Posted 32d ago
By Josh Castronuovo
When your dog goes quiet and you haven’t seen them for a while, you know they’re most likely up to no good. Sometimes they go for things they shouldn’t to get a reaction out of us – they love a chase.
From cat litter, leaves and even rocks, the average dog owner will yell “What are you eating?” to their pups nearly 50 times a year, according to new research.
The study asked 2,000 American dog owners to reflect on their dogs’ nutritional habits – both good and bad – and found they’ve got into some sticky situations.
READ MORE: Why do dogs eat grass and vomit?
The top non-treats their pups have got into included socks (48%), garbage (47%) and children’s toys (44%) – with one respondent even sharing their dog got a hold of their toilet plunger.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Zignature, the survey also found that the average pet owner has to remove something from their dog’s mouth about three times a month.
Pet owners say they know their pet did something bad if they avoid eye contact (46%) or run off (45%).
Chasing after pups who try to gobble up anything and everything isn’t the only difficult part of being a pet parent, though. Thirty-five percent of pup parents said their dog is the pickiest eater they know, nine in 10 are serious about feeding their dog a healthy diet and 85% only want the tastiest food for their pet.
The average pet parent says that it’s hard to find dog food that would not only be nutritious but delicious for their pet.
One in three dog owners won’t feed their pet the same food again if they show them that they don’t like it the first time. Perhaps this is why half (52%) of pet owners think their dog eats better than they do.
Dr Bradley Quest, DVM (doctor of veterinary medicine), on behalf of Zignature, said: “Dogs are like kids – they’re not picky, they just have different preferences and different taste buds.
“Smell and taste are very closely related, and dogs can taste foods through their sense of smell. That’s why dogs are more interested in foods that smell stronger, for example, protein-packed foods that have red meat, poultry or fish protein sources. So, if something smells good to your pup, it’s going to taste good to them too."
READ MORE: Help! My dog keeps stealing food in the park
Pet owners prefer to choose their pet’s food based on vet recommendations (49%) or just from reading the labels (46%), and another 36% like to hear suggestions from friends or family.
Dr Quest said: “Knowing how to read pet food labels is very important. The first two ingredients on the list are vital, and dog food should feature real meat, poultry or fish as the first ingredient.
“Dogs are carnivores and they have evolved to get dietary protein like their ancestors – from rich animal, poultry or fish sources. These kinds of foods are not only nutritious but also great-tasting and highly palatable.
“If your dog’s a picky eater, consider that they’ll more or less eat anything that’s packed with proteins and smells like meat, poultry or fish.”
The top items that dogs shouldn’t eat, but they do, are:
Socks - 48%
Garbage - 47%
Children’s toys - 44%
Paper - 43%
People food - 42%
Grass - 29%
Leaves - 25%
Rocks - 25%
Poop - 20%
Dirt/soil - 19%
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