Formulation decisions contribute most to dog food sustainability

a Life cycle assessment of Brazilian Dog Foods has identified formulation as the stage with the greatest impact on the sustainability of the product. Life cycle assessments assess the environmental ramifications of the pet food industry, starting with raw materials, production and distribution, then continuing through the use and disposal phases in the household. Pet owners increasingly want to know about the global environmental ramifications of the food they feed their companion animals. Conducting a life cycle assessment helps determine where pet food brands should focus to reduce their carbon footprint or resource use.

Researchers conducted a life cycle assessment to estimate how the formulation, production and distribution of extruded dog foods in Brazil impacts the environment. Their results were published in Cleaner Production Journal.

Dog food life cycle evaluation research

The researchers took into account the environmental aspects of dog foods from cradle to grave, including raw material extraction, transportation, processing, production, packaging and distribution. Estimates were based on the amount of food needed to meet the energy needs to maintain a weight of 10 kilograms (22 pounds). dog. Environmental impacts were calculated using the ecological footprint method. The production and use of components and packaging materials are designed to suit Brazilian conditions. Data on transportation, processing, distribution, electrical and thermal power generation, water use and waste generation were obtained from company records (2019-2020).

The study found that formulation was the most important factor, accounting for 70% to 90% of total environmental impacts. Some of these environmental consequences have included terrestrial and marine eutrophication, or excessive nutrient buildup, ocean acidification, particulate pollution, and climate change. These categories represent 80% of the total environmental impacts of Brazilian pet foods. Dog food production emitted 88.73 kg CO2 equivalent per year or 1.37 kg CO2 equivalent per kg of food distributed.

The byproducts provided an example of how ingredient selection can be the most important factor in mitigating the environmental impacts of pet food, they wrote. The use of animal meals, such as poultry meal, and plant by-products, such as wheat bran and rice bran, has helped reduce environmental impacts.

By using food products that humans would otherwise throw away, pet food can use resources devoted to agriculture more efficiently.

Dall·e 2024 05 16 11 22 24 Old colored pencil sketch from an explorer's notebook depicting a Fila Brasileiro dog and a jaguar in the Amazon jungle, drawing should contain ViCreated by Tim Wall using DALL-E 3

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