Welcoming Pets, Sharing Tips at National Cherry Blossom Festival 2019

When cities are pet-friendly, it’s easier to enjoy activities with your best friend by your side. That’s why once again in 2019, we partnered with the National Cherry Blossom Festival to make pets welcome throughout the month-long event in Washington, D.C.

Pet comfort services were available at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area and during activities such as the Blossom Kite Festival and Petalpalooza.

Volunteers at a pet comfort station booth at National Cherry Blossom Festival.
A pet comfort station at National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Photo credit: National Cherry Blossom Festival

With Milk Bar Flagship at Logan Circle, we hosted a “yappy hour” with dog-friendly activities like a dip in a puppy pool. More than 200 people and pets joined the fun. Proceeds from the event went to help Humane Rescue Alliance in its work to end pet homelessness.

People and dogs enjoying the Yappy Hour event
Yappy hour attendees loved the pet-friendly fun.

During the festival, we also announced a partnership with Washington D.C.’s Southwest Business Improvement District (SWBID) to make the area more pet-friendly. A $20,000 grant from Mars will support a pet-friendly makeover, adding hands-free seating, portable hydration, expanded pet waste stations, shaded areas, educational materials and signage.

Teams from Mars and SWBID
Representatives from SWBID, National Cherry Blossom Festival, Humane Rescue Alliance and Mars.

Plus, Mars hosted a booth at Petalpalooza, offering shade and water for four-legged visitors, as well as a chance for pet owners to pick up pet swag and learn about responsible pet ownership. More than 1,900 people stopped by, bringing along over 350 pets.

Volunteers helped visitors use tablets to visit BetterCitiesForPets.com and take our survey about the pet-friendly city features and policies they value most.

Man taking the city assessment survey on a tablet with a dog in a carrier on his back
By sharing thoughts on what makes cities pet-friendly, visitors are helping us build a picture of the most needed amenities and policies for cities across the country.

Like Petalpalooza in 2018, this year was another great opportunity to talk with people and learn about what matters to them and their pets. We’re excited to continue putting these insights to work.

Please share your thoughts! From anywhere on the BetterCitiesForPets.com website, you can click the orange “Assess Your City” button at the top to get started.

Below are more scenes from this year’s festivities…

Mars Associate and artist painting dog portraits
Mars Petcare Associate Megan Matthews treated visiting pets @navycorgi and @izzy_the_chow to custom portraits.
4 dogs sitting on a bench in the Mars booth
All the dogs who visited had access to a refreshing water break and time in the shade to cool off.
Mars Associates standing in the Mars booth
Mars is a global company with local roots, and considers the Greater Washington area its backyard. Associates who volunteered at the event represented Mars teams from Virginia, Tennessee and more.
A mural depicting pet-friendly city features
The centerpiece of the Mars booth was our BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ mural, which depicts ways cities can make pets welcome, such as pet-friendly green space, transit and businesses.

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With the Playbook for Pet-Friendly Cities, you’re on your way to a happier, healthier place for people and pets alike.