Canine Environmental Impact – What All Pet Parents Need to Know

Many people adore pets and a vast majority of households in the US keep a pet at some point. But is it always a great idea? Canine environmental impact is a real problem.

Certain findings have come to light that show the impact that pets may be having on our environment.

Here is what you need to about canine environmental impact.

Canine Environmental Impact

While your cuddly and lovable pooch may be the best thing you ever had in life, your pet dog is not exactly good news for the environment.

The unsavory truth is that pets have multifold impacts on the environment.

Canines can transmit disease and their waste can pollute waterways. The waste that pets create is bad for marine life and the fragile ecosystem.

Diseases like toxoplasmosis can be very detrimental for human beings especially ones with a severely compromised immune system.

Food Production for Canines

Food production for millions of canines in the US is also a major cause of concern. Factory farms are are bad news for the environment and animal welfare. Not only do these canine food production facilities harm the environment, but they also cause suffering and distress to animals raised for food.

Animals raised for slaughter are kept under terrible conditions. These animals have to be fed large amounts of food before they end up on Fido’s plate. Factory farms, therefore, give off millions of tons of carbon dioxide which is leading to global warming.

There has been a lot of debate on how America’s meat-eating habit is adversely impacting the environment. Human beings are roundly criticized for their ravenous and ever-growing appetite for flesh.

But what most people don’t know is that canines are responsible for a significant percentage of this meat consumption. Taken together, largely carnivorous cats and dogs account for about a quarter of meat consumption in the US.

Such a high amount of meat consumption by pets also means the release of 64 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is as much carbon dioxide as that given off by more than 13 million cars each year. That’s not going global warming any good.

The numbers are staggering. The sheer number of dogs and cats in the US means is that they are eating the equivalent of entire nations. In fact, pets eat the same amount of meat in the US as in France.

If all the fluffy pooches and kitties in the US were taken as one nation, then this nation would rank fifth worldwide for meat consumption. That is a lot of meat-eating.

While there is a lot of talk about how human beings should curb their voracious appetite for meat, there is no mention of these key facts. Any talk about reducing meat consumption is meaningless unless there is a discussion on pet food consumption.

Pet owners are choosing to go vegetarian or at least reduce the amount of meat they are consuming. But these very same pet owners are also buying pounds of meat to feed their dogs. Sadly, vegetarian diets are not an option since dogs and cats are carnivores.

Canines and Hygiene

Dogs also have a very bad impact on hygiene. Dogs and cats generate a whopping 5.1 million tons of feces. Not only is this highly unsanitary, but it is also a cause of environmental concern because this leads to the creation of large amounts of carbon dioxide.

This is as much feces as that generated by 90 million Americans.

The meat in dog food requires copious amounts of precious resources to produce like water, land, and energy. It also creates diverse negative impacts due to the effects of pesticides, waste, and soil erosion.

There is also a trend towards keeping larger dog breeds. This is obviously going to make matters worse since big dogs can eat as much food as several smaller dogs.

Solution for Canine Environmental Impact

One solution would be to recommend smaller dog breeds since they consume less meat.

Also, pet owners need to make food choices for their pets that are optimal for their dog’s health as well as the environment. They should talk to their vet about feeding their dogs a diet that has less meat.

While wolves need an all-meat diet, most dogs don’t. Thus, depending on your dog breed, the vet may be able to recommend a healthy diet for your dog that is suitable for both canine health and the environment.

The sad fact is that people don’t know about these facts since most if not all their information comes from pet food marketing. Pet food brands have a vested interest in raising meat consumption since this means a higher profit margin. Pet food brands can offer higher prices with more meat in their ‘premium’ pet food products.

Instead of relying on pet food marketing, it is better to consult with your vet on how much meat is really necessary for your dog. The vet will suggest a pet food product that has enough meat to suit your dog.

Another important step that pet owners should take is to always clean up after their dogs. Not only do they look bad, but dog feces are also toxic since they spread dangerous pathogens.

Taking full care to implement these countermeasures can help to mitigate the canine environmental impact

And what is the most important thing that you can do to fix canine environmental impact? Inform others about this issue. Most people are simply oblivious to the facts and figures.

Begin by informing environmentally conscious pet owners. You should also tell about these facts and countermeasures to anyone who wants to bring a dog home.

You should also patronize pet food brands that are working for environmental sustainability.

by Bobby J Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration: