JOURNAL ARTICLE

Preferences of owners of overweight dogs when buying commercial pet food

L Suarez, C Peña, E Carretón, M C Juste, I Bautista-Castaño, J A Montoya-Alonso
Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 2012, 96 (4): 655-9
21732995
Most pet dogs in developed countries are fed commercial diets. The aim of this study was to evaluate the preferences of owners of overweight dogs when buying commercial pet food. The study was a descriptive observational multi-centre study on a group of 198 owners of urban household dogs. Personal interviews were conducted to examine the owners' opinions with questions rating the importance of certain qualities of prepared dog food. Bivariate analyses for comparisons of absolute means between groups of owners of dogs with excess weight (n = 137) and owners of normal weight dogs (n = 61) were made using the Mann-Whitney U-test. A low price (p < 0.001) and special offers (p = 0.008) of commercial dog food were more important for owners of dogs with excess weight than for owners of normal weight dogs. The quality of ingredients (p = 0.007) and the nutritional composition (p < 0.001) were more important for owners of normal weight dogs than for owners of dogs with excess weight. The veterinarian was the most important source of information on dog nutrition for both groups (83.6% for owners of normal weight dogs and 83.2% for owners of dogs with excess weight) (p = 0.88). The owners of dogs with excess weight had less interest in corrected dog nutrition than owners of normal weight dogs (p < 0.001).

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