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Comparison of canine owner profile according to food choice: an online preliminary survey in France

Abstract : Background Nowadays, more people are treating dogs as family members. This reflects their increased attention towards their nutrition, with renewed interest for non-conventional diets such as Biologically Appropriate Raw Food/ Bones and Raw Food in United States (BARF) or homemade. In previous studies, owners feeding their dog non-conventional diets reported lower levels of trust in veterinary advice. The aim of the study was to identify differences in lifestyle between owners feeding dogs non-conventional diets and those feeding conventional diets (i.e., dry/wet pet food) to give further insight for improving communication between veterinarians and owners. Results A total of 426 surveys were usable. Fifteen percent of the participants lived in the metropole of Paris and had more than one dog (mean 1.72 dogs). Thirty-eight percent of the survey respondents stated that their dogs were fed exclusively with non-conventional diets, while 55% declared using conventional diets alone (not considering treats). The study canine population was for the most part neutered (63%) and purebred (68%). Amongst owners feeding conventional diets exclusively, 47% determined how much food to feed by consulting the feeding guidelines on the packaging, and only 28% said that the amount of food was prescribed by their veterinarian or veterinary nurse. Out of the participants feeding non-conventional diets, 65% declared that the information for formulating the recipes was gathered on the internet or in non-veterinary books. When compared with owners feeding exclusively conventional diets, those feeding non-conventional diets were living more frequently outside the metropole of Paris, had fewer children (0.23 ± 0.57 vs 0.37 ± 0.78; p = 0.03) and had more frequently other animals. They also dewormed less often their pets, walked their dog more each day (91 vs 78%; p < 0.001) and without leash for more than 6 h per week (46 vs 31%; p = 0.003). Conclusions This survey described differences in the habits of owners feeding dogs non-conventional diets in comparison with those feeding conventional diets. Data suggest that owners using non-conventional diets may be more attentive to the ethological needs of their dog which could be a starting point for practitioners for achieving better client-veterinarian communication.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03669019
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Submitted on : Monday, May 16, 2022 - 12:08:00 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 4, 2022 - 8:41:36 AM

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S. Hoummady, Marco Fantinati, Djérène Maso, Aurélie Bynens, Damien Banuls, et al.. Comparison of canine owner profile according to food choice: an online preliminary survey in France. BMC Veterinary Research, BioMed Central, 2022, 18 (1), pp.163. ⟨10.1186/s12917-022-03258-9⟩. ⟨hal-03669019⟩

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