Luxury dog treats soared during Covid but pooches still prefer walks

Luxury dog treats such as caviar and buffalo have soared during Covid lockdown… but most pooches still prefer plenty of walks, experts say

  • Lovely dog treats have boomed as workers at home spend more time with pets
  • Experts at The Kennel Club say posh treats are unneccesary for pet wellbeing
  • More than half of owners bought more treats for their pets during the pandemic 

Luxury dog treats have boomed during the pandemic but experts are reminding owners what our pets really need – love, attention and walks.

Dogs with well-heeled owners can now wolf down a menu worthy of a Michelin-starred restaurant with dishes including grass-fed buffalo tails and canine caviar.

But experts at The Kennel Club have reminded owners that dogs can prosper without the opulent treats that fly off the shelves for more than ten times the price of human equivalents.

Thrive ProReward 100 per cent Liver dog treats sell for £7.60 per 100g (£76 per kilo), compared with a human alternative at Marks & Spencer, Scottish Lamb’s Liver, which costs around £4 a kilo.

More than half of owners bought more pet treats during the pandemic, market research group Mintel found

At Ocado, Woofs’ Cod Fingers dog treats sell for £4.85 per 100g (£48.50 per kg). A packet of regular cod fingers at the same store costs £1.75 (£7 per kg).

The Kennel Club’s Bill Lambert said: ‘Dogs don’t need artisan treats, expensive luxuries or any extensive pampering.

‘They are at their happiest when owners give them love and attention and provide for all their needs.’

More than half of owners bought more pet treats during the pandemic, market research group Mintel found.

Manufacturers justify their prices by arguing that their treats often undergo sophisticated food manufacturing processes and contain the finest ingredients.

The Innocent Pet Care Company, owner of The Innocent Hound, whose treats are also sold at Ocado, said: ‘The price of our treats reflects the quality of the ingredients that we use, as well as our gentle air-drying process.

‘We use freshly prepared British, human-grade meat and our gentle air-drying process ensures the nutrients are not destroyed.

‘We won’t compromise our values and quality by substituting our ingredients for cheaper alternatives.’

At Ocado, luxury dog treats including Woofs’ Cod Fingers Dog Treats, sell for £4.85 per 100g (£48.50 per kg) and the supermarket retails The Innocent Hound’s lamb with yellow split pea ‘Puppy Training Treats’ for at £5 per 100g (£50 per kg).

Surging sales suggest owners see no issue in splashing out on their pets, in what experts class as another consumer trend that has boomed during the pandemic.

More than 3.2million households in the UK have acquired a pet since the start of the pandemic, according to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association.

More than half of owners bought more pet treats during the pandemic, according to the market research group Mintel.

Their researchers also found that around 63 per cent of pet owners said they would spend less on their own food before cutting their pet food bill.

A Mintel spokesperson said: ‘People sought out antidotes to the emotional toll of the pandemic – snacking and self-treating increased.’

‘This appears to be translating into a heightened desire among pet parents to similarly treat their dogs… While not limited to food, that 54 per cent of pet owners say they have looked to treat their pets more is clearly playing out in increased purchasing of snacks/treats, as well as trading up in this segment.’

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