Credit: CC0 Public Domain Pet ownership doesn’t have to be so tough on the planet, according to new UBC research. "We should be mindful of what kind of impact pet ownership might have on the environment," says assistant professor Dr. Alexandra Protopopova, NSERC and BC SPCA industrial research chair. She and her team in the animal welfare program at UBC’s faculty of land and food systems suggested several ways to mitigate the impact companion animals have on the environment in a study released earlier this year. In this Q&A, Dr. Protopopova shares why it’s important to make pet ownership sustainable, reduce waste, and more. What role do pet owners play when it comes to climate change? Pet ownership involves making choices in providing care for an animal and sometimes these might not necessarily be the best decisions for the environment. For example, you might opt to own a car and take frequent long-distance trips to provide exercise opportunities for your pet, or you may use more air conditioning or heating to provide an optimal living environment, and use more energy in your home. Or, to provide for your animal’s nutritional needs, you may use products or foods whose manufacturing […]

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