Spoiled rotten: 64% of owners admit they’ve cooked their pets meals, treats from scratch

NEW YORK — Whether they get extra treats or belly rubs, a new toy, long walks, or a delicious home-cooked meal, it’s clear that pets have their owners wrapped around their paws. A recent survey polling 2,000 dog and cat owners finds that two in three pet owners wish they could be their pets for a day, especially because 65 percent of pet owners spoil their companions daily.

When asked what they would do if they were their pets for a day, most pet owners say they would spend their time doing the “zoomies” and playing outside until they’re exhausted (61%). Another 40 percent would just sleep the day away, while some would simply get cozy and relax in their favorite spot (36%).

Who’s really in charge?

Conducted by Zesty Paws along with OnePoll, the study reveals that pets might be the ones who really control the humans and their routines, especially in the homes of younger generations. Six in 10 millennial and Gen Z respondents in their 20s admit they spoil their pets to no end — celebrating everything from birthdays, Gotcha Days, new toys, or an extra treat for simply being adorable. Four in five from the same generation add they’d like to live a day in their pets’ paws.

Over half (57%) say they spoil their pets “24/7,” with many cherishing the priceless moments like celebrating their pet’s birthday with a birthday bash (44%) and holidays with them (42%). Meanwhile, a majority of women (70%) enjoy spoiling their pets, and a surprising amount of men also stated they get joy from treating their pets to anything they want (61%).

Nearly half of women surveyed (46%) like to celebrate their pets on their birthday, random occasions, or days just for the fun of it (45%). Meanwhile, more than four in 10 men like ringing in holidays (45%) and birthdays (41%) with their pets. Additionally, more than a third of pet owners overall (37%) will do something special for their pet’s “Gotcha Day.”

“All pet parents know that spoiling your pet is one of the greatest joys of having a furry friend,” says Steve Ball, CEO of Zesty Paws, in a statement. “Supporting a pet’s zest for life not only keeps our spirits high, but it also improves our own health and wellness, and creates a deeper bond between us and our pets – which is a reward we can all get behind.”

Staying on top of your pet’s nutritional needs

Four in five pet owners (78%) say their pet’s diet is extremely important to them. Seven in 10 won’t even let their pet consume ingredients that they haven’t researched themselves first. Older respondents were also found to be more conscientious of what their pets eat than any other generation: 89 percent of those over the age of 50 say their pets’ nutrition is important to them, compared to 82 percent in their 20s, 75 percent in their 30s, and 80 percent in their 40s.

Three in four will exclusively feed their pet the best quality food, treats, and supplements they can afford. Another 64 percent will even sometimes make meals for their furry family members from scratch.

Making meals from scratch was also found to follow generational trends: pet owners in their 20s were most likely to handcraft their pet’s meal (75%), followed by those in their 40s (67%) and 30s (65%).

Three in four (76%) with an annual income of at least $150,000 are likely to make their pets’ meals, while 45 percent of people who make less than $50,000 annually do the same. When cooking for their pets, owners cater to the ingredients their furry pals love the most, including poultry (66%), red meat (62%), seafood (58%), and vegetables (37%).

“One of the most important decisions we as pet parents make is choosing what our pet consumes and how it affects their overall health. That means using the highest quality ingredients to support a pet’s holistic wellness journey,” says Ball. “It seems pet parents would agree, as we’ve found, that more and more of us are paying closer attention to the ingredients our pets consume.”

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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  1. Spoiled? No. Beloved? Yes. Commercial diets are a modern convenience. Thats why the companies argue that you should “never” feed them human food. Au contraríe! Nonhuman companions benefit from healthy “human grade” food over pellets of slaughterhouse pink slime dried and stabilized for years on end. They need much more water and nutrients than most commercial diets provide. The feeding guidelines are only bare minimums and do not provide quality nutrients. Most commercial foods use sick / expired animal meats with tumors and abscesses, etc. The preparations are highly inflammatory and disease inducing. Imagine going through life never tasting a Cherry, a peach, etc. My dog eats leafy greens, beans, grains and fruit. And yes I cook. Daily. Because I want my dog to be healthy for as long as possible and to achieve as much longevity as possible without arthritis and other ailments. I wonder if this study was made possible by Purina

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