TORONTO, Feb. 15 /CNW/ - Canadian families have gone to the dogs!
According to a recent poll1 by Dog Chow®, 90 per cent of owners consider their four-legged companions to be
members of the family. And membership has its privileges, since nearly
20 per cent celebrate their dog's birthday, and 40 percent go by "mom"
or "dad" to their furry kin. With this new found family status, our
dogs are included in more family outings and activities than ever
before. Whether it's the daily routine or special activities like
Family Day or March Break, it's clear Canadian families consider their
canines to be a key member of the pack. As the family dog gains more
prominence in our homes, it's even more important for training and care
to be a family affair.
"Dogs can have many roles in the family and household, whether they're
playmates, protectors, helpers or confidantes," says Jill Skorochod,
'Canada's Dog Trainer' and owner of Time & Patience Training. "However,
we can't forget that he is also a dog and needs proper training and
care in order for the family to happily live together. I have worked
with thousands of dog owners, young and old, and found that success is
achieved by involving every member of the family - from feeding to
walking to grooming."
Not sure where to get started? Jill Skorochod and the experts at Dog
Chow offer the following helpful tips:
Family Commands & Paws-sitive Reinforcement: When training your dog it's important that everyone in the household
agrees to, understands and uses the same glossary of family commands to
ensure positive behaviour is reinforced. This will reduce your dog's
confusion and help him learn how to live with each member of the
family. It's also important for all members of the family to reward
good behaviour (listening, sitting, staying), and correct unwanted
behaviour (chewing, barking, pulling on the leash). Use treats or
kibble and lots of praise to communicate and encourage the dog to be a
good family member.
Involve the Kids: Encourage kids to take on the responsibility of feeding, walking, or
brushing the dog where appropriate. To ensure feeding is consistent
Jill recommends choosing food that offers a complete meal in every
scoop, such as Dog Chow or Puppy Chow, so there is less measuring and
confusion. And when it comes to kids "it's important to position them
as leaders, not litter-mates or siblings, to ensure the family dog
obeys and respects every member of the household."
Furry fitness: Exercise is good for the whole family - especially the four-legged
members! When out and about, take turns holding your dog on the leash,
and get him or her to "heel". Most children can safely control a dog on
a leash by age 10 - but it does depend on the size of the child and the
size of the dog. Younger or smaller children can also help hold the
leash under supervision. Bring some treats or dry kibble to reward your
dog when he responds positively to your training. Try exploring
different areas of the city, parks or trails, and always be on the
lookout for activities that can include the family dog. It's important
that your dog is comfortable in public places and with other dogs - and
this allows you to include your dog in more aspects of your life.
"Simple and easy routines give everyone a role in the training and care
of the family dog, and result in a happy, healthy, well-mannered pup
that's ready to participate in family activities." says Jill.
Yes, Canadians Love Their Furry Family Members
Find out more on how the family dog measures up across the country:
Family Goes to the Dogs: Atlantic Canadians lead the pack in considering their dog to be a
family member (94%), followed by Ontarians (92%), Quebeckers (90%)
British Columbians (91%), Albertans (86%), and those in the Prairie
provinces (85%). A staggering 94 per cent of women consider their dogs
to be a part of their family versus 87 per cent of men (just below the
Playmate or Protector? No longer just man's best friend, almost of half of respondents
described their dog as "playmate" (48%). Doggie playmates are number
one in Quebec (55%) with Atlantic Canada (52%) and Ontario (47%) not
far behind. Not surprisingly, more men then women consider their dog a
playmate, coming in 10 per cent higher (53% versus 43%). "Protector"
ranks second for Canadian dog owners at 20 per cent - this goes up for
women (24%) but drops to only 16 per cent for men. Other descriptors
include confidante (8%), companion (6%) and helper (4%).
Happy Birthday Rover: Of the 20 per cent of Canadians who celebrate their dog's birthday,
more women than men (22% versus 17%) recognize, (and remember!), the date.
Doggy Moms and Dads: 40 per cent of dog owners consider themselves mom / dad to their dog.
This drops slightly too only 30 percent for male respondents and
increases to 46 per cent for women. Provincially, Atlantic Canada and
Ontario are the highest to consider themselves pet parents, with 55 per
cent and 43 per cent respectively.
About Nestlé Purina PetCare Canada
Nestlé Purina PetCare Canada is a leading pet care company and global manufacturer of quality and
nutritious pet food brands such as PRO PLAN, PURINA ONE, Dog Chow®,
ALPO, BENEFUL, BEGGIN' STRIPS, TBONZ, CAT CHOW, FRISKIES, FANCY FEAST,
LUV, and cat litter brands MAXX and KITTY LITTER. Our promise, "Your Pet, Our Passion", and the creation of PAWSWAY Pet Discovery Centre, the permanent home of the PURINA ANIMAL HALL OF FAME, reflects our commitment to pets and promoting responsible pet care.
Purina is the proud sponsor of The Purina National and the Lions Foundation of Canada PURINA WALK FOR DOG GUIDES. For more
information about Nestlé Purina PetCare Canada please visit www.purina.ca.
The Harris/Decima omnibus was an independent poll commissioned by Nestlé
Purina PetCare Canada and conducted between January 13th and January 17th, 2011. It surveyed 1,221 adult Canadians who own or have owned a dog.
The margin of error for this subgroup is +/-2.2%
SOURCE Nestle Purina PetCare
For further information:
Janessa Bishop / Stacey Flowers
416-969-2669 / 416-969-2752
email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org