Fresh pet food platform VetChef is aiming to help pet owners reduce the environmental impact of dog ownership through the launch of its ‘carbon pawprint tracker’.
According to the group, the tracker enables owners to make informed decisions on pet nutrition by analysing ingredients to give recipes a low, medium or high carbon pawprint rating.
It is part of VetChef’s commitment to helping pet owners “prioritise the planet”, while at the same time not compromising on their dog’s well-being.
The launch follows a surge in pet ownership during lockdown, with 5.7 million new animals welcomed into homes between March and September last year. According to research from the PFMA, 2.2 million of these pets were dogs, beginning the total pet dogs to nine million across the nation.
According to VetChef, with the carbon ‘pawprint’ associated with owning a medium-sized dog “roughly twice that of running a typical SUV”, their impact on the environment “can not be underestimated”.
VetChef founder and head vet Dr Joe Inglis said: “The launch of our carbon pawprint tracker is a real game-changer for pet parents who are looking to drive down the environmental impact of dog ownership.
“At VetChef our mission is to support pet owners who are joining the growing numbers of people feeding their dogs a diet of fresh, homemade food. It is intrinsically more eco-friendly than processed foods, as there is less energy-intensive processing involved, less oil-based packaging, and less food product miles.”
He added: “In addition to these basic CO2 savings, preparing a dog’s food at home means owners have the opportunity to move their dogs to a flexitarian or even vegetarian diet without impairing their nutritional wellbeing. And this can have a massive impact on the overall carbon pawprint of a dog.”
He added: “The food our pets eat has a massive environmental impact. Research has shown that dogs in the USA alone are responsible for emissions equivalent to 13million cars, which equates to 64million tonnes of CO2 a year.
“Dried pet foods generally have a CO2 footprint of between 2kg and 10kg per 1,000kcal, whereas in comparison My VetChef’s lentil and spinach dahl recipe has an impact of as little as 0.8kg per 1,000kcal. Just including one or two low-carbon homemade meals in your dog’s diet every week could have a significant impact.”
“At VetChef we are determined to help pet parents drive down the environmental impact of dog ownership, by showing them how simple it can be to reduce your pet’s carbon pawprint through a balanced and nutritious diet of home-cooked food.”
VetChef is a platform that helps owners feed their pets a diet of all-fresh, natural produce through a bespoke recipe plan tailored to each individual animal’s needs.
It’s the brainchild of veterinary surgeon Joe Inglis, who is a familiar face on the nation’s TV screens thanks to his appearances on The One Show and This Morning.