Benefits of Allowing Pets in Outdoor Dining Areas

There’s growing evidence that pet-friendly dining options could be great for your community and for local businesses. Here are some statistics that show why.

According to the 2023-24 American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey:

  • 66% of U.S. households own a pet.
  • An estimated 23 million households added a new pet during the pandemic.
  • Over 65 million have a least one dog and over 46 million have one or more cats.
  • Millennials are the largest pet-owning demographic, at 33%.

Over the past three years, 92% of pet parents say their relationship with their pet improved their mental and physical wellbeing.

  • 77% of pet parents said pets improve their wellbeing by providing companionship.
  • 61% of pet parents are worried about their pet’s loneliness when they’re not together.
  • 55% are worried about their own loneliness when being away from their pets.
  • 52% plan to bring their pets when they resume traveling.

Pets are an opportunity for businesses:

  • In 2023, U.S. pet parents spent an estimated $143 billion on pets.
  • 76% of millennials said they’re more likely to splurge on their pet than themselves.
  • Our “Keeping People and Pets Together” research found over 55% of pet parents said having a pet along would make them more comfortable at outdoor restaurants and events.
  • In a survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Mars Petcare, 63% of U.S. mayors surveyed said pet-friendly policies and amenities can attract additional traffic to retail establishments.
  • 82% of mayors said providing pet-friendly amenities can have an overall positive economic impact in their community.

In our pet-friendly business pilot in Franklin, TN, our survey of the pilot community found that:

  • 79% of residents surveyed said they value pets being welcome in businesses.
  • 56% of business owners strongly agreed that pet-friendly businesses are good for the community.
  • 65% of residents said having pets around helps build social connections.
  • 49% of residents said they are more likely to visit a business that’s pet friendly.

Want more tips? Check out the Pets on Patios Toolkit for tips to help cities, business and pet parents make outdoor dining pet friendly.


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