Feeding the nation's dogs: best friends and diet fads

McCormick, W. (Speaker)

    Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch

    Description

    It is often considered a given that our pets are an extension of our families and therefore cared for in an appropriate way but this is not necessarily the case. In fact, the reality of privately owned pets being outside of commercial activities means that as a group they are one of the least protected animal populations and as a result may be subject to many influencing factors when it comes to their care. Animal diets are an obvious example, where the way a pet dog is fed is subject to general legislation, industry influences, economics, education, owner choice and experience, and even fashion trends. The factors influencing the choices that UK dog owners make in feeding their pets was explored using an online questionnaire promoted by the BBC's The ONE Show. Over 36,000 responses were received from owners explaining the diet choices for their pet dog as well as their own diet. Of particular interest were the incidences of both animal-only and animal-free diets being provided to dogs in the UK, and these growing fads can have interesting health and welfare challenges moving forwards which will be discussed here.

    This study featured in two feature stories on the BBC's The ONE Show in spring 2019 and the preliminary data was reported there. A publication is currently being prepared from this full study data set. A follow-on study looking at company compliance with feed legislation is currently underway.
    Period17 Sep 2019
    Held atAnimal Welfare Research Network 4th Annual Meeting
    Event typeConference
    LocationBristol, United Kingdom
    Degree of RecognitionNational

    Keywords

    • dog
    • animal nutrition
    • dog diet
    • canine nutrition