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Quicklook at Dogs by Mel Kavanagh

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Chapter Sixteen: The future

Environmental considerations

With modern concerns about global warming and carbon footprint, attention has been drawn to the prospective “carbon cost” of keeping a dog. Various parameters have been used but one recently looked at dogs and their “Ecological Footprint.” This indirectly assesses carbon impact but considers the landmass of the planet rather than carbon production. The Earth’s size is fixed and the more animals on it the greater the impact. Indirectly it relates to carbon footprint, or pawprint, for our purposes.

The average ecological footprint for people is 1.8 hectares per person. It is 1.1 hectares for a large dog. A German Shepherd has been evaluated as having a greater impact over its lifetime than a ...

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