Not the pet decides if a food product fits in with its ethic and nutritional preferences. The pet owners purchase that product which suits their pet best. The decision is made on the basis of beliefs about nutrition, diet, ethic and opinion of the company. The choice of pet food can reflect the pet owner’s demographics.
Researchers from France’s National Veterinary School of Alfort (École nationale vétérinaire d’Alfort) have conducted a survey asking dog owners what they feed their pets at the same time collecting their personal data.
38% (162/429) of participants responded that they feed Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF), with prey animal or cook homemade food to their dogs. Most of respondents 55% (235/429) buy either customary wet or dry dog food. Only 7% (29/429) give their dog a mix from both.
The researchers could ascribe the choice of pet food to the pet owners. Respondents who feed unconventional pet food rather live outside Paris more at the edge. They primarily own more pets and less children. Although this group’s pets were bigger, the owners take their dogs for walks quite more often then the other group.
“Moreover, this study shows that veterinarians are rarely consulted as a source of advice by owners using nonconventional diets, which may indicate a lack of trust in French veterinarians on the importance of pet nutrition or a lack of veterinarian’s communication regarding their nutrition competencies,” researchers stated in the journal BMC Medical Research. “These results may help to better understand these populations of owners and improve communication with veterinarians about nutrition.”
According to FEDIAF, there were 7.5 million dogs living in France in 2021 whereas cats were the most popular pet with a number of 15.1 million.