It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.
- Like their owners, 53% of dogs and 58% of cats are overweight or obese in the US, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. In Australia, the rate for dogs is 41.1%.
- Even excluding expensive and unforeseen veterinarian visits, the likely cost of owning a dog through its lifetime, as calculated by the UK-based People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, falls in a range of $27,074 to $42,545, depending on the breed. Depending on the food you buy and medical expenses, the costs can be much higher.
- Two German Shepherds raised in Germany use more resources just for their annual food needs than the average Bangladeshi uses each year for all needs. Bangladeshis (and much of the world’s population) cannot afford advanced healthcare, yet a dog raised in North America or Europe can get all manner of expensive surgery or chemotherapy if the owner can afford it.
- Costs of owning a cat, excluding medical expenses, falls in the range of $21,917 to $30,942. With typical premiums going for around $25 a month, buying pet insurance coverage to protect against the cost of accidents or emergency surgeries can tack on thousands to the total.
- Remote video camera treat dispensing systems, designer pet clothes, toys, and burial caskets and cemeteries stoke an annual $55.7 billion pet industry in the US, much of it involving single-use and discarded plastic.
- Dogs and cats are responsible for a quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by animal agriculture, according a new study out Wednesday, which adds up to a whopping 64 million tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent emitted in the production of their food. A medium-sized dog has an ecological footprint twice that of a typical SUV. (The ecological footprint is a different measure than a carbon footprint: it measures the amount of land necessary).
- Size matters. A Jack Russell terrier emits only about 600 kg of CO2e/y, a Labrador 1.6 metric tons, and a St. Bernard as much as 2.3 tons.
- The dog population of just the US alone is estimated at 179 million, larger than the human population of all but 7 countries. If US dogs had their own country it would be larger than some 200 other countries and likely be on the UN Security Council.
Current global response insufficient; 'Transformative changes' needed to restore and protect nature; Opposition from…www.un.org
Governments could facilitate [neutering] by strengthening the pet licensing system, for example, creating a very steep tax on pets (along with pet products and pet food) and tripling that tax for pets that aren’t spayed or neutered (so that only breeders would choose not to fix their pets).***Imagine, for example, if the pet culture shifted away from owning one or more pets per household to more of a “time-share” or Zipcar model? Reserving a play date with your favorite Golden Retriever once a week would reduce pet ownership — and the resulting economic and environmental costs — dramatically as people felt comfortable occasionally playing with a shared pet instead of owning one.
While we’re a long way from that future, a few services that promote pet sharing among pet lovers do already exist, like the online pet sharing platform, Pets to Share, and Californian-based nonprofit, citydogshare.org.