Raw Feeding for Dogs in the UK and Australia

Raw Feeding for Dogs in the UK and Australia: A Social and Ethical Cross-Cultural Comparison

We would like to invite you to take part in our research study. Before you decide we would like you to understand why the research is being done and what it would involve for you. One of our team will go through the information sheet with you and answer any questions you have. Talk to others about the study if you wish. Ask us if there is anything that is not clear.

Name of researchers

  • Dr Pru Hobson-West, Primary Supervisor, University of Nottingham
  • Professor Kate Millar, Secondary Supervisor, University of Nottingham
  • Professor Rachel Ankeny, Primary Supervisor, University of Adelaide
  • Dr Michelle Phillipov, Primary Supervisor, University of Adelaide
  • Natalia Ciecierska-Holmes, PhD Candidate, University of Adelaide and University of Nottingham
 
 

What is the purpose of the study?

What to feed your dogs is important for many owners and guardians. In recent years, increasing numbers of owners are feeding their dogs ‘alternative diets’, including variations of raw meat-based diets. This project is exploring dietary shifts in human and non-human animal companions. The primary aim is to better understand the values, practices and ethics of dog owners who feed raw meat-based diets, while themselves eating a plant-based diet. To conduct this research, we are asking participants to complete food diaries and attend an online interview.

Why have I been invited?

You have been invited to take part because you are a self-identifying vegetarian or vegan who feeds your dog a raw meat-based diet and are over 18 years of age. We are inviting 20 to 30 participants like you to take part.

Do I have to take part?

It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you do decide to take part you will be given this information sheet to keep and be asked to sign a consent form. If you decide to take part you are still free to withdraw at any time and without giving a reason. This would not affect your legal rights.

What will happen to me if I take part?

We would like you to complete a ‘raw feeding diary’ for threee consecutive days followed by an online interview lasting one hour.

1. Raw feeding diary 

Time: Three days, one photo/video per day

Location: Your home

 

2. Interview

Time: One hour

Location: Online

 
 

Raw feeding diary instructions

We would like you to make one entry per day, either in the form of a photo or short video (up to one minute). If you are not able to do this on a particular day, please do not give up, just start over again the next day you are able to. Here are some points we would like you to keep in mind:

  • We are interested in both your own and your dog’s experiences of raw feeding preparation and mealtimes. This could involve activities, thoughts, feelings and so on. You could, for example, include entries of your dog, yourself, their food, as well as your food if you’d like.
  • We are particularly interested in finding out how you make decisions about raw feeding and how you relate this to your own food choices.
  • Please upload feeding diary photos/videos to your computer before the online interview so we can discuss them.

Interview instructions

We will then arrange an online interview at a mutually convenient time that will last around one hour. The PhD candidate Ms Ciecierska-Holmes will conduct the interview and send you a link beforehand. We ask that you upload your pictures/videos to your computer to share at the start of the interview. If you need any help with this, we’d be happy to assist you. After discussing the feeding diary, you will be asked some questions about raw feeding and your own food choices. The discussion will be audio-recorded and pseudonymised in all transcripts.

Expenses and payments

Participants will not be paid an allowance to participate in the study.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

The biggest inconvenience to you is in terms of time, for the feeding diary and online interview. This is why we suggest a simple photo/video per day is enough for the feeding diary task.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

We cannot promise the study will help you but the information we get from this study may help towards understanding consumer decision-making around raw feeding for dogs, a trend which has become ever more popular in recent years. With so many new products available as well as diet options, this is relevant for understanding the role owners play in the health and well-being of their dogs.

What if there is a problem?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, you should ask to speak to the researchers who will do their best to answer your questions.  If you remain unhappy and wish to complain formally, you can do this by contacting the School Research Ethics Officer. All contact details are given at the end of this information sheet.

Will my taking part in the study be kept confidential?

We will follow ethical and legal practice and all information about you will be handled in confidence.

If you join the study, the data collected for the study will be looked at by authorised persons from the University of Nottingham who are organising the research. They may also be looked at by authorised people to check that the study is being carried out correctly. All will have a duty of confidentiality to you as a research participant and we will do our best to meet this duty.

All information which is collected about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential, secured within the University of Nottingham.  Any information about you which leaves the university will have your name and address removed (anonymised) and a unique code will be used so that you cannot be recognised from it. Anonymised data may also be stored in data archives for future researchers interested in this area.

Your personal data (address, telephone number) will be kept for seven years after the end of the study so that we are able to contact you about the findings of the study and possible follow-up studies (unless you advise us that you do not wish to be contacted). All identifiable research data will be kept securely for seven years. After this time your data will be disposed of securely. During this time all precautions will be taken by all those involved to maintain your confidentiality, only members of the research team will have access to your personal data.

Although what you say in the interview is confidential, should you disclose anything to us which we feel puts you or anyone else at any risk, we may feel it necessary to report this to the appropriate persons.

What will happen if I don’t want to carry on with the study?

Your participation is voluntary and you are free to withdraw at any time, without giving any reason, and without your legal rights being affected. If you withdraw then the information collected so far may not be possible to extract and erase for one year after completion of the interview and this information may still be used in the project analysis.

What will happen to the results of the research study?

Your participation is voluntary and you are free to withdraw at any time, without giving any reason, and without your legal rights being affected. If you withdraw then the information collected so far may not be possible to extract and erase for one year after completion of the interview and this information may still be used in the project analysis.

Who is organising and funding the research?

This research is being organised by the University of Nottingham and the University of Adelaide and is being funded by the University of Adelaide.

Who has reviewed the study?

All research in the University of Nottingham is looked at by a group of people, called a Research Ethics Committee (REC), to protect your interests. This study has received a  Favourable Ethical Opinion by the School of Sociology and Social Policy Research Ethics Committee.


 

Further information and contact details

Researcher: Natalia Ciecierska-Holmes, PhD Candidate, University of Adelaide and University of Nottingham, email: natalia.ciecierska-homes@nottingham.ac.uk

Supervisor/PI: Professor Rachel Ankeny, Department of History, email: rachel.ankeny@adelaide.edu.au

Dr Melanie Jordan, Research Ethics and Integrity Officer, REC Chair and Associate Professor in Criminology, email: melanie.jordan@nottingham.ac.uk, +44 (0)115 74 87284/95 15410

 

Raw Feeding for Dogs in the UK and Australia: A Social and Ethical Cross-Cultural Comparison

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD


email: natalia.ciecierska-homes@nottingham.ac.uk