Eight in 10 US dog or cat owners feel that their pets always (24%) or sometimes (56%) eat healthier foods than they do, according to the 2014 Wellness Pet Parent Survey from Wellness Natural Pet Food.
Considering that 82% of owners look for special features when selecting a food for their pet, these numbers may not be all that surprising. The most popular feature sought by pet owners is natural ingredients (59%), followed by digestive benefits (42%) and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives (40%). Dog or cat owners in the US West are the most likely to seek natural ingredients in their pets’ food, significantly more so than owners in all other regions, according to the survey.
Pet owners see their relationships with their pets as highly beneficial, the survey reported. More than half of dog owners credit their pets with keeping them more active (62%) and taking longer walks (55%), and 81% of dog or cat owners believe their pet alleviates stress in their lives. Four in 10 owners attribute pet ownership to making them more social.
These benefits also translate to charity dollars, according to the survey: One-third of dog or cat owners (33%) have a favorite pet-related cause or charity, with the “ASPCA/SPCA” (10%) and “Humane Society” (7%) cited most frequently.
New shelter data casts doubt on whether the pet population and pet ownership are truly growing.
While the pandemic caused unprecedented suffering worldwide in 2020, the disruptions to dogs, cats and other pets adoption numbers may normalize in 2021.