Food trends of pets, especially dogs in 5 developed countries
Dog food quality is the top criterion when choosing a product
A recent survey conducted among dog owners in Europe and North America reveals that product quality and nutritional value are highly valued, with dry food and treats being popular choices.
A recent survey conducted by Pets International magazine and Yummypets, an online community for pet owners, shed light on the preferences of dog owners regarding their dog feeding habits in several countries, including Belgium, Canada, France, the U.K., and the U.S. The survey revealed that the majority of dog owners, accounting for 60% of the nearly 1,500 respondents, consider the quality of dog food as their primary criterion when choosing a product.
While quality ranked highest, other factors were also taken into account when selecting dog foods. Nutritional intake was a significant consideration for 50% of the respondents, followed by price at 42%, health benefits at 29%, and flavor taste at 23%. These findings indicate that dog owners prioritize the overall well-being and satisfaction of their pets when it comes to their dietary choices.
Interestingly, a separate survey conducted by Mintel among pet owners specifically in the U.K. revealed that 60% of the participants prioritize health benefits when selecting pet foods. Although a direct comparison between the two surveys is not possible due to the difference in scope, with one focusing on dog food purchasing across multiple countries and the other on pet food in general within a single country, it is intriguing that health did not rank higher in the Pets International/Yummypets survey. However, the findings did reveal that 62% of the U.K. respondents pay attention to the ingredient list of dog food, considering factors such as nutritional value, health benefits, and ecological impact.
Trend of buying kibble at mid-range prices for dogs
The survey also explored the preferred feeding methods among dog owners. It was found that the majority, 65% overall, preferred feeding their dogs dry kibble. Notably, dry dog food was particularly popular among French respondents (83%), followed by Canadian (75%) and Belgian (68%) respondents. Additionally, more than 30% of the total respondents mentioned feeding a combination of wet and dry dog food, with this practice being most prevalent in the U.K., where 56% of the owners followed this approach.
Dog treats were also a popular choice among dog owners, with 63% of all respondents providing daily treats to their dogs. It is worth mentioning that the proportion of dog owners giving daily treats was even higher among U.K. respondents, reaching 75%. Only a small percentage, 2% of the overall respondents, stated that they do not give treats at all.
When it comes to the price range of dog foods, mid-priced and premium options were the most commonly purchased among the surveyed dog owners, accounting for 40% and 37% respectively. On the other hand, a smaller proportion of dog owners opted for super-premium (9%) or “low-cost” (7%) dog food. Among the different countries, owners in France (46%) and Canada (41%) were more likely to feed their dogs premium dog food, while 47% of U.K. owners preferred mid-priced products.
Considering the importance of nutritional intake in selecting dog food, several specific qualities stood out for these dog owners. Balanced food intake was a priority for 70% of the respondents, followed by easy digestion at 56% and maintaining a healthy skin and coat at 49%. These findings underline the concern dog owners have for their pets’ overall health and well-being.
Different protein sources for dogs
The survey also explored the preferences for different protein sources in dog food. Half of the respondents named beef as their preferred protein, followed by salmon (44%), lamb (38%), and duck (30%). In contrast, wild game, veal, trout, and other fish were each chosen by fewer than 20% of the respondents. However, 65% of the surveyed dog owners expressed openness to buying dog foods with alternative proteins, such as egg (77%), vegetables/plants (63%), or algae (61%). Notably, insect protein did not rate as well among respondents, with only about half considering feeding their dogs such protein, while more than 20% expressed no interest.
Interestingly, the survey did not explicitly mention chicken as a named protein option. This absence raises questions about whether it was intentionally excluded or inadvertently left out in the report by Pets International. It is difficult to believe that none of the respondents mentioned chicken as a preferred protein for dog food, given its widespread popularity as a protein source for pets.
In conclusion, the survey conducted by Pets International and Yummypets provides valuable insights into the preferences and priorities of dog owners in Belgium, Canada, France, the U.K., and the U.S. when it comes to selecting dog food. Quality emerged as the top criterion, followed by factors such as nutritional intake, price, health benefits, and flavor taste. The majority of dog owners preferred feeding dry kibble, with treats also being a popular choice. The survey highlighted the inclination towards mid-priced and premium dog foods, with specific qualities such as balanced food intake, easy digestion, and a healthy skin and coat ranking high among the respondents’ considerations.