Survey lets cat out of the bag around UK pet ownership misconceptions - Veterinary Practice
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Survey lets cat out of the bag around UK pet ownership misconceptions

Research from Bella & Duke has found that pet owner stereotypes and misinformation still exist, with ideas such as the “crazy old cat lady”, big dogs are for men and small dogs are accessories still prevalent among UK pet owners



Leading pet food and well-being company Bella & Duke are on a mission to debunk common misconceptions around pet ownership, nutrition and pet food labelling as well as breed cliches.

The company conducted a UK wide research unveiling gender stereotypes of pet owners, with 86 percent of people thinking chihuahua owners are more likely to be female and 72 percent feeling a Rottweiler owner would be male.

Nearly half (45 percent) believe a cat owner is a female, with 27 percent believing they are more likely to be single.

Mark Scott, CEO at Bella & Duke, said: “Common pet ownership misconceptions we see today like the ‘crazy old cat lady’ are often derived from the movies we consume or the books we read.

“This type of perception can have a harmful lasting impact on breeds for years and years to come, and as a proud cat owner, I know these simply are not true.

“We face similar misconceptions and misunderstandings in the pet food industry. Raw feeding comes with many of its own falsehoods so it’s important we’re openly speaking about these and not only putting them to rest, but continuing to educate each other more on the benefits of a natural and species-appropriate diet for our pets.

“At Bella & Duke it is our top priority that every animal is cared for and understood to allow them to thrive in a healthy and happy life, we will always champion species-appropriate and pet centred well-being.”

Other key stats include:

  • 45 percent said chihuahuas are used as a fashion accessory
  • 28 percent thought that larger dogs were higher maintenance pets than smaller dogs
  • 61 percent felt that too many people had pets for the wrong reasons
  • 26 percent believed that cats preferred to be left on their own

Despite pet owners wanting what is best for their furry friends, the research found that almost a quarter (24 percent) of Brits actually don’t know what type of food is the most nutritious for their pets.

Further to this, over a third (37 percent) were entirely unsure of what the legal requirement of meat that needs to be in meat-based foods, showing there is a lot of confusion when it comes to pet nutrition.

Despite this confusion, over 40 percent of pet owners said they believe wellness claims made by pet food brands, which often show no supporting evidence of the proposed benefits.

The research identified concerns around the safety of raw feeding with 12 percent of survey participants believing that raw food is full of bacteria. Bella & Duke, however, recently became one of the first raw pet food suppliers to be RawSAFE accredited. This new raw dog food certification scheme run by veterinary professionals conducts independent audits of raw pet food manufacturers and unannounced spot checks to ensure pet owners receive the best and safest possible food for their pets.

Bella & Duke offers a convenient subscription service, along with free educational guides and support for pet owners to support to help them in doing right by their pet and giving them the ability to learn more about the importance of what they’re feeding them.

To show you can never judge a book by its cover, Bella & Duke has worked with its founder, Mark Scott and his one year old and 10 month old cats, Rocky and Ace, alongside its customers John Cardie with his nine-month-old Pomeranian, Teddy, and Lisa Twentyman and her Rottweiler, Loki, enjoying their time together.

You can find out more about the nutritional benefits and Bella & Duke’s product offering on their website.

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