Survey: Many Dog Owners Consider Themselves ‘Helicopter Parents’

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis

A new survey found that 6 in 10 dog owners said they loved and cared for their pets so much they considered themselves ‘helicopter parents’.

NOW FRESH, which is part of the Petcurean family, conducted the study through OnePoll. Of the 2,000 American dog owners, 91% said they pay close attention to what their dog needs, with 89% worrying about their comfort as seasons change. What? You don’t buy your dog six different winter coats? You’d be in good company if you did, as the study found that nearly half (46%) of pet parents buy their dogs sweaters or winter coats (40%) or rain jackets (37%) to battle extreme weather conditions.

Over 70% of dog parents make major lifestyle changes for their dogs–buying pet-friendly furniture, living in pet-friendly buildings and exercising more.

And 87% of dog parents polled treated their pups as the valued family members they are. Three of four of those surveyed believe their dogs know they’re spoiled (and they wouldn’t change a thing).

Interestingly, the study found that 9 in 10 dog parents believe what their dog eats is important to them. Important enough to read ingredients ((79% polled do) and exclusively buy food that uses premium ingredients (75% do so). Premium ingredients meant fresh, natural whole foods or limited raw or frozen shelf life. Nearly half look for high protein meat foods and almost 40% want organic options. A third of the pet parents surveyed want no artificial colors and they want non-GMO ingredients.

Best of all, 2 of 3 Americans surveyed say they have cooked special meals for their dogs. Birthday dinners topped the list, with other special meals coming for adoption anniversaries or reuniting after a long trip away from home.


1. Birthdays 44%

2. Coming home from a long trip 22%

3. Adoption anniversary 18%

4. Major life events 18%

5. Before leaving for a long trip 16%

6. I always cook my dog’s food 15%

7. Pet-sitting 12%

Just what kind of meals are being made? Well, there’s beef stews, venison legs (in whole), and even roast duck with organic, dog-friendly herb sauce. What else is good enough for our best friends?

The most important things dog parents look for in foods are quality ingredients at reasonable price points and the desire to add probiotics for healthy digestion is growing.

Radhika Kaistha is the brand manager of NOW FRESH and says that dog parents know our dogs count on us 100% for making the best decisions we can for their health and well-being. In return, our dogs give us unconditional love and companionship.

That’s what you call a win-win!

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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