TORONTO, Feb. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Thinking of buying that house? Check with
your four-legged family member first. According to the Dog Chow® Family Poll eight in 10 Canadian dog owners take their canine companions into
account when making decisions about vacations, homes and car purchases.
Even more, over half of current owners spend more time with their loved
ones because they have a dog and the majority (85%) speak to their dogs
like a full-fledged family member. And when it comes to finding the
perfect role model, 40 per cent of Canadian owners look to their family
dog - which comes as no surprise given their enthusiasm for life,
unconditional love, unwavering loyalty, and their ability to easily
forgive. With this new found status, are Canadian families going to the
dogs? The answer is yes.
"It's not surprising the Dog Chow Family Poll revealed that Canadians
consider their dogs to be full-fledged family members, and treat them
like anyone else in the pack," says dog behaviourist and trainer Jill
Priest. "The human-canine relationship has been evolving for thousands
of years and continues to grow and change as dogs gain even more
prominence within the family."
Canadian Dog Owners Have Their Say
It may come as no surprise that as a nation many of us (73%) describe
the family dog as a playmate, with this number increasing slightly for
those with kids (76%). For more than three in ten (34%) owners, the
family dog is considered a therapist, followed closely behind by alarm
clock (26%) and personal trainer (22%). And for one in four in Quebec
and Ontario dog owners, an alarm clock best describes their dog's role,
in comparison to Albertans and British Columbians (22% and 24% vs. 11%
Sending a greeting card? For dog owners (current and past), signing for
Fido is considered standard practice (45% and 35%). This is especially
true for women (41%) and those in Atlantic Canada (41%) and British
Columbia (39%). Even more, the family dog rules when Martimers make
decisions about where to live or cars to drive (87%) - and they are
also more inclined to speak to their dogs like they are real people
(85%). Not to be outdone, over half of Ontarians (53%) claim they spend
more time with family because of their family dog, compared to Manitoba
/ Saskatchewan and Quebec (34% and 36%).
"Whether it's the daily routine or special events, it's clear that dogs
play a variety of important roles that impact our lives," says Jill.
"But as the family dog gains prominence our responsibility to provide
him with the skills he needs to function within the home - and in
public - increases. Whether it's training, feeding or just heading out
for the daily walk, successful dog care is a family affair."
Working closely with the experts at Dog Chow, Jill has created some easy
tips to help Canadian families make the most out of their canine
relationships - just in time for Family Day and March Break.
Leaders Not Littermates: Children should take on smaller tasks such as feeding, positive treat
training and walking the dog to ensure the family dog understands his
position in the pack
Consistency is Key: And when it comes to timing for feeding, exercise and discipline,
getting on the same page as an entire family is a great way to bring
everyone together and assign responsibilities.
Encourage everyone to feed the family dog at the same time every day and
make sure they know the right amount of food to serve up. According to
Priest, a trusted kibble such as Dog Chow ensures complete nutrition
for the family dog no matter who is in charge.
The Changing Face of the Canadian Family: Preparing furry family members in advance of big adjustments requires
everyone to work together. If change is on the horizon, whether it's a
new baby or a new house, Jill recommends the following:
Stay on Schedules - fluctuating timing for walks and feeding can throw
your dog off and create anxiety. Try to keep regular schedules to
reduce furry worry.
Build Familiarity with Surroundings - try walking the family dog in your
new neighbourhood in advance of a move. Or, if a baby's on the way,
introduce him children of friends and family so he understands what is
Socializing with Smells - dogs can be led by the nose! If there are new
family members joining the fold (human or canine), bring in items like
clothes or toys and let your family dog get used to the new smells.
Everyone Plays a Part - no matter who is in the pack everyone should
have a role and take time to interact with the family dog. This will
ensure he is comfortable and happy no matter what life brings.
"Life is truly better with our furry family members," says Jill. "By
working together as a family we can ensure our dogs are comfortable and
happy no matter what life brings."
To meet Jill in person and gain additional insights on how to enhance
the role of the family dog for everyone, head to PawsWay at 245 Queens
Quay West in Toronto on Monday, February 20th for the Dog Chow Family Day celebration. Check out PawsWay.com/Events
for more information and details
About Dog Chow
Dog Chow® and Puppy Chow® brands provide complete and balanced nutrition for dogs at every stage
in development. The carefully selected, high quality ingredients
deliver 100% of the essential nutrients your dog needs to stay happy
throughout his long, healthy life. Offered worldwide, Dog Chow features
formulas including: Puppy Chow® For All Breeds, Puppy Chow® For Large Breeds, Dog Chow® For Adult Dogs, Dog Chow® Healthy Morsels™ With Real Lamb And Rice, Dog Chow® For Healthy Weight Management, and Dog Chow® Healthy Morsels™ For Mature Dogs Age 7+.
The survey was completed online from January 23rd to January 25th, 2012 using Leger Marketing's online panel, LegerWeb, with a sample of 990 Canadian dog owners (current: 460 / past: 530). A
probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of
±3.1%, 19 times out of 20. NOTE: for reported statistics from the
current dog owner group, margin of error will increase.
SOURCE Dog Chow
For further information:
Laura Ballantyne / Kaitlin Hazen
416-969-2672 / 416-969-2777
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