Owner profiles deduced from dog food buying patterns

Buyers of nonconventional pet foods, such as raw meat formulations, were different from those who bought conventional formulas, like kibble and canned.

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Dall·e 2023 05 09 11 37 07 Impressionist Painting Of Dog Eating
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“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are," Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote in his groundbreaking gastronomy book, “The Physiology of Taste.” Brillat-Savarin penned that phrase in 1825, but perhaps today he would ask what a person’s dog ate to deduce demographics about that person. Researchers working in Brillat-Savarin’s home country, France, observed correlations among dog food purchases and the profile of the purchaser. Purchasing decisions about dog food variety tended to relate to owner’s lifestyles. Buyers of nonconventional pet foods, such as raw meat formulations, were different from those who bought conventional formulas, like kibble and canned.

In the study, the majority of owners feeding nonconventional diets:

  • lived outside the metropole of Paris,
  • had fewer children but more animals at home,
  • dewormed less frequently,
  • had dogs with higher body weight,
  • took dogs more often on a walk and
  • left dogs off-leash more than 6 hours per week.

“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,” the researchers wrote in the journal BMC Veterinary Research.

Survey of pet food buyers in France

The researchers based their conclusions on 426 surveys. Of those survey respondents, 38% stated that their dogs were fed exclusively with non-conventional diets. Of these, 65% declared that the information for formulating the recipes was gathered on the internet or in non-veterinary books.

In the survey. 55% declared using conventional diets alone. Of these, 47% determined how much food to feed by consulting the feeding guidelines on the packaging, while 28% said that the amount of food was prescribed by a veterinary professional.

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