American pet owners spend billions of dollars on food and treats so it is important to understand what products they want and what they think their dog would enjoy. This study analyzed video recordings of dogs engaging in dental chews in their home environment and compared the observed appetitive behaviors to owner preference and owner-reported dog preference. Overall, appetitive behavior differed significantly between some dental chews. Owner preference for the chews correlated significantly with dog appetitive behavior, but the effect was small (r (702) = 0.22, p = 0.001), whereas owner-reported dog preference correlated significantly with dog appetitive behavior and showed a moderate effect size (r (702) = 0.43, p = 0.001)—similar in magnitude to findings when parents are asked to report on their children’s behavior. By merging objective behavioral observation of owner-recorded videos with their survey responses, we were able to preliminarily parse out what factors owners may use to assess preference and encourage the future use of in-home video recordings to better understand dog and owner engagement and interaction with pet products.
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