Pug sleeping with its toy (Photo by Rebecca Campbell on Unsplash)

NEW YORK — The cuddly pooches we know and love came from wolves that fended for themselves in the rough wilderness. Since then, our housebroken pups have come a long way from the time of their untamed ancestors. However, that also means plenty of our furry friends are pretty spoiled today! According to a new survey, two in three dog owners claim their dogs “could never survive in the wild” without them.

The poll of 2,000 American dog owners found the average person believes their pup could only care for themselves for a maximum of two days. A third (31%) give their dogs less than a day.

A large majority of owners surveyed (86%) claimed their dogs live “a life of luxury” compared to their ancestors and 77 percent said their dogs have grown accustomed to a life of being catered to.

Commissioned by Now Fresh and conducted by OnePoll, the study found four in five dogs would rather stay inside than step paw outside if it’s rainy. Likewise, 68 percent of dogs opt to stay inside than be in the cold.

If the temperature dips below 40º F, respondents shared that their dogs require a jacket (27%), doggie poncho (16%), or booties (12%) to go outside. Seven percent even need an umbrella held over them.

Of course, the life of comfort doesn’t stop there; the average dog sleeps 11 hours daily and plays for two. Nearly half (44%) said their dog sleeps in the same bed as them, while another 27 percent claimed their dog sleeps on the floor but is constantly at their side.

For 83 percent of people, their dogs follow them wherever they go, mainly to the kitchen (84%), couch (76%), and the backyard (75%). Two in three said their dogs will follow them into the bathroom, giving them no privacy at all.

Dog eating food off plate
(© New Africa – stock.adobe.com)

Results also revealed dogs eat differently than their ancestors. Half of the respondents said their dog enjoys eating a mixed diet that involves several pet-safe fruits and vegetables.

“Dogs have evolved from their wolf ancestors in so many ways,” says companion animal nutritionist at Petcurean, Theresa Lantz, in a statement. “This evolution also includes changes to their nutritional needs. When we consider how different their lifestyles today are – which include being more sedentary and dependent on humans – we must also take into account that those nutritional requirements would change too.”

When asked what foods their dogs enjoy the most as a treat, many said their dogs have a penchant for carrots (34%), apples (31%), sweet potatoes (31%), potatoes (30%), and bananas (27%).

Three in 10 said they feed their dogs on a high-protein diet, while 55 percent have their dogs on a more balanced, moderate, or low-protein diet.

Though 66 percent agreed they’re unwilling to compromise on the quality of food for their dog’s nutrition, there are still many who have misconceptions about what they need to feed their dogs.

Those who have their dogs on a high-protein diet claim they do so because they believe it’s higher quality (54%), fits their dog’s lifestyle (40%), and that it’s “biologically correct” (36%).

“When looking for the best food to give your pet, we recommend pet parents consider the quality of the protein source over quantity,” continues Lantz. “Moderate protein diets are preferential for most dogs – in fact, anything more than what their body can use is not beneficial to your pet’s health, and may even contribute to diarrhea, stinky gas and even weight gain.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 American dog owners was commissioned by Now Fresh between March 20 and March 23, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

About Sophia Naughton

Meet StudyFinds' Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton. Sophia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication directly focused in journalism and advertising. She is also a freelance writer for Baltimore Magazine. Outside of writing, her best buddy is her spotted Pit Bull, Terrance.

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