Does the first thing that hits your mind while you read ‘dog’s carbon footprint’ is a celebrated dog that gives autographs? Certainly it isn’t. Carbon footprint is a jargon that could well be defined as the emission of total set of greenhouse gasses that are caused by a particular event, any individual, an organization or some product etc.
Does this mean that your favorite canine too emits an amount of carbon?Shocking, but true; it does. Though most of the carbon and greenhouse gas emission is through artificial sources, dogs too contribute in overall emission of gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane etc. What adds in support of this is the study of Victoria University, New Zealand in the year 2009. This study has the outcome that dog’s contribute to the carbon paw print twice more than a typical SUV driven for long distances.
It is said that an average sized dog consumes about 350 pounds of meat and 210 pounds of cereals per year. As a result of this, they produce a considerable amount of fecal matter that is one of the major causes for production of global warming gasses. Thus, it could be said that in regards to production of wastes, dogs could well occupy the second place on earth after the humans.
Environmental Impact of Pets’ Carbon Pawprint:
When a considerable amount of carbon dioxide and other green house gasses are released in the environment, you could yourself imagine what worse it could do to pollute it. Though you debate on the topic that my pet is not the only one that contributes to the same, but as a matter of fact, dogs and cats lend a fair hand in the process. In comparison, dogs have an upper hand in adding wastes to the environment as an average sized dog is comparatively bigger than an average sized cat.
Dogs’ waste is even more hazardous when it reaches the water bodies. Their bowels have the capability to generate a stupendous amount of bacteria in the water-streams, which makes it utterly unfit for drinking purposes of the marine and other animals. The emission of carbonaceous particles scavenges the natural oxygen content of the water, which contributes in eating away the valuable marine life. Pet owners generally adhere to the habit of flushing down their pets’ waste in the toilet that ultimately travels to the large water bodies. This could drastically affect the marine life with the dangerous microorganisms they posses.
Thus it could be said that behind the pets, a significant hand of their masters is present indirectly as well. If the pet owners are a bit careful, they could considerably reduce the emission of dangerous green house gasses. These gasses extensively affect the functioning of environment as they absorb the infra-red radiations of sun and thereafter render the environment warm. Their ill effects could be considered from the fact that global warming has led to melting of polar ice-caps while the level of ocean waters is raised, slowly engulfing the smaller islands and lands.
Reduction of Dog Carbon Footprints:
When the carbonaceous materials are paving to the worsening conditions of the environment, it is the prime responsibility of the pet owners to reduce their pets’ carbon footprints in the atmosphere. There are innumerable ways with which this could be achieved.Some of these are as under:
A Sensible Diet for a Dog:
The food items consumed by a dog are mostly carnivorous i.e. it consists of products such as chicken, mutton, beef or fish. Even the kibbles and appetizers are not spared from the same. All these materials are made up of proteins that contribute significantly in production of carbon.
Vets recommend that your dog’s diet too should be well balanced, similar to the diet of the human beings. This means it should contain all the nutrients such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins etc. in an appropriate amount. An all-protein kind of diet would harm the pet and the environment too. Also, make sure that the food products you purchase are natural, chemical-free and biodegradable, so that they do not destruct the precious environment.
Healthy meals at home: From kibbles to full course meals and even appetizers, you could prepare all the items well at home using the natural ingredients. The bought-up food products may contain materials that are too proteinaceous and thereby, too hazardous. Therefore, you should prepare the food items at home if you want your dear pet to stay healthy.
The most prominent advantage of this method is that you would have a clear touch with the materials that you are feeding your pet. These would free of artificial materials and undue chemicals used for food preservation. An introduction of prescribed vegetables and fruits could be there in the diet which makes it necessary to provide a balanced diet. Though this method is a bit time consuming, you could certainly contribute in lessening the effect of carbon pawprint of your pet.
Scoop up the Poop:
It certainly not a good idea to take your dog for a walk when it ejects stools in the open areas, while you pay no attention to dispose it. Dog’s bowels are the major contributors of the carbon pawprint and these needs to be carefully disposed. If these are subjected in a water body, their chance of affecting the environment multiplies several times. Therefore, a master has to be careful of the dog poop.
You could use a shovel and a bio-degradable bag to pick and keep the dog waste which could be disposed later.
Eco-friendly pet products: all the pets in the world use various kinds of products for bathing, cleaning and as playthings. Pet shampoos may contain a dangerous chemical known as sodium lauryl sulphate and similar is with the other products. These chemicals harm the environment drastically.
Care should be taken that the products you purchase for your dogs should be utmost eco-friendly. Various soaps, shampoos and cleaning products are available that do not employ the usage of chemicals. You could buy these natural materials for better effects. Also, the toys and playthings that you purchase for your pets should not be made up of dangerous plastics. These could be replaced with natural recycled materials which do not pose a threat on the environment.
Spay and Neuter Your Pets:
To increase the population of pets is certainly not a good idea. More animals mean more consumption of resources and more is their contribution in degrading the environment. Therefore it is better to keep a check on their birth.
You could utilize the methods such as spaying and neutering, which inhibit their chances of reproduction and thereby lead to lesser carbon footprints.
Adopt Pets Instead of Buying:
Adoption of pets ensures that stray pets also get masters while masters do not waste their money in buying one. The supreme advantage of this method is that while you would get a pet according to your need, the world would have a pet reduced that needs resources to thrive.
Use Safe Pet Medicines:
The medicines that are used for the pet should possibly be safe for the environment. Dogs are prone to ticks in the warmer months of the environment which require medications to be eradicated. These remedial products may contain toxic chemicals that despite of benefitting the pet, do pose a hazard for the environment.
Therefore, it is better to formulate a check on usage of all these materials. Consult your vet for the reason. Ask him for the availability of materials that do not contribute to the add-up of the pollutants in the environment.
If possible, buy smaller pets: The larger is the size of the pet; more is its contribution towards contamination of environment. It requires a large amount of food and other materials that certainly do not serve the purpose.
Therefore, try to keep the size of pet as small as possible when you bring them home.
Healthy Habits of Masters:
With the betterment in the habits of pets, the masters too need to hold certain things that help to keep the environment clean. Vets suggest that pets should go on dieting regularly so as to have lesser chances of consumption of proteins. With this, the masters too could adopt these steps for a cleaner environment. You could also keep a check on the usage of your cars which emit substantial carbonaceous materials in the environment.
Though these steps look meager but little drops of water certainly fill big vessels, no matter how much time they take. Your embracing of certain steps to reduce your pets’ carbon footprints could help the environment in the reduction of the level of greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane etc. In turn you could benefit your pet and yourself from the hazardous effects of such materials. When you take a single step in the process, it is the start of a huge progression, which otherwise has the capability to devour the world.