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Vegan dogs could offset UK’s entire carbon footprint

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A recent study from the University of Winchester has attracted a lot of attention due to its findings on the environmental effects of pet food. As reported by yesterday’s Guardian newspaper, the study suggests that if all dogs around the world went vegan, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be more than the total emissions of the UK.

What’s more, dogs and cats eat 9% of all land animals raised for food, which is close to 7 billion animals every year. If all the world’s dogs switched to a plant-based diet, it would save an area of land bigger than Mexico and more freshwater than all of Denmark’s water sources. This could also feed an extra 450 million people, more than the entire population of the European Union.

Professor Andrew Knight, who led this groundbreaking research, emphasised the significant environmental ramifications of pet food choices, saying “Pet owners who care about the environment or their animals’ health should consider nutritionally sound vegan pet food.”

As reported by GoFido, Professor Knight pointed out that previous research undertaken by the University of Winchester shows dogs and cats can do equally well, or even better, on a vegan diet providing it contains the right vitamins, amino acids, and minerals to make sure it’s nutritious. Institutions such as the British Veterinary Association and Blue Cross suggest owners seek veterinary advice before changing their dogs’ diets.

According to Future Market Insights, the global market for vegan pet food currently stands at £11 billion, while the traditional pet food market is valued at £56 billion.

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