Humanisation of pets – good or bad?

More and more people view their pets as part of the family, which is a really good thing. That’s where our pets belong, and that’s how they should be treated. But aren’t some people or companies crossing the line between pets being animals and humanising their food and even clothing? In this article, we look at how companies and people might (unknowingly) ‘push’ the humanisation trend.


Morning coffee

In South Africa’s cities, it is not uncommon to see people stop at their favourite coffee shop for a takeaway coffee en route to the office. This trend most probably started in movies produced in the US, where people are seen running around with takeaway cups of coffee. And then the trend spilt over to South Africa, with various coffee shop franchises opening here as well – meaning that competition between rivals has become fierce.

So, what did Starbucks do to stand out from the crowd? They tapped into the new frenzy of people humanising products for pets and launched the Puppuccino. This doggy treat is nothing but a small cup of whipped cream for dogs that owners can buy when they get their coffee fix while walking their dogs or having coffee at the outlet.


Doggy doughnuts

The well-known doughnut franchise Krispy Kreme sold doggy doughnuts two years in a row in the US to celebrate Halloween. The Pup’kin Spice Doggie Doughnuts include flavours like Pup’kin Spice Original Glazed, Pup’kin Spice Cake, Pup’kin Spice Maple Peanut and Pup’kin Spice Cheesecake Swirl. These doughnuts are actually doughnut-shaped biscuits that contain ingredients like pumpkin, peanut butter and carob. No harmful ingredients are included in them.

This is ideal for pet owners who like to spoil their dogs when they spoil themselves with these human treats.


Refreshing beer

Having a beer on a hot day is quite refreshing for some people. Anheuser-Busch, the manufacturer of well-known alcoholic beverages like Stella Artois, launched the alcohol-free Busch Light’s Busch Pumpkin Spice Dog Brew for dogs. This brew contains pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and water and is believed to be fine for dogs – even though there isn’t much research on the benefits of pumpkin for dogs. On the other hand, there isn’t much evidence that pumpkin is bad for dogs either.

The bottom line for this article is that people have created a product that’s basically beer for dogs.

To read the rest of this interesting article, get the March/April 2024 edition of Animaltalk magazine now from retailers or order a digital or printed copy from



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