At least 10 million owners don’t know what’s in their pet’s food

New research from True Instinct, reveals that 10 million dog and cat owners are not aware of what is in their pet’s food.

Despite this, a quarter of pet owners are pledging to make a healthy New Year’s resolution for their four-legged friend.

The poll of UK dog and cat owners reveals that the nation’s knowledge of pet food ingredients is extremely low, with over 62% admitting to not knowing what they’re really feeding their pet.

More than half of owners said they weren’t aware that mainstream dry pet foods contain sugar, meat derivatives, processed ingredients and artificial additives.

Less than 15% of those surveyed are aware that shocking ingredients such as bone ash, feathers and synthetics can be found in some of these foods.

The knowledge gap continues with around a third of pet owners not realising dogs can’t eat foods such as chocolate or onions, which are both toxic.

Conversely, owners aren’t aware of the many ingredients that can improve pet health either; 14% say dogs can’t eat butternut squash, which is a nutritious vegetable, and 20% say blueberries are a no-go but are actually full of antioxidants.

Both are found in natural and raw pet foods, due to the countless health benefits they provide.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. A quarter of pet owners are putting their pets first and have pledged that they’ll make a New Year’s resolution of their four-legged friend – ensuring they kick start they year to get their pet healthier and happier.

This could be down to the fact that over a third say their dog or cat suffers from a health issue, such as bad breath, diabetes or a skin condition, and 10% are overweight.

Whilst knowledge of ingredients is low, the research does show that 20% of pet parents say that when searching for their pet food brand, their cat or dog must visibly enjoy it, and a quarter stat it must make a difference to their health and wellbeing.

As revealed in the survey, here is a top 10 list of New Year’s resolutions for pets this January:

  1. Go for more walks (45%)
  2. Cut down on unhealthy treats (40%)
  3. Give them a better, more natural diet (31%)
  4. Spend more time with them (30%)
  5. Brush their teeth more often (29%)
  6. Pay more attention to their training/behaviour (25%)
  7. Take them for regular health checks (21%)
  8. Stop bad habits e.g. sleeping on the bed, eating from the table (19%)
  9. Give them more regular baths (18%)
  10. Ensure they socialise with other dogs/cats (16%)

Melanie Sainsbury, Veterinary Education Manager for True Instinct said: “January is often a time where our thoughts turn to getting healthier, be it taking part in ‘dry January’ or just generally being more conscious about what we eat – and this shouldn’t be any different for our pets. Whilst there is clearly a gap in knowledge of what’s really in certain pet foods, we understand that pet owners are often time-poor and often prioritise convenience.

“However, it’s promising to see form the research that pet parents want to make positive change – and it doesn’t have to be difficult either. Pets could take part in their very own Dry January’ – but once here they enjoy a balanced nutritious diet in the form of a more natural, healthy, dry food such as True Instinct. Our Raw Boost product includes no nasties and all the ingredients they need to thrive, whilst still in convenient format.”

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