FEATURE29 November 2018

Top dogs: What can pets teach us about culture?

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Features Impact Latin America Trends

In Brazil, dogs are not just part of the family – they also highlight important cultural observations, such as respect for hierarchy and status symbols, as Oliver Sweet explains.


Pets are becoming more prominent across the developing world – especially dogs. They are increasingly considered a status symbol in countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Argentina, where owning a pet is a sign of wealth; it signals that the owner has enough time and money to care for it. Dogs have made the cultural transition from strays to members of the family, and from public nuisance to personal status symbol. 

Yet the way in which pets are fed has remained the same; the data tells us most dogs in these countries eat human food, rather than pet food. Mars Petcare came to Ipsos Mori with one of its biggest challenges across the developing world: how to introduce pet food as a necessary part of the middle-class, pet-owning lifestyle.  

The dogs of Brazil: A cultural bellwether

Anna Rodriguez warmly welcomed us into her home in São Paulo, allowing her dogs to jump all over us as we entered. ...