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Infographic Design: Are pets bad for the Environment?

Are pets bad for the Environment? This Infographic Design for the Less is More organization, illustrating some of the environmental impacts of pets.

Are pets bad for the Environment?
Are pets bad for the Environment?

We also created a taller version for sharing on Pinterest and other applications. Feel free to share and re-pin these graphics, to help spread the word that Less is More. Some of the pet facts that Less is More wanted us to illustrate in this graphic include:


Pets damage doors, door frames, and trim, chew shoes and other items, which means that they more quickly and often end up in the landfill.


Dogs and cats eat about 25% of the total meat calories in the United States! American cats and dogs rank 5th in global meat consumption!


Our pets’ shedding, dander and debris brought in from outside build up and clog HVAC filters and ventilation, causing them to work harder resulting in more frequent repairs and replacements.


Quickly destroyed toys, shoes and other items also fill our landfills.

Millions of bags of feces (even in compostable bags) fill landfills and cannot break down.

In just the USA alone, 83 million dogs produce 10.6 million Tons of poop a year.Most of this is getting bagged in plastic and thrown away into landfills. Our 90 million cats generate enough waste to fill more than 5,000 football fieldsten feet deep!


Cats kill up to 3.7B birds annually. About a third of the 800 species of birds in the USA are endangered, threatened or in significant decline, according to the American Bird Conservancy.


Not only do they dig holes, dogs oftendamage or destroy plants, shrubs, trees,fences and other property.

So what are things you can do to help your pets to have less impact on the environment?

We know people love pets, so it's hard to quit cold turkey! But here are things you can do to cut down on the environmental impact:

  • Leave dogs outside (giving them shelter from the heat and cold of course!) This will save your carpets, flooring, and other indoor features from the wear and tear of dogs. This also allows them to go to the bathroom, keeping unwanted accidents from happening inside the house. Most dogs don't WANT to pee or poop in the house, but if they are locked inside for 8 hours while their owner is working, sometimes accidents happen. And boy, sometimes they sure do feel guilty about it!

  • Keep cats, however, indoors: This will keep them from hunting and killing what is left of our songbirds. Brush your cats regularly to remove dander and hair to keep it from clogging your furnace or AC units.

  • Consider composting dog waste! Yep, that's how our parents and grandparents used to do it – they buried it in the yard. Before single-use plastic bags became main stream, no one would have thought to bag up and throw away poo. Want to learn more? Here's a great read about composting your dog's waste:

  • Consider having less pets, one pet is better than 2, or 3 or more!

  • Spay & Neuter your pets! This cuts down on unwanted pets.

  • Consider Natural Pets: By natural pets, we are referring to outdoor wildlife such as the birds and butterflies who visit our landscapes. Read the book Nature's Best Hope by Douglas Tallamy, who talks about how we can nurture and take care of our natural pets by planting native plants in our landscapes. Native plants will attract lots more birds so that you can have some garden friends every time you're outside or look out the window. What a nice thought!

  • Stop buying cheap toys for dogs and cats to destroy: Consider the simple stick. If there is anything dogs love, sticks have to be on the top of most dog's list! Chewing on a stick can can alleviate your dog's tooth pain (if they have any), and keep dogs from chewing on other things (like patio furniture, for example). Sticks also are great for playing fetch! That said, eating sticks can result in some serious harm to your pooch, so make sure they're not chewing them up, causing splinters to get into the mouth or ingested. If you buy toys, try to avoid buying plastic toys or synthetic materials, think: organic dog chews or balls instead of stuffed animals.

Please feel free to share these infographics – if we all work to reduce our carbon footprint, we can live more sustainably and relieve some of the pressure on our overtaxed landfills and environment. Less is More.

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Infographic Design As an Infographic Designer, I work with clients to design and illustrate visual graphics to quickly communicate ideas and information. View more of my Infographic Design Examples »


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