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Top tips for reducing your pet's carbon pawprint

Did you know that a Great Dane can create an amount of CO2e each year equivalent to return flights from New York to Paris? When we think about reducing the effect of climate change, our pet’s pawprints are easy to overlook. But we can help to reduce our furry (or not!) friends' impact on the environment.
Top tips for reducing your pet's carbon pawprint

The numbers

Yes, Great Danes are large, and they can create up to 4 tons of CO2e every year. However, even an average-sized dog can create a 1-ton carbon footprint each year. Our feline friends have an impact too, with the average, medium-sized cat creating around 310kg of CO2e per year.

Where are the emissions from?

Emissions are connected to food, treats, accessories, vet care, poo bags, and even cat litter.

How can we reduce our pet's carbon pawprint?

1.  Consider your pet's diet

Our pet's carnivorous diet has the biggest impact and creates the most CO2e. To reduce it, consider changing to more chicken or fish-based food, or you could try sustainable insect-based food. Make sure their food is sustainably sourced, for fish, you can check it’s been Marine Stewardship Council certified.

2.  Recycle, recycle, recycle

It’s not just what they eat, but what the food comes in. If your pet eats wet food, tins are a good option as they are widely recycled. If you use pouches, look for a recycling scheme you can take them to. For dry food, most manufacturers use recyclable packaging, so check the food packet for details.

3. Go big

If you’re buying dry food, consider buying large bags where possible.

4. Use the scales

By weighing your pet's food out, you can reduce waste. As a bonus, it can also help keep your pet at a healthy weight.

5. Think about plastic at playtime

There are lots of toys out there now that are built to last or are made from recyclable materials. Try to avoid flimsy or plastic toys that will end up straight in the bin.

6. Plastic-free poo picking

To save on filling up landfill with plastic poo bags, look for biodegradable or compostable options. If all dog owners in the UK switched away from plastic, it would account for about 8.75 billion plastic bags each year.

7. Switch up your cat litter 

You can now buy cat litter made from wood, or even grains. This means it's compostable. Some cats struggle with a change in their litter, so try introducing it slowly over time until they’re comfortable with the new, better-for-the-environment, litter.

We are obviously thrilled to be carbon-neutral, and our support for this incredibly important issue doesn’t stop there. Just making these small but significant changes to how we live our lives with our pets can have such an impact on the world we share with them.

Vicki Wentworth

Agria Pet Insurance / Managing Director

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The Kennel Club Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Agria Pet Insurance Ltd, who administer the insurance. Agria Pet Insurance is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Financial Services Register Number 496160. Agria Pet Insurance Ltd is registered and incorporated in England and Wales with registered number 04258783. Registered office: First Floor, Blue Leanie, Walton Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP21 7QW. Agria insurance policies are underwritten by Agria Försäkring.

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Agria Pet Insurance Ltd is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC). Ref: 0001498. Registered office: As detailed above.

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