How Your Brain Chooses Your Pet Food

As an informed pet parent, you know what to look for when choosing your pet food. However, you have both a conscious brain system and a subconscious brain system.  Which one do you actually use to choose your pet food?

How Your Conscious Brain Chooses Your Pet Food

Your conscious brain has learned to consider these factors:

  • pet food
    Senior Dog

    Your dog’s age – puppy, adult or senior

  • Your dog’s health concerns – allergies, medical issues
  • Buzz words such as Natural or Grain-free
  • Ingredients – good or harmful
  • Nutritional adequacy established by AAFCO
  • Past recalls of the brand you are considering
  • Price
  • Convenience

How Your Subconscious Brain Chooses Your Pet Food

Your subconscious brain does not rely on you thinking about all of the information that your vet or

pet food
Love For Your Pet

manufacturers tell you but rather generates impressions and emotional feelings.

Consider how you feel about these factors:

  • How familiar are you with a brand? Is it a brand you have always fed?
  • The popularity of the food due to a celebrity endorsement
  • The dog show commercial where a pet parents tells you that she loves her pet so much that she only feeds that brand of food
  • The feeling that you have knowing you are providing your pet with superior nutrition
  • Having the chance to have your pet’s picture on the packaging or featured in the brand’s social media.
  • Clever or amusing tag lines used by the brand to catch your attention.


Analysis or Emotion

Your veterinarian or dog food advisor will tell you all kinds of information that will help you choose your pet food by analyzing the ingredients. Your conscious mind will help you choose your pet food.

However, now that the labels on pet foods seem to read the same and are thus boring, Manufacturers are learning how to influence your choice of pet food by appealing to your emotions with testimonials and brand stories.

pet food


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P.S.  Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below…Do you choose your pet food consciously based on facts or subconsciously based on emotion?

11 Replies to “How Your Brain Chooses Your Pet Food”

  1. I choose our dogs’ food and treats based on facts and knowledge. Before having a dog and learning more about dog food, it probably would have been on the pretty tables or adverts (I am sad to say!) but now I know better!

  2. Great post. We definitely use analysis and emotion. My husband is the official chef for the Tribe of Five. He knows what they like and although he reads labels and researches food companies, he also wants them to be happy so there is always stinky tuna, gravy to top the wet food and other delicious feline delicacies.
    Anita, Purrsonal Assistant to the Tribe of Five at

  3. Great post but as a Jewish Mom, my brain says cook for Layla and that is what I do 🙂 I feel better knowing what she is eating plus I do the same with me, only home cooked foods

  4. Really interesting how your conscious and subconscious brain help you choose dog food! I remember learning in one of my communication classes how we think an ad’s most effective when we first see it, but it’s actually its subconscious effect that is the most powerful! Thanks for a really informative post!

  5. What an interesting way of looking at this. I do believe that taking the gut feeling into consideration does make sense; the gut is really a collection of experiences and knowledge stored in the subconscious mind. The best case scenario is when the gut and the brain agree on stuff.

  6. I have always researched the food & brand before using it. I like to know where it’s sourced & made as well as ingredients and the brand’s track record (recalls, testing, etc.). You can’t be swayed by pretty packaging or endorsement from someone you don’t trust.

  7. Great post and it is all so true. Before I started blogging I choose food based on what my mom was feeding her dogs. If it was good enough for her dogs than it’s good for Spencer too. I’ve learned over the years to do my own research.

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