Keeping People and Pets Together: Mars Petcare 2021 Report

Since 2020, we’ve entered a “new normal” in our daily lives. Many changes haven’t been easy, but one thing is certain: The bond between pet parents and their dogs and cats has never been stronger.

In fact, 81% of pet parents say the increased time they spent with pets during the pandemic has made their four-legged friends feel even more like family. And looking ahead, 90% want to keep spending increased time with pets as the pandemic subsides.

But despite these growing bonds, there are also challenges to pet ownership, including limitations on pet-friendly housing. And as the first-ever Mars Petcare State of Pet Homelessness Index shows, pet homelessness in the United States remains high.

The “Keeping People and Pets Together” Report

The “Keeping People and Pets Together” report digs into insights from the Index and other research to highlight the joys and challenges of pet ownership in 2021, and the ways Mars Petcare is working to keep people and pets together in 2022 and beyond.

Sample Insights

  • 90% of pet parents say they want to spend as much time with pets going forward as they did last year.
  • More than 6 in 10 (63%) would feel more comfortable at a social gathering if they were able to bring their pets.
  • 72% of those working from home say they want to be able to take pets to work and, for those that are returning to work, 79% are concerned about pets’ health or well-being.
  • 65% of pet parents say they’re likely to bring pets with them as they travel.
  • According to the State of Pet Homelessness Index, the U.S. scores 6.4 out of 10 – where 10 represents no pet homelessness – with high marks in the “All Pets Welcome” and “All Pets Cared For” categories.

Takeaways for Pet-Friendly Cities

As part of our research with shelters and rescues, Mars Petcare asked about the most helpful steps cities could take to reduce pet homelessness. Nearly all said low-cost spay/neuter is critical to reduce unwanted pets. In addition, they named:

  • Partnerships between city and private animal welfare in the community (91%)
  • Ensuring pets are part of city emergency planning (88%)
  • Legislative support for trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs (87%)
  • Pet-friendly housing legislation (86%)

A World Where Pets are Welcome

A post-pandemic world where pets are welcome is a world that’s good for people and pets. That’s a core insight of our research over the past year, and it’s the future we’ll keep working toward in 2022 and beyond. We hope you’ll join us and explore BetterCitiesForPets.com to learn more.

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