Only 37% of dogs always respond to their name, compared to 52% who jump for the word “treat”


NEW YORK – Half of America’s dogs come running at the sound of a bag of treats. Expect – only half? According to a recent survey of 2,000 dog owners, 47% say their dog instinctively reacts to the noise made when opening a container of treats.

The survey results show that the average dog knows an average of five spoken commands. That said, 20% of vocabulary dogs understand is treat-based, owners say. Fifty-two percent are likely to crush when they hear words like “treat” or “cookie.” Conversely, only 37% consistently respond to the sound of their own name. Driven by OnePoll and ordered by CLIF-PETthe results further confirm that 67% of dogs are “highly food motivated”.

Four in 10 respondents give their dogs treats as a reward, making it the most popular reason among respondents. Three out of four even think they couldn’t have taught their dog commands without using treats. About 21% of respondents give their dog treats at least once a day, while 18% admit to giving out several treats a day.

Perhaps that’s why respondents incorrectly estimate that treats should make up, on average, 27% of a dog’s overall calorie intake. According to experts, however, the actual recommended amount does not exceed 10%.

“It’s easy to get carried away when treating your dog, but it’s important to remember to treat in moderation,” Greg Lok, incubator manager at Clif Bar & Company, said in a statement. “One way to do this is to look for treats made with healthy ingredients to ensure your pup gets a quality treat, and to opt for easy-to-tear treat options that help you treat in a way more responsible.”

Treating our dogs is also a pleasure for us

Overall, 64% say they turn to their dogs to make them feel better on bad days. More than a third (39%) are much more likely to use treats to lift their dog’s spirits, while 32% use treats to lift their spirits. In fact, 62% agree that giving their dog a treat is more a reward for them than for the dog itself.

When asked what factors they consider most when reviewing dog treats, 41% look for ingredients that they know rank among their dogs’ favorite foods. They also value nutritional value (34%), brand trustworthiness (33%) and ingredient sustainability (33%) when choosing a treat for their dog.

Thirty-nine percent would even prefer to buy treats from brands that make food for dogs and humans.

“It’s no secret that people love their pets and want to make the best choices for them. Treats are an extremely important part of the bonding experience between dog and pet parents,” says Lok. “When considering which treats to buy for their pets, pet owners should consult with their veterinarian about their dog’s dietary needs and look for treats that provide healthy nutrition to fuel their adventures.”

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