Choosing pet food

Goals

To find information on the factors that pet owners consider when choosing food for their cats and dogs. Information to be researched will include: What influences the decision of pet owners and whether their reasoning is different if they've had a pet before and whether first-time dog owners have different criteria for buying specific foods as opposed to experienced ones.

Early Findings

  • Pet owners are very passionate about their dog or cat’s diet and the pet food choices they’ve made i.e. whether it’s a home cooked or raw meat diet, treats or supplements, or the many other pet food trends and practices that have been in the industry in the last few years.
  • Americans love their pets and spend a significant amount of money on them. This is evident from the more than $75 billion spent on pets in 2019, where $31.68 billion was spent on pet food.
  • Currently, persuasive marketing claims made on "nutrition, diets, and ingredients have made it challenging for even the best-intentioned pet owners to make good decisions."
  • Marketing has resulted in confusion leading to pet owners making pet food decisions with a basis on marketing information over solid facts.
  • In reference to a recent research study, dog owners reported that making a choice on the right pet food was the most difficult part of pet ownership.
  • A survey that received over 2,100 responses reported that more than 40% of the surveyed pet owners indicated that "buying healthy food for their pets was even more important than buying healthy food for themselves."
  • From the results of the above survey, a key consideration when purchasing pet food is the health factor of the foods.
  • One of the current trends in pet food choice is in how more Americans are increasingly feeding their dogs and cats fresh foods.

Proposed next steps:

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