If you're keen to reduce your dog's impact on the environment, their diet is a good place to start. And if you're feeding fresh homemade food using the My VetChef recipe planner, you can now easily choosing view the carbon impact of each meal and use this information to help design a diet for your dog that balances nutrition, taste and the environment.
The My VetChef recipe planner works out the absolute amount of carbon dioxide equivalent associated with each recipe - and here are some examples from the system, ranging from the best performing to worst (in terms of carbon pawprint):
Lentil & spinach dahl 0.80 (kg CO2 per 1,000kcal)
Rabbit with carrots & squash 1.40
Orange duck with curly kale 2.70
Butternut beef & greens 13.84
Spring lamb & greens 17.47
Lentil & spinach dahl is a great recipe that combines really healthy veggie ingredients with a super-low carbon profile, making it a great addition to any dog's homemade diet. For a typical 16kg dog, who needs around 1,000 kcal per day, the ingredients for one day are:
250g red lentils
5ml veg oil
To make the dish, simply chop up the carrot and add everything to a pan (including the eggs, without shells). Bring to the boil and simmer for around 40 minutes, stirring regularly until everything is cooked. Allow to cool and serve. If feeding regularly you will need to add a nutritional supplement such as one from the VetChef range to provide essential minerals such as calcium.
At the other end of the carbon spectrum is Spring lamb & greens. It's a great recipe in many ways, providing well balanced nutrition and loads of taste and texture - but it's not a brilliant one for the planet as each 1,000kcal serving is associated with around 20 times as much carbon compared to the lentil dahl recipe above. As part of a well-balanced and varied homemade diet though, it can still be an important recipe and complement less meaty, lower carbon recipes really well.
For a typical 16kg dog, you will need the following for one day:
300g lamb mince
110g spring greens
A spring of fresh rosemary
It's another super-simple recipe to make - just chop up the parsnip and liver, and add everything to a large pan with the water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently with the lid on, stirring regularly, for around 30 minutes until the parsnips are nice and soft. Allow to cool and serve. As with the dahl recipe, if feeding regularly you will need to add a nutritional supplement such as one from the VetChef range to provide essential minerals such as calcium.