The dog is man’s best friend, but like us humans, our dogs also have a large climate footprint. So is vegetarian dog food the way forward? Can dogs live on plant protein?
Dogs are just as happy with meat as their owners, and therefore they also account for a fair share of the CO2 emissions that our households are responsible for. In fact, a Danish calculation shows that a 10 kilo dog – eg a Danish-Swedish farm dog – emits 1.1 tonnes of CO2 annually.
And U.S. research on dogs’ CO2 emissions done at the University of California shows that American dogs and cats account for as much CO2 emissions as more than 13 million cars emit annually.
So much CO2 your dog emits
Source: Jannick Schmidt from the Center for Environmental Assessment.
2 kg dog CO2
Feed with meat : Emits 326 kg CO2 per year. It emits as much as 1000 kilometers of driving in an average passenger car.
Vegetarian dog food : Emits 4 kg of CO2 per year or the same as 12 kilometers of driving in an average car.
10 kg dog CO2
Feed with meat : Emits 1108 kg CO2 per year. Derives as much as 3500 kilometers of driving in an average car.
Vegetarian dog food : Emits 13 kg of CO2 per year or the same as 41 kilometers of driving in an average car.
20 kg dog CO2
Feed with meat : Emits 1630 kg CO2 per year. Derives as much as 5200 kilometers of driving in an average car.
Vegetarian dog food : emits 19 kg of CO2 per year, or the same as 61 kilometers of driving in an average car.
The climate-friendly dog is a vegetarian
Dogs can live on vegetarian dog food . If you combine some of these vegetable products with a high content of protein, such as beans, with eggs, then you can put together a vegetarian diet for animals, says Charlotte Bjørnvad, who is a professor of internal medicine for dogs and cats. at the University of Copenhagen. Read more about what ingredients dog food should contain .
Lightly cooked dog food is best
The dog’s digestive system can handle carbohydrates and fiber from vegetables well. However, it requires that the carbohydrates are heat-treated, says Charlotte Bjørnvad.
Dogs are like humans. We are not very good at digesting fiber or untreated carbohydrate. So raw potatoes or raw rice we do not really get anything out of, and neither do the dogs. As long as you heat-treat it, potatoes, pasta and rice are real fine sources of energy for the dogs.
Dog food with a lot of meat?
Some people think that dogs should eat a lot of meat because they are descended from wolves and that is why they are designed to eat meat.
And it is true enough that the dog is descended from the wolf, which in terms of metabolism is designed to eat meat, because that was what it lived on. The wolf could not eat heat-treated carbohydrates. But something genetic has happened in the breeding of the dog. After all, a chihuahua does not look very much like a wolf. And inside, there have also been some things where it has become more adapted to eating human food because it has done so for many millennia.
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Switch to more climate-friendly and vegetarian dog food today
While we develop more vegetarian dog food you can try our risotto recipes. By supplementing the delicious meat with rice and vegetables, we can ensure healthy food with a smaller climate footprint.
We have recipes with either chicken and pork as well as healthy vegetables filled with vitamins and minerals. All ingredients come from Nordic farms, so it stays local and we thus support the climate. With MÆT ‘s dog meals, you can be sure that your dog’s food has not been on longer intercontinental flights or sea routes to / from China, which produce enormous amounts of CO2.