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Environmental Impacts of a Pet Dog: An LCA Case Study

  • yavor, kim maya
  • lehmann, annekatrin
  • finkbeiner, matthias
Publication Date
Apr 22, 2020
DOI: 10.3390/su12083394
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The number of pet animals in the European Union is increasing over the last decades. Few studies with a limited focus in terms of impacts and life cycle stages exist that assess the environmental impacts of dogs. This paper addresses the entire life cycle of a dog. An LCA study on an average dog was conducted considering the pet food and dog excrements, i.e., urine and feces. Fifteen impact categories were analyzed. An average dog has a climate change and freshwater eutrophication potential of around 8200 kg CO2eq and 5.0 kg Peq., respectively. The main contribution to most impact categories over the dog&rsquo / s life is caused by pet food. Freshwater eutrophication is mainly determined by the dog&acute / s urine and feces. Feces also have a significant contribution to the category of freshwater ecotoxicity. Impacts increase significantly with increasing weight and a longer lifetime of the dog as well as low collection rates of the feces. This LCA study reveals that pet dogs can have a significant environmental impact, e.g., around 7% of the annual climate change impact of an average EU citizen. Optimizing pet food and increasing the feces&acute / collection rate can reduce the impacts.

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