Fresh pet food platform VetChef is aiming to help pet owners reduce the environmental impact of dog ownership through the launch of its \u2018carbon pawprint tracker\u2019.\r\n\r\nAccording 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.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\r\n\r\nIt is part of VetChef\u2019s commitment to helping pet owners \u201cprioritise the planet\u201d, while at the same time not compromising on their dog\u2019s well-being.\r\n\r\nThe 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.\u00a0\r\n\r\nAccording to VetChef, with the carbon \u2018pawprint\u2019 associated with owning a medium-sized dog \u201croughly twice that of running a typical SUV\u201d, their impact on the environment \u201ccan not be underestimated\u201d.\r\n\r\nVetChef founder and head vet Dr Joe Inglis said: \u201cThe 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.\r\n\r\n\u201cAt 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.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe added: \u201cIn addition to these basic CO2 savings, preparing a dog\u2019s 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.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe added: \u201cThe 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.\r\n\r\n\u201cDried pet foods generally have a CO2 footprint of between 2kg and 10kg per 1,000kcal, whereas in comparison My VetChef\u2019s 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\u2019s diet every week could have a significant impact.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cAt 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\u2019s carbon pawprint through a balanced and nutritious diet of home-cooked food.\u201d\r\n\r\nVetChef 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\u2019s needs.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s the brainchild of veterinary surgeon Joe Inglis, who is a familiar face on the nation\u2019s TV screens thanks to his appearances on The One Show and This Morning.