6.A.2 - Ammonia emissions from pets

Short description

In addition to non-agricultural sources of ammonia (NH3), this chapter discusses emissions from domestic animals (pets).

This emission source ist taken into account for the first time with the current submission and with dogs and cats as the only two groups of pets covered so far.

Category Code Method AD EF
6.A.2 T1 NS D

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Method(s) applied
D Default
T1 Tier 1 / Simple Methodology *
T2 Tier 2*
T3 Tier 3 / Detailed Methodology *
CS Country Specific
M Model
* as described in the EMEP/EEA Emission Inventory Guidebook - 2019, in category chapters.
(source for) Activity Data
NS National Statistics
RS Regional Statistics
IS International Statistics
PS Plant Specific
As Associations, business organisations
Q specific Questionnaires (or surveys)
M Model / Modelled
C Confidential
(source for) Emission Factors
D Default (EMEP Guidebook)
CS Country Specific
PS Plant Specific
M Model / Modelled
C Confidential

NOx NMVOC SO2 NH3 PM2.5 PM10 TSP BC CO Heavy Metals POPs

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L/- key source by Level only
-/T key source by Trend only
L/T key source by both Level and Trend
-/- no key source for this pollutant
IE emission of specific pollutant Included Elsewhere (i.e. in another category)
NE emission of specific pollutant Not Estimated (yet)
NA specific pollutant not emitted from this source or activity = Not Applicable


Ammonia emissions from pets are calculated for the first time and based on the methodological description of Sutton et al. (2000) 1)and the Guidebook 2023 2). For the complete time series, the emissions are calculated as follows:

EM = AD_(number of pets) * EF_(kg ammonia per animal and year)

Activity data

As there are no official statistics on pets in Germany, data from repeated representative surveys of 5.000 to 7.000 households conducted on behalf of the German Pet Food Association (Industrieverband Heimtierbedarf e.V., IVH, and the Zentralverband Zoologischer Fachbetriebe Deutschlands e.V., ZZF)3) for the period 2012-2022 are applied.

The latest EMEP EEA Guidebook refers to European statistics. The figures for 2021 and 2022 are consistent with those in the publication mentioned above and according to the 2023 Guidebook only the main categories cats (39% by animal catory) and dogs (27% by animal catory) were considered.

Time series for the main categories of pets are obtained by the numbers of the survey for the years 2012 to 2022. Data for 1990 are estimated retrospectively using the number of households (see also https://www.destatis.de/DE/Themen/Gesellschaft-Umwelt/Bevoelkerung/Haushalte-Familien/Tabellen/1-3-privathaushalte-neuer-zeitvergleich.html) and the trend between 1991 and 2013 (+13.9%) is accounted for as a baseline for 1990 animal numbers.

The data for 1990 and 2012 are used to gapfill the missing animal numbers by linear interpolation.

The following table shows the estimated pet population over time:

Table 1: Animal numbers in 106, as of 1990

Cats Dogs
1990 10.80 6.50
1995 11.16 6.71
2000 11.50 6.92
2005 11.83 7.12
2010 12.17 7.32
2011 12.23 7.36
2012 12.30 7.40
2013 11.50 6.90
2014 11.80 6.80
2015 12.90 7.90
2016 13.40 8.60
2017 13.70 9.20
2018 14.80 9.40
2019 14.70 10.10
2020 15.70 10.70
2021 16.70 10.30
2022 15.20 10.60

Emission factors

For the calculation of ammonia emissions in this category, the mean (best estimate) of the emission factors given in Sutton et al. (2000) are used:

  • EFcats: 0.11 kg NH3-N animal-1 year-1
  • EFdogs: 0.61 kg NH3-N animal-1 year-1

The emission factors were converted to the amount of ammonia using the stoichiometric factor of 17/14.

Emission Trend

The following figure shows the development of emissions for the pet-categories dogs (EMdog) and cats (EMcat) as of 1990:

 Annual ammonia emissions from cats and dogs.

In recent years, an increasing trend can be observed, resulting in a mean value (between 2020 to 2022) of 9.92 kt NH3/a or 2 % of total national ammonia emissions reported for 2022. Especially since the Corona year 2020, more people have acquired pets such as dogs.


As these emissions are reported for the first time, no recalculations occur against the previous submission.


For pets the uncertainty of the animal numbers is assumed to be 5% (standard error), and hence 10% for half the 95% confidence interval, with normal distribution.

There is no information on the uncertainty of the emission factors. However, as EF vary between different sources and the amount of ammonia volatilized is based on an assumption, EF uncertainties are expected to be relatively high. Therefore, an uncertainty of 50% for half the 95-percent confidence-interval (normal distribution) is assumed.

Planned Improvement

Currently, no source-specific improvements are planned.

Sutton, M.A., U. Dragosits, Y.S. Tang & D. Fowler, 2000. Ammonia emissions from non-agricultural sources in the UK. Atmospheric Environment 34 (2000), 855–869.