Merrick Pet Care, Inc., announced on April 11 that it is launching a new campaign – “Dogs are in Charge” – to recognize and celebrate the special and amusing ways pet parents express their love for their four-legged family members. The campaign taps into the universal truth that dogs are the ones in charge, and reminds pet parents why the rulers of their household deserve the best food ever.

A recent survey of more than 1,000 pet parents (defined as dog owners), which was  commissioned by Merrick Pet Care and conducted online by The Harris Poll, confirmed that dogs are truly in charge. Nearly 7 out of 10 dog parents (69%) agreed that their dog is their favorite member of the household – and female dog owners are more likely than their male counterparts to feel this way (75% vs. 63%). The vast majority of pet parents (92%) agree that
their dog is a part of the family, and their four-legged family members are enjoying the benefits of this special position in the household – most pet parents allow their dog on their furniture (73%) and let their dog sleep in their bed (66%).

“We love our dogs so much that we let them take control of our bed, the couch and our lives,” said Barbara Liss, Vice President of Marketing for Merrick Pet Care. “Our new campaign aims to raise awareness for the Merrick brand and connect with pet parents around the relatable truth that dogs reign supreme.”

Dogs have run the show at Merrick since the beginning. In 1988, Garth Merrick began home-cooking food for his beloved dog, Gracie, to make sure she was eating the most wholesome and nutritious food possible. Since then, Merrick has continued to serve pets well with the best recipes made with real whole foods and leading levels of protein.

“We put a lot of time and energy into crafting the best food ever for dogs and cats. We hand-stuff baby carrots, chicken wings and other high-quality ingredients in select recipes because we believe real, whole foods are better for the pet that rules our house,” added Liss. Merrick Launches ‘Dogs are in Charge’ Campaign. The campaign, which was developed by The Escape Pod, features relatable, real-life examples to illustrate how dogs are truly in charge.

“In the past, dogs worked for people. They herded our sheep and guarded our yards. But today, we bring them food, we bathe them, and give them the best seat on couch,” said Derek Sherman, Executive Creative Director for The Escape Pod. “Clearly, the paradigm has reversed, and dogs are firmly in charge. We set out to prove this with our new campaign for the Merrick brand.”

The launch video features user-generated videos and content where dogs are unapologetically laying claim to their domain. It opens with a lovable pup floating on a pool raft, cuts to an adorable French Bulldog getting comfortable in his parents’ bed and ends with a Great Dane taking a comfortable seat on her mom as she practices yoga. A series of scenes showing pups demanding attention by slamming – or pawing – their parent’s laptop shut is further emphasized with a voiceover that states that dogs are in charge.

The video closes with a look at the higher-quality ingredients, real whole foods and deboned meat that Merrick uses in their recipes and a plea to pet parents to serve them well; when people see dogs this way, this is the food they serve them. 

The Dogs are in Charge campaign will be supported with radio, online video, digital banner ads and social channels. To learn more, visit www.DogsAreInCharge.com.

New Survey Finds that Dogs are in Charge

The Merrick / Harris Poll survey asked pet parents about the loving, thoughtful and hilarious things they do for their dogs. And, the results further confirm that dogs are the ones who are running their world: 

  • A majority of dog owners say they have bought their dogs holiday gifts (62%), and celebrate their birthdays (54%);
  • Nearly seven out of 10 pet parents admit that their dog is their favorite member of the household (69%). And, in households with kids and spouses, this admission still holds true – the majority of parents with children under 18 as well as pet parents that are married agree that their dog is their favorite member of the household (both at 61%);
  • More than six out of 10 of millennial (ages 18-34) dog owners (62%), say they make decisions about social plans based on their dog’s schedule;
  • About four out of 10 pet parents have taken their dog on vacation (43%) and spend more money on stuff for their dog than for themselves (40%);
  • More than three out of four unmarried dog owners (77%) let their dog on the furniture in their home;
  • One out of four pet parents (25%) have bought a car or home with their dog in mind;
  • The majority of Millennial (ages 18-34) pet parents, which is the largest subset of dog owners, think their dog eats higher-quality food than they do (55%);
  • And, nearly one out of five pet parents (17%) have carried their dog or pushed it in a stroller, even when it could have walked on its own

The survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Merrick Pet Care, Inc., from March 28 – April 1 among 2,020 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, of which 1,079 were dog owners. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, is available upon request.