Dog owners believe that vegan food is better for their pets than meat.
The new research from Mintel shows that over a third of dog food buyers in the UK believe that their pets should have plant-based meals regularly.
The study showed that younger dog owners are more aware of the benefits of plant-based nutrition, and they are the ones who are most likely to cut meat in their own and their pets diets.
Almost 58 per cent of dog food buyers in the UK aged 16-24 stated that they believe it is healthier to limit meat in their dogs’ nutrition, compared to 30 per cent of dog food buyers aged 45+.
Similarly, 40 per cent of dog food buyers aged 16-24 prefer to regularly give plant-based meals to their pets, compared to just 21 per cent of owners aged 55+.
Mintel research also revealed that the digestive health of animals is important for their owners.
Seventy-six per cent of pet food buyers believed that taking care of pets’ digestive health daily is essential for their overall health.
Additionally, 44 per cent of pet owners believed that pet food with ‘good bacteria’ (such as fermented foods) is vital for pets’ health.
Overall, 71 per cent pet food buyers said that a pet’s diet has a direct impact on its emotional wellbeing.
Over a half of dog and cat owners showed an interest in food with ‘calming ingredients’ such as chamomile and CBD.
Emma Clifford, Associate Director of Food and Drink at Mintel, said: “Our research finds that many pet owners are keen for their cats and dogs to adopt some of the alternative diet trends that are being embraced by humans. The fact that a third of dog food buyers agree that it is good for pets to regularly have plant-based meals is a key example of the considerable scope of the humanisation of pet trend. The growing interest in plant-based diets among the population as a whole has a lot to do with this trend extending to our four-legged friends. Digestive health is also on pet owners’ radar, mirroring the fact that most UK adults agree that gut health is essential to their own overall health. We expect the humanisation trend to continue, as consumer interest in functional and all-natural pet foods are likely to increase,” said