Female owner feeding her dalmatian dog

Providing their pets with quality care is of utmost importance to consumers, so much so that 86% are willing to adjust their budgets to make sure they cover their pets’ needs, according to new research from Acosta Group

The study of more than 1,000 dog and cat owners found that nearly all (96%) consider their pets part of the family, and that often means they’re looking for pet food with the same attributes they’d want in their own food. More than four in 10 (42% of) pet parents said they prioritize high-protein content when choosing a diet for their dog or cat, followed by joint care (40%), probiotics (38%), and fresh, minimally processed ingredients (36%).

Although owners still trust veterinarians the most with their pets’ diet and health, more than half (52%) rely on online research to review ingredients, read packaging, compare prices, and see customer reviews. This means brands must be mindful of how their products appear online, taking the opportunity to highlight health benefits and ingredient quality. 

Brand loyalty is quite strong for pet food — many dog (57%) and cat owners (59%) said they’re repeat customers. But they can be swayed by in-store promotions, and more than half (58%) have made impulse purchases of treats.

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