Factory farming is a big problem in terms of climate. For this reason – and of course for reasons of animal welfare – it makes sense for us humans to avoid meat consumption as much as possible. Our beloved four-legged friends, cats and dogs, are also part of this industry. So how can you feed your pet sustainably? Is there sustainable dog food?
How sustainable is conventional dog food?
The fact is, much of the conventional food has a negative impact on the eco-balance and is anything but sustainable. The production of the various feeds costs an enormous amount of energy and the meat used (or meat waste) usually comes from factory farming.
Anyone who has ever dealt with this issue knows under what catastrophic conditions the animals have to “live”. Accordingly, switching to sustainable food is a huge step towards a positive ecological balance.
How can I feed my dog sustainably?
In principle, a species-appropriate diet should be chosen for the dog and this consists to a large extent of meat.
- To make feeding more sustainable, it is advisable to avoid conventionally produced food (dry and wet food) or to pay close attention to the origin and production. A good alternative is to prepare the food yourself (please prepare the portions in advance with a nutritionist in order to prevent nutrient deficiencies). Cheap ready-made food in particular comes to a large extent from factory farming.
- It is important to pay attention to the origin of the meat. Long transport routes make the climate balance even worse and animal welfare suffers enormously.
- Choose vegetables and fruits from regional and seasonal varieties.
- If you don’t want to or can’t completely do without ready-made food, but still want to reduce the meat content a little, you can plan meat-free days for your dog.
- On these days, for example, you can use a vegetarian/vegan dog food. Dogs can cope very well with these meat-free days. If your dog is sensitive, make sure to change the food slowly and see how your pet tolerates the new food.
- ATTENTION: Cats do not! As pure carnivores, a vegan/vegetarian diet is virtually impossible for cats! So a meat-free day is virtually unfeasible here.
- When choosing meat, pay attention to the offal. Nowadays, people hardly ever eat offal or, for example, the head meat of a cow (because it is so fatty). For dogs, however, this “waste” is a real delicacy and offal such as liver, kidney, spleen and lungs are even essential. So if we feed meat that is not or poorly suited for human consumption, at least the whole animal is utilised and nothing or only a little is thrown away.
- A healthy dog can also be fed conventional food made from insects one or two days a week. Insects can be kept in a very small space and are far less costly to produce than beef.
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- However, chicken meat sometimes sneaks in with insect food, so make sure you read the declaration carefully. This would not ensure sustainability and would also be a problem for allergy sufferers.
- So always pay attention to the list of ingredients. Only an open declaration provides exact information about all ingredients used.
- If conventional food is fed, you can also pay attention to the choice of packaging: Buy dry food in a paper bag and stock it, for example, so you produce less plastic. Buy wet food in a jar and simply reuse it for various purposes.
- Look for quality in the manufacturer of the ready-made food. Cheap food from the discount store around the corner simply cannot do justice to the species-appropriate feeding of a dog.
If you have any questions, you can always contact a dog nutritionist.
Sustainability is a topic that is becoming more and more popular. There is a good reason to say that the actions of us humans have an enormous impact on the environment. When feeding our beloved dogs, we as individuals can also make an important contribution to sustainability by paying attention to certain things when choosing food.