Dry Food Diet Significantly Reduces The Environmental Impact of Your Pet

According to a Brazilian study, people with dogs and cats can significantly reduce the environmental impact of their pets by feeding them dry food such as kibble instead of food with a higher water content.

A 10-pound dog eats an average of 534 calories a day. If we include the production emissions from that food, a dog on a dry-food diet emits about 828 kilograms of CO2 per year. A dog on a so-called wet diet, the production of which has much more environmental impact, emits as much as 6,541 kilograms of CO2 per year. That's almost seven times as much.

More and more people around the world have dogs or cats at home. For example, the United States currently has some 76.8 million dogs and 58.4 million cats. The study shows how owners can feed their pets more sustainably and still give them enough nutrients and calories.

The scientists examined 816 dog diets and 320 cat diets in Brazil. They compared all kinds of food, from kibble and cookies to meat meals and food the owners had made themselves. They tested the nutritional value of the diet and its environmental effects.

Wet diets for cats and dogs have the greatest environmental impact, especially compared to dry diets. Homemade diets tend to have an average environmental impact, although water consumption for homemade diets is similar to dry diets.

The researchers are excited. "We have found a new way for people to be able to contribute to reducing carbon emissions," they write.