Home > American Pulse, Consumer Behavior & Trends > A Dog’s Life is for the Birds: “Low Price” Isn’t Key When Buying Food for these Family Members

A Dog’s Life is for the Birds: “Low Price” Isn’t Key When Buying Food for these Family Members

Dogs have been described as loyal, loving, protective, happy, companions, smart, even a little spoiled. But is Fido really man’s best friend?

What ONE WORD best describes your Dog?

What ONE WORD best describes your Dog? Owners were most likely to say “Loyal” or “Loving.”

In our latest American Pulse survey, we posed this very question to the portion of our nearly 4,000 respondents who reported they were dog owners (46.0%). Not too surprisingly, the majority of dog owners somewhat or strongly agreed (63.4%) that their dog(s) was indeed a “best friend.” But the really interesting part? More dog owners (66.8%) were willing to acknowledge that their four-legged friend(s) seemed “more intelligent than some humans I know.” [I wonder if a similar proportion of dog owners feels the same way in more educated countries.]

While many dog owners weren’t ready to cop to best friend status with their canine companions, they were willing to toss Fido a bone. The vast majority of dog owners (87.7%) agreed that they were proud to call their pooch(es) “family.”  Now as for [insert “choice” family member here], that’s another story…

Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding the Dog(s) in your household.

In addition to family member status – or perhaps because of this – health is a top priority for our cherished canines (according to 87.6%). And, in an economy where many shoppers have been opting for generic brands, couponing like crazy, and zeroing in on lowest prices to keep food on their own tables within budget, it’s interesting to note that a “low price” isn’t the top reason to buy a particular brand of dog food. In fact, this penny pinching motivator barely cracks the Top 10 (#9 with 12.4%). Instead, the majority of dog owners (49.4%) most often choose the “brand I trust,” followed by “taste/dog seems to like it” (40.5%). Money does enters the purchase decision with 33.9%, but because the dog food brand is a “good value.” Quality ingredients (27.0%) and nutritional value (25.8%) round out the Top 5. Side note: fewer than one in ten (9.2%) are motivated to buy a particular brand of dog food because it’s natural or organic.

For which of the following reasons do you buy a particular brand of Dog Food most often?

A few other facts related to Fido:

Purina is Top Dog. Purina (i.e. Dog Chow, Beneful, ONE, etc.) is the dog food brand purchased most often by the largest proportion of shoppers (25.3%), while Pedigree (12.9%) and Iams (8.3%) follow. Fewer than one in ten (7.3%) opt for a Natural/Organic brand like Blue Buffalo, Nutro, Orijen, etc., while just 5.0% buy Walmart’s Ol’ Roy most often.
Gen Y Might Have an Attitude Problem. While nearly three-quarters of owners say their dogs are well-behaved, this number lowers to 68.8% among Gen Y. These youngsters are also less likely than their older counterparts to regularly exercise their furry friends. Hmmm…
Keep Calm and Carry On. Most (81.4%) agree that their dog is a comfort to them or helps relieve stress. This is especially true among Boomers (84.6%) and Silents (88.2%).
Empty Nest, but Cozy Canine Companionship. Among members of the Silent generation, nearly all (94.1%) admit that their dog is a member of the family, higher than any other generation. Seven out of ten (70.0%) in this group are also best buds with…well…Buddy, higher than the overall average.
Spare the Rod, Spoil the Dog? About three out of five dog owners (58.2%) confess that they overindulge their dogs with treats and toys. Perhaps too busy spoiling their children, Gen X-ers (54.5%) are the least likely to admit to this.

Girl's Best Friend - All Bark and No Meow

Girl’s Best Friend – All Bark and No Meow

And what’s the best part about dogs? They aren’t cats.

For more information on this data, please contact BIGinsight™.

* Generations were defined for this analysis in the following manner:

Silent (born 1945 or earlier)
Boomers (born 1946 – 1964)
Gen X (born 1965 – 1982)
Gen Y (born 1983 – 1993)

Source: American Pulse™ Survey, MAY-12 #2

© 2012, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ and American Pulse™ are trademarks of Prosper Business Development Corp.

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  1. Fran
    June 8, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    I am a dog lover which is why I don’t have one! Been unemployed 2 1/2 years, so have no money, I can go wothout food & meds, but not my dog!!!!!!!!!

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