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How to feed your dog well and impact the planet less



The climate crisis has led many of us to make changes to our lifestyle in order to reduce our carbon footprint and pave the way for a healthier planet for future generations.


There has been much talk of the impact of intensive farming on the planet, with a focus on environmentally damaging, intensive animal farming practices. However, intensive plant farming practices have been a little overlooked for criticism when it comes to their impact on climate change. Despite the term “greenhouse gasses” being familiar in relation to global warming, the vast expanses of greenhouses and polytunnels that keep the supermarkets full of all manner of plant based produce, year round, certainly has a lot to answer for when it comes to environmental impact.


It's the source that counts

The beauty of providing your dog with a carefully prepared homemade diet is that you have complete control of the ingredients. You can make sure that your dog’s meals are as environmentally conscious as your own. I believe that sustainably sourced food is a great way to reduce your dog’s carbon pawprint.


Rather than labelling specific ingredients as being “bad” and “good” for the environment, look a little closer at the origins and methods by which your dog’s food ingredients are grown and how far they have to travel to land in the bowl. Popular culture suggests that meat is “bad” and plants are “good”, however, if you feed your dog meat, that comes from the same county you live in, that has spent its life living on ancient grassland, woodland or moors that act as a carbon sink, this is certainty more environmentally friendly than feeding him the calorie equivalent of rice or beans, that have been air shipped from China. Beef from a large supermarket, that has been fed soy by-products on a feedlot in Argentina, has a greater carbon footprint than the locally produced, grass fed beef in your local butcher’s shop. The latter is also more nutrient rich, due to the species appropriate diet it eats.


Sensationally seasonal

Eating seasonally is an excellent way for your dog to reap the healthful benefits of an environmentally sensitive diet. Signing up to a local farm shop for a fruit, veg and meat box scheme is an excellent way of ensuring you and your dog have access to seasonal, local food. Perhaps one day a dog specific locally sourced produce box will be available...watch this space!


Seasonal British fruit and veg - safe for dogs to eat


January

Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Parsnips, Pears, Red Cabbage, Savoy Cabbage, Spring Greens, Squash, Swedes, Turnips, White Cabbage.


February

Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Celeriac, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Parsnips, Pears, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Red Cabbage, Savoy Cabbage, Spring Greens, Squash, Swedes, White Cabbage.


March

Artichoke, Beetroot, Carrots, Chicory, Cucumber, Parsnip, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Radishes, Spring Greens


April

Artichoke, Beetroot, Carrots, Chicory, New Potatoes, Kale, Parsnips, Radishes, Spinach, Spring Greens,


May

Artichoke, Asparagus, Aubergine, Beetroot, Chicory, Marrow, New Potatoes, Peas, Peppers, Radishes, Spinach, Spring Greens, Strawberries, Sweetheart Cabbage


June

Asparagus, Aubergine, Beetroot, Blackcurrants, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Chicory, Courgettes, Cucumber, Marrow, New Potatoes, Peas, Peppers, Radishes, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Runner Beans, Spring Greens, Strawberries, Summer Squash, Sweetheart Cabbage, Swiss Chard, Turnips


July

Aubergine, Beetroot, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Blueberries, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chicory, Courgettes, Cucumber, Fennel, French Beans, Kohlrabi, New Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes, Radishes, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Runner Beans, Spring Greens, Strawberries, Summer Squash, Sweetheart Cabbage, Swish Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips


August

Aubergine, Beetroot, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chicory, Courgettes, Cucumber, Fennel, French Beans,Kohlrabi, Mangetout, Marrow, Parsnips, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Plums, Pumpkin, Radishes, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Runner Beans, Spring Greens, Strawberries, Summer Squash, Sweetcorn, Sweetheart Cabbage, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, White Cabbage.


September

Aubergine, Beetroot, Blackberries, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Courgettes, Chicory, Cucumber, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mangetout, Marrow, Parsnips, Pears, Peas, Peppers, Plums, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Raspberries, Red Cabbage, Rocket, Runner Beans, Spinach, Spring Greens, Strawberries, Summer Squash, Sweetcorn, Sweetheart Cabbage, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, White Cabbage.



October

Aubergine, Apples, Beetroot, Blackberries, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Courgette, Cucumber, Kale, Lettuce, Marrow, Parsnips, Pears, Peas, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Red Cabbage, Runner Beans, Savoy Cabbage, Spinach, Spring Greens, Summer Squash, Swede, Sweetcorn, Sweetheart Cabbage, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, Winter Squash, White Cabbage.


November

Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Cranberries, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Parsnips, Pears, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Red Cabbage, Salsify, Savoy Cabbage, Swede, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Winter Squash, White Cabbage.


December

Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Cranberries, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Parsnips, Pears, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Red Cabbage, Salsify, Savoy Cabbage, Swede, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Watercress, Squash, White Cabbage.


Meat, fish and game

Chicken, beef and pork are usually available year round, just ask your local butcher or farm shop. Fresh meat should be cooked before feeding to kill any parasites, if it is to be fed raw it will need freezing for three weeks first, to kill parasites.


Spring

Venison (fallow deer), Wild Boar, Lamb, Wood pigeon

Crab (brown), Dover sole, Hake, Lemon sole, Mussels, Oysters (rock), Pollack, Red mullet, Shrimp, Whitebait


Summer

Beef, Lamb, Rabbit, Venison (fallow deer, roe deer), Wood pigeon

Black Bream, Cod, Coley, Crab (spider), Crayfish, Cuttlefish, Dover sole, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, Mackerel, Pilchard, Plaice, Pollack, Prawns, Salmon, Sardines, Sea bream, Sea trout, Shrimp, Whitebait


Autumn

Beef, Duck, Goose, Grouse, Guinea fowl, Hare, Lamb, Mallard, Partridge, Pheasant, Rabbit, Snipe, Turkey, Venison, Wild Boar, Wood pigeon

Cod, Coley, Crab (brown, spider), Crayfish, Dover sole, Haddock, Halibut, Hake, Herring, Lemon sole, Mackerel, Monkfish, Mussels, Oysters (native, rock), Pilchard, Plaice, Pollack, Prawns, Red mullet, Salmon, Sardine, Sea bass (wild), Sea bream, Shrimp, Skate, Trout, Turbot, Whiting


Winter

Duck, Goose, Grouse, Guinea fowl, Mallard, Partridge, Pheasant, Rabbit, Snipe, Turkey, Venison (fallow deer, red deer, roe deer), Wild Boar, Woodcock

Cod, Dover sole, Haddock, Halibut, Hake, Lemon sole, Mackerel, Monkfish, Mussels, Oysters (native, rock), Plaice, Prawns, Red mullet, Sea bass (wild), Sea bream, Skate, Whiting


Support local farms - and help the planet

The UK has an abundance of produce that you can source locally and seasonally. You can also buy organic or regeneratively farmed produce. Regenerative agriculture is becoming more popular as awareness of this important way of farming grows. Outside of factory and intensive farming, many UK farms practice regenerative agriculture in some form. The more these lower impact farming practices are supported, the more sustainable food will be available, meaning your dog can access the most nutritious and planet friendly food around!



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