How green is that doggy in the window?

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A puppy sits in a recycling bin.
In the past few years, the nation as a whole has worked adamantly to reduce its carbon footprint—but many have overlooked the carbon pawprint of their pet.

ABC News reported that pets may have a larger carbon footprint than even an SUV.

“There is no question but that pets do exert a claim on resources,” Lester Brown, President of the Earth Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. told the news source.

“Dogs and cats are carnivores so they consume meat,” he said, adding that meat requires a large amount of land and energy to produce, hence leaving a larger carbon footprint.

New Zealand Scientists Robert and Brenda Vale told ABC News that a mid-sized dog eats approximately 362 pounds of meat each year— and estimate it takes about 1.67 miles of land just to produce 2.2 pounds of chicken.

But your animals’ food isn’t the only thing that may be adding to their carbon pawprint.

According to the Morning Sun news website, there are many things you can do as a pet owner to help keep the environment intact, like buy organic pet food and look for biodegradable doggie bags.

Allecia Vermillion of Gatehouse News Service wrote that Earth-friendly versions of pet supplies are growing more and more popular.

“Just like human products, items for pets are getting all sorts of green makeovers,” she wrote.

Some options Vermillion suggests are Earth-friendly cat litter and natural toys, treats and dog collars.

“Pet stores sell a host of naturally crafted toys and treats,” Vermillion wrote.

When it comes to opting for more environmentally-friendly pet food, Vermillion wrote that there are now more options than ever.

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“Like people food, pet-food manufacturers are offering a wider range of dog and cat food using more natural ingredients and production methods as well as sustainably raised meats.”

For more information about organic foods that may be good for your pet’s health and the environment, as well as Earth-friendly products, ask your local pet supply retailer which options are available in your area.

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