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Can we live without a dog? Consumption life cycles in dog-owner relationships

By Tony Ellson

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Category Journal Articles

This article uses an observational study of dog ownership to explicate understanding of consumer behavior in the marketing of pet and pet-related products. A close examination of the relationship between dog and dog owner reveals more than metaphorical parallels in consumer behavior. Dog ownership reveals a reciprocal altruism that prohibitive restrictions support. These restrictions are protective and punitive. The values and beliefs of the dog owner underpin these restrictions. The dependency on primitive cognitive functions within the domestic environment enables the dog owner to internalize an ideal through the relationship with the pet. This internalization explicates the need for businesses to support pet and pet-related products by core values rather than slogans and glossy programs to complement the dog owner's view of the relationship with their dog.


Megan Kendall

Purdue University

Date 2008
Publication Title Journal of Business Research
Volume 61
Issue 5
Pages 565-573
Publisher Elsevier
DOI 10.1016/j.jbusres.2007.07.011
Language English
Notes This article was used with permission by Elsevier
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Dogs
  3. Human-animal bond
  4. Human-animal relationships
  5. Mammals
  6. Pet industry
  7. Pet ownership
  8. Pets and companion animals