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Dogs' Carbon Pawprints Larger than Some VehiclesDecember 25, 2009
Dog and boy in SUV
This golden retriever may have a much larger carbon footprint than the SUV he's riding in.
A pair of New Zealand authors say they have calculated that man’s best friend may actually be one of the environment’s worst enemies.

Victoria University of Wellington architects say the carbon footprint required to feed some medium-sized dogs could be more than what is left by a large sport utility vehicle.

In their book, Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living, Robert and Brenda Vale say that over the course of a year, a medium-sized dog consumes about 360 pounds of meat by products and 210 pounds of cereals.

They reckon it would take 2 acres of land to generate the meat and grain to feed that dog.

Meanwhile, the authors say it would take only 1 acre to produce enough energy to build and fuel a 4.6-liter Toyota Land Cruiser driven 6,200 miles over a one-year period.

The decidedly pet-unfriendly Vales also point out that cats and dogs also devastate wildlife populations, spread disease and pollute.

Photo: Terry J. Alcorn - iStockphoto