WATCH: What if your dog’s diet could help fight climate change? New research suggests getting dogs on a vegan diet could curb carbon emissions. Isabelle Raghem reports.
Clover Point Park in Victoria is pooch paradise with an open space for dogs to run and play.
Owners know a hearty meal is essential to refuel before a dog exercises. However, a new study suggests meat-based pet foods are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
The research shows in the U.S. alone, up to 70-million tons of carbon are released every year from the production and consumption of pet food. It suggests getting your dog on a vegan diet could significantly curb those emissions.
“We know that that food is incredibly unhealthy for us, it’s a horrible situation for animals and of course for the planet,” said co-founder of the Vancouver Island Vegan Association, Corie Kielbiski.
The local activist says her terrier mix thrived on a plant-based diet for years, before dying of unrelated complications. She says put him on a vegan diet not only for the health benefits but also for the environmental benefits.
“Reducing our meat consumption, not eating animals is a really easy way to reduce our environmental impact and following suit with our pets can also really help,” said Kielbiski.
Jane Styles says her niece has had rescue dogs on a vegan diet for years.
“Their coats are amazing, very regular, very happy and a lot of them are old race dogs. They have basically died and gone to heaven with her and with her new diet,” said Styles.
Proponents of the vegan food say their dogs get protein from chickpeas, lentil and sweet potatoes.
Experts urge owners talk to their vet before switching their food. They also say cats should not go on full vegan diets.