Going to the Dogs: Which Drive-Throughs Offer Treats for Fido?

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Americans order a total of 1 million menu items for their dogs every year at fast-food drive-throughs.

On at least some trips to the pick-up window, 1 in 6 households grabs something for Fido, according to a survey by Relevation Research. The marketing research company interviewed 1,499 people nationwide.

Perhaps this is why another recent survey, from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, found that 53 percent of dogs were overweight and 17.6 percent were obese last year.

Veterinarian Julie Churchill, a veterinary nutritionist at the University of Minnesota, says in an APOP press release:

We’re seeing an increasing number of obese pets and the diseases that accompany excess fat. Type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, and many forms of cancer are associated with obesity in animals. It is critical pet owners understand an overweight dog or cat is not a healthy pet.

Relevation Research principal Nan Martin sees her company’s survey results as reason for dog food and treat manufacturers to team up with fast-food chains to create dog-safe menu items.

“Companies catering to the dog will win with owners who want to, guilt-free, feel like they’re spoiling the dog,” Martin says in a press release.

So which chains currently cater to the most canines? According to the study, those most visited for dogs are:

  1. McDonald’s
  2. Burger King
  3. Wendy’s

According to FoodBeast, some restaurants have “secret” menu items specifically for dogs. They include:

  • Chick-fil-A’s dog treats (some locations)
  • In-N-Out Burger’s pup patty
  • Dairy Queen’s pup cup
  • Shake Shack’s Poochi-ini
  • Sonic Drive-In’s dog treats
  • Starbucks’ puppuccino
  • Tim Horton’s sugar-free Timbits doughnut holes

For more cost-effective ways to treat Fido, check out “Does Your Dog Need Expensive Pet Food?” and “28 Ways to Save Big Bucks on Pet Supplies.”

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