Skip to content
How to improve dogs carbon footprint

Climate polluter dog? How you can improve your dog's carbon footprint

Are dogs climate sinners? And if so, how can the CO2 pawprint be improved? If you're looking for answers to these questions, you've come to the right place! Our four-legged friends bring us joy every day. But in times of Climate change we must all pull together and learn together, to live in a more environmentally friendly way - For good reason, this also applies to our animal companions in all situations. A study by TU Berlin has shown that dogs have a significant impact on global warming.

In this article, I would like to show you why this is the case - and how every dog owner can help to significantly improve their pet's carbon footprint. Let's go!

  1. Reasons
  2. Tips
  3. Closing words

Important Notice: I know that this topic can quickly become emotionally charged. That's why it's important for me to mention that this article is not intended to dissuade anyone from taking in a dog. Instead, it is intended to explain why we often hear about dogs as "climate sinners" - and what tips and tricks can be used to make the lives of our four-legged friends much more climate-friendly.

Why are dogs often harmful to the climate?

Are dogs really climate killers?

The Study by the Technical University of Berlin leaves no doubt about what their innocent looks could hide: our dogs are a massive burden on the environment. A dog weighing around 15 kilograms leaves behind In the 13 years of its life, it produces around one ton of excrement and almost 2000 liters of urine in nature. It also emits around 8.2 tons of CO2 emissions - that's the equivalent of around 13 return flights from Berlin to Barcelona.₁ A large proportion of the personal, annual Climate Budgets of a dog owner is eventually already consumed by his own pet.

But why is that? The composition, origin and packaging of the food are decisive for the climate-friendliness of an individual dog. Animal Feed, U Environmental toxins in the Excretions, the quantity and material of the Excrement bag, any toys, as well as the respective Size or breed of the animal. Fortunately, these are also directly very good starting points for Make dog ownership more sustainable.

One more thing: In Germany, there are 10.56 million pet owners with one or even several dogs₂ - and the trend over the last few decades has been rising sharply. The growing absolute number of dogs is also contributing to the image of dogs as climate killers.

How can a dog's carbon footprint be improved?

How can the carbon footprint be improved?

Now our dogs have had to listen to criticism long enough - so let's move on to the things that they (and of course you as their owner) can do better.

1. prefer climate friendly dog food

Surely you know that meat from the Factory farming one of the biggest drivers of the Environmental problems of our time is. Especially the Cultivation and transport of animal feed, the Deforestation of forest areas for pasture and arable land, the Pesticide use, as well as the Methane emissions from cows are problematic from an ecological point of view.

Ideally, therefore, you cook your dog food yourself to keep the Control ingredients and Avoid plastic waste from packaging. However, there are now also suppliers who package sustainable food (e.g. regional fish/regional meat or food made from purely plant-based ingredients such as oats and soy) in paper bags and specifically use natural ingredients. Using raw materials more efficiently want. For example, production surpluses are avoided and only as much protein is added to the food as the dog really needs.

It is best to buy larger packs to reduce packaging waste. Also make sure that you prefer plant-based ingredients, as these avoid the "animal detour" from factory farming.

Also, only feed as much as is really necessary. If your dog is on the cusp of being overweight, this is usually a sign that you can easily reduce the amount and, in turn, reduce the weight. Natural resources can spare.

Good to know: A domestic dog is no longer a wolf. The digestive organs of animals in our households have developed in such a way that they can eat both meat and plant-based foods. Under close observation you can So also feed your dog a balanced vegan diet. But of course you can always make your dog's diet even more sustainable with animal ingredients.

2. use a (sustainable) dog waste bag

First of all, it is important, to use a poop bag at all - whether you are walking in the city or in the countryside. Because the legacies of our dogs are rich in environmental toxins, such as Phospor, nitrogen and heavy metalsthat pollute ecosystems. Possible Pathogens and parasites in excrement can pose a danger to wild and grazing animals, but also to us humans. And one more thing: street cleaning will of course also be relieved if you always collect the dog waste.

And which dog waste bags are particularly climate-friendly? Best you use Paper dog waste bags or Corn starch and dispose of them properly afterwards. For longer walks, you can also use a bag twice from time to time.

3. adopt a dog from the animal protection/animal shelter

Above all, it is the number of dogs worldwide that is a burden on the climate. One of the main reasons for this is the Overbreeding of animalswhich is unfortunately further encouraged by the purchase of breeding animals. That is why it is also extremely sustainable if you show a big heart and buy a Adopt a dog from a shelter or otherwise rescued from the road.

The smaller the dog, the less it pollutes the environment. Of course, you can also use this knowledge when choosing your four-legged friend to make their life by your side as climate-friendly as possible.

4. prefer organic quality dog equipment

He who buys cheap, buys twice. Surely you know this saying - which also applies very well to Leashes, dishes, bowls, toys and other things that your dog calls his own. Durability and sustainability should play an important role in your selection if you want to improve your carbon footprint.

Are dogs climate sinners? It depends!

Climate friendly life with dog is possible

If you have your own Reduce ecological footprint you must not forget the paw print of your lively four-legged friend. Choosing eco-friendly pet food and poop bags, for example, can go a long way toward optimizing it. We hold: A dog can be a climate offender - but it doesn't have to be. I hope that this article has given you the tips you need to improve your carbon footprint with simple means.

Do you have any questions, suggestions or your own experiences with your dog's carbon footprint that you would like to share? Then I look forward to your comment!

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: I have also created a detailed article for you to explain the Improve your dog's behavior at the vet's office. Have fun!

₁ Technical University of Berlin: A dog's life and its CO2 footprint (as of 28.08.2020), available at [10.12.2021].

₂ Statista GmbH: Pet owners in Germany by number of dogs in the household from 2017 to 2020 (as of November 2020), available at [10.12.2021].

Coffee box Suggestions for improvement Newsletter

* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *