Seriously, how much CO2 does my dog generate? I’m thinking the whole package: The energy needed to produce her food, the plastic bags I put her crap in, toys, flea-spray etc.
The only semi-relevant hit I got in Google was an uncited post in a forum:
It’s a little complicated… For every kilogram of food your dog converts into carbon dioxide and water, somewhere there’s a farmer who converted that same amount of carbon dioxide and water into dog food. So animals (including humans) eating and respiring doesn’t have a net effect on the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. By contrast, when your car turns a liter of gasoline into carbon dioxide and water, there isn’t anyone anywhere converting that carbon dioxide and water back into gasoline (or at least, not at anywhere near the same rate).
Now, dogs (and humans) do still have a carbon footprint, in so far as fossil fuels have to be burned to transport the dog food and such, but that’s difficult to measure, especially since most of the energy consumption the pet needs, you’d be using anyway. The pet needs protection from winter weather, for instance, but you’d be running your furnace with or without the dog (and in fact, if the dog sleeps at the foot of your bed, you might be able to get away with burning less fossil fuels in your furnace).