of tonnes of poop every year, much of it individually wrapped before being sent to landfills. Some poop contaminates waterways with bacteria, viruses and parasites.

 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: David Suzuki Foundation (view full article)