A study released by Victoria University shows that dogs have a larger carbon footprint than SUVs.

Here's an interesting study coming all the way from New Zealand where two researchers from Victoria University are saying that dogs have a larger carbon footprint in comparison to SUVs. Robert and Brenda Vale reached this conclusion by figuring out how much land is necessary in order to generate sufficient food for feeding a dog per year.

Their results are showing that the average mid-size dog eats 3.17 ounces of meat and 5.5 ounces of grain in a 10.5-ounce serving of dry food, while to generate this it takes approximately 2.07 acres of land. They compared these results with a Toyota Land Cruiser with a V8 4.6-liter engine that does about 6,200 miles / year (10,000 km) that would use about 55.1 gigajoules of energy every year, a number which represents approximately 1.1 acres of land annually so 50 percent less than the dog's carbon footprint.

They used the same formula for calculating a cat's carbon footprint and reached the conclusion that it is just about the same as one VW Golf. Other comparisons show a similar impact between a hamster and a flat screen TV, while the impact of a goldfish is just about the same as a cell phone's footprint.

Robert and Brenda Vale have also released a book about their findings, and it's called "Time to Eat the Dog?" Another title could have very well been: "Save the world: Replace dog with SUV".

Regarding the comparison between the dog and the Toyota Land Cruiser, the researchers did not take into account the cost of producing and maintaining the SUV so the analysis is not entirely relevant.


Gallery: Dogs have larger carbon footprint than SUVs, says study