Pets in a Pandemic: BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ 2020 Report

So much changed in 2020, but pets stood out as a reason for joy. That’s a key insight of the new “Pets in a Pandemic” report from the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program.

Whether entertaining us as we worked from home, getting us out for stress-relieving walks or simply giving the companionship we all craved, dogs and cats have made a vital impact during the pandemic. Yet too many pet parents also struggled to keep or care for their pets this year.

To understand what this means for pets and communities, Mars Petcare talked with pet parents and government leaders across the United States. This report shares our findings and how cities can use these insights to inform policies and programs in the years ahead.

Key Insights about Pets in a Pandemic

Download the report for these and other insights:

  • 86% of pet parents said companionship has been a top benefit of having pets in the pandemic.
  • Half of pet parents said spending more time with pets was the primary benefit of working from home – even ahead of increased flexibility (46%) and more time with family (36%).
  • 61% of pet parents said they’ve felt concern about their financial ability to pay for their pets’ expenses.
  • 1 in 3 city officials said they’ve heard concerns from residents about the financial challenges of pet care and the potential need to re-home a pet.
  • When they return to work, 78% of pet parents are worried about their pet’s anxiety or confusion when left behind.
  • 75% of working pet parents shared concerns about their own personal anxiety if they have to return to work without their pet.
  • 2 in 3 pet parents expect to travel in 2021 and 60% now want to bring their pet along.

Takeaways for Pet-Friendly Cities

Building on these and other insights uncovered, the “Pets in a Pandemic” report from the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program provides top takeaways for cities and information about the types of local policies that can help support pet parents going forward.

With so much comfort provided by pets this year, one thing is clear: Pet parents aren’t going to settle anymore for housing that doesn’t allow pets or communities that put limits on where they can bring their furry best friends. For our well-being and theirs, in a post-pandemic world, pets must be welcome.

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The bulk of the information in the report comes from online surveys conducted by KRC Research with 1,001 U.S. pet owners and 31 American city officials between September 9-25, 2020. Other sources include the American Pet Products Association, Wisdom Health Genetics 2020 Pet Census and the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ Pet-Friendly Cities Survey conducted by OnePoll in June 2019 with a sample of 2,000 American pet owners.

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