An exclusive survey conducted in Europe and USA confirms that dog owners are highly concerned about the health of their aging companion. They are more than ready to adopt solutions that allow their animal to stay healthy while growing old so they can share more time together.
Seven years is often considered the average starting age of the geriatric years for cats and dogs.With an increasing average life expectancy of 11 years for dogs*, seniors represent an important proportion of the dog population… and a huge potential for pet care players!
Aging has thus become THE rising concern to address when talking about pet health & nutrition.
But what is dog owners’ perception of aging? What do they do to fight aging? What do they expect from anti-aging solutions?
Here are the results of an exclusive survey conducted with more than 1,600 dog owners from the UK, Spain, France, and the USA to better understand their attitudes and expectations about dog aging.
1. More than 80% of pet owners feel concerned about their dog aging
Pet owners are highly involved in the health of their old companions. This is even more true in France and Spain and among owners of senior dogs – i.e., more than 7 years old.
Interestingly, this level of concern toward aging remains high even among owners of dogs that do not show aging signs.
2. 48% of Millennials have already looked for information about dog aging, mainly through their vet or the internet
Surprisingly, the first source of information about aging for millennial dog owners is veterinary consulting. The expected answer from this population category – internet – only comes in second position.
3. “Ensure their dog stays in good and healthy physical condition” is the most important expectation toward aging for 62% of pet owners
This number-one concern is followed by dog owners willing to help their animal live longer, to delay or prevent illnesses including diabetes, osteoarthritis, cancer, and to prevent or decrease joint pain.
4. 42% of owners have already given specific food to their dog to prevent or fight aging
In 34% of cases, pet foods targeting aging are given preventively, i.e., before the perception of animal aging signs.
As for human foods, healthy pet foods are perceived as an investment in a pet’s longevity. Pet parents are ready to invest early in high-quality foods specifically designed to improve the health of their aging animal.
5. 88% of owners are ready to change their dog’s diet to prevent or fight aging
Pet parents committed to the health of their aging dog are ready to make drastic changes such as diet transition.
Loyalty to a specific brand may not play a major role anymore. Dog owners could favor a diet with a health functionality that they can trust whatever the brand.
Pet food brands willing to keep owners faithful during the entire life of their animals thus need to enrich their range with “senior” foods having substantiated claims and proven efficacy to fight aging signs.