Introduction

What is the purpose of this research?
Surprisingly little is known about how meat-based, plant-based or other types of pet food affect the health of dogs and cats, and about whether they prefer some diets to others. This study aims to shed light on some of these questions. 

 

What happens if I agree to take part?
If aged 18 or older you can participate. You will complete a short online survey, about one dog or cat who has lived in your household for at least one year. You will be asked about their diet, feeding patterns, feeding behaviour, and health. For animals on veterinary prescription or therapeutic (i.e. medical) diets, you will be asked to provide answers about your animal and their diet prior to starting the medical diet.​ You will also be asked about yourself, and the factors you consider important when sourcing pet food. 

 

Most people take around 10 minutes to complete the survey.

 

Data protection and confidentiality
This data collection and research project is conducted in accordance with the University of Winchester Ethics Policy and Procedures.

This survey is anonymous - no personal or identifying information will be collected. Your data will be processed in accordance with the UK's Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Data collection is taking place through a secure online survey platform, and all data will be stored on password-protected devices. Data will only be viewed by the named researcher. 

Part or all of the results of this research may be published in academic journals or other media, presented at various fora, discussed in the mass media, or shared for research purposes. No information will be included that will allow identification of any specific person or animal.

Please note that the data collected will be anonymous from the start, thus it will not be possible to identify and remove your data at a later date, should you decide to withdraw from the study. However participation is not expected to incur any risks. 

 

Is participation voluntary?
Your participation is entirely voluntary – you do not have to participate if you do not want to. You will not be paid or charged to take part in this research project.

 

Who is carrying out the research? 
Prof. Andrew Knight of the University of Winchester Centre for Animal Welfare (UK). Prof. Knight is a veterinary specialist in animal welfare.

 

What if I have other questions?
If you have any questions about this study, please contact: Prof. Andrew Knight. Our University data protection officer is Stephen Dowell: Stephen.Dowell@winchester.ac.uk, and our ethics approval point of contact is Dr Samantha Scallan.
 
Thank you for taking the time to participate in this research!