infoPLANT recently published a survey into dog food. Using their usual method of a public self-selecting survey from within the iMode menuing system, 5,278 people successfully completed the survey during one week at the beginning of August. The sample size was 65.9% female. This time, the self-selecting nature of the survey is not too much of a problem, as I doubt if there is much correlation between having a dog and having a mobile phone.
Please excuse the sensationalist but accurate story title; I’ve found recently that it’s the silly stuff that attracts the punters, and some serious but important surveys have had very little traffic. In fact, there’s a new premium dog food on the market that advertises itself as being not just edible, but in fact tasty for humans too! The company even has the British Royal Family’s seal of approval, but I can’t quite imagine the Queen sitting down with the corgis and tucking in together, somehow. Prince Charles, though, now that’s a different matter.
Q1: Do you keep a dog at home? (Sample size=5,278)
Yes (to SQ) 32.1% 27.5% 40.0% No 67.9% 72.5% 60.0%
There was little variation in ownership by age for either sex.
Q1SQ: What sort of dog do you keep at home? (Sample size=1,696, multiple answer)
Small dog 49.9% 52.3% 49.0% Medium dog 45.0% 43.8% 45.5% Large dog 10.6% 8.9% 11.3%
Exactly where small dog ends and medium dog starts is unclear; I would guess small dog is Chihuaha-sized, large is a Lab, and medium everything in between? Again, there are no obvious trends within the age groups.
Q2: What sort of dog food do you usually buy? (Sample size=1,696, multiple answer)
Commercial ordinary dog food 78.1% Commercial premium dog food 23.3% Specially hand-made food 4.1% Same food as humans eat 7.1% Other 2.4%
I don’t know if premium refers to either the high-price posh foods or to the vet recommended types like Hill’s Science Diet, IAMS, etc. Looking at the breakdown by purchaser’s sex, there was little difference between the types, but by dog size, medium-sized dogs were more likely to have ordinary food, and half as likely to have premium food as large or small dogs. The biggest difference, however, was for eating human food; just 2.8% of big dogs and 3.8% of small dogs did so, but over one in ten – 11.4% – of the medium-sized dogs tucked into the same plates as their masters.
Q3: About how much do you spend per month on dog food? (Sample size=1,696)
Total Small dogs
Less than 1,000 yen 8.0% 8.3% 8.4% 3.3% 1,000 to 3,000 yen 38.0% 37.2% 40.7% 22.2% 3,000 to 5,000 yen 30.2% 32.5% 28.7% 28.3% 5,000 to 10,000 yen 16.3% 15.7% 14.8% 31.1% 10,000 to 20,000 yen 3.9% 4.0% 2.9% 10.0% 20,000 to 30,000 yen 0.8% 0.8% 0.4% 1.7% More than 30,000 yen 0.4% 0.2% 0.5% 2.2% Don’t buy dog food 2.4% 1.3% 3.7% 1.1%
Q4: What criteria do you use when buying dog food? (Sample size=1,696, multiple answer)
Good for health 63.6% Taste dog likes 50.0% Cheap price 38.7% Brand 12.3% Recommendation from shop 6.6% Recommendation from friends 6.5% Often seen in adverts 6.3% Other 6.6%
Again, looking at the results by dog size, the healthy nature of the food was least important for medium-sized dogs; taste was most important. Brand was almost twice as important for big dogs compared to the other sizes.
Q5: Where do you buy dog food? (Sample size=1,655, multiple answer)
Home centre 73.9% Pet shop 31.7% Supermarket 24.0% Drug store 17.3% Veterinary clinic 7.3% Mail order or internet shopping 3.8% Convenience store 1.5% Other 2.0%
By dog size, again medium-sized dog owners displayed different habits; pet shops were almost half as popular compared to the other two sizes, yet supermarkets and home centres were more popular.