Benefits of Allowing Pets in Businesses

As a business, you might wonder about the benefits of making pets welcome and allowing customers to bring pets in businesses.

Here are some statistics showing the power of pets and their impact on those around them.

According to the 2017-18 American Pet Products Association (APPA) survey:

  • More than 84 million U.S. families now have a pet.
  • 81% of dog-owners say having a dog gives them companionship or love.
  • 53% say having a dog is good for their health or their family’s health.
  • 59% think of their dog as being like a child or family member.
  • 67% say having a dog relaxes them or relieves stress.
  • Millennials are now the largest pet-owning demographic.

Pets are an opportunity for businesses:

  • In 2017, U.S. pet owners spent an estimated $69 billion on pets.
  • 76% of millennials said they’re more likely to splurge on their pet than themselves.
  • Three-quarters of pet owners say issues with the economy have had no influence on their pet ownership.
  • In a 2017 survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Mars Petcare, more than 60% of U.S. mayors surveyed believe pet-friendly policies and amenities can attract additional traffic to retail establishments.
  • In a 2017 study by the National Association of Realtors® Research Department, 81% of respondents said pet-related considerations will play a role when choosing their next living situation.

In our Pets Welcome pilot, our survey of the pilot community (Franklin, TN) 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.
  • 48% of business owners said more pet-friendly policies would increase pedestrian traffic to the downtown area.

Pets in workplaces are valued, too. The 2017 BANFIELD™ Pet Hospital Pet-Friendly Workplace PAWrometer™ survey* found that:

  • 88% of employees at pet-friendly workplaces said having pets at work improves sense of well-being
  • 83% said it reduces stress.
  • 83% said it gives them greater company loyalty.
  • 81% said it improves work-life balance.
  • 80% said it improves morale.
  • 79% said it improves work relationships.
  • 66% said it increases productivity.

The health and companionship benefits of spending time with pets are widely documented:

  • Having a pet reduces blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. (Friedman et al 2010)
  • Numerous studies have suggested dog walking is a great way to increase physical activity and may help reduce rates of obesity. (Timperio et al 2008)
  • 94% of heart patients with pets survive serious heart attacks, compared to only 72% without pets. (Friedman et al 2010)
  • Pet owners tend to visit doctors less often and spend less money on medication. (Heady et al 2007)
  • Kids who grow up with pets tend to have greater self-esteem, less loneliness and enhanced social skills. (Purewal et al 2017)
  • Pet owners feel less afraid of being a victim of crime when walking with a dog or sharing a residence with a dog. (Serpell et al 1991)
  • The presence of dogs increases the number and length of people’s conversations with others in the community. (Jenkinson et al 2010)
  • Pet owners are significantly more likely to form friendships in their neighborhood than non-pet owners. (Wood et al 2015)
  • Almost 60% of dog walkers report feeling safer when walking their dog. (Christian et al 2016)
  • For those who have lost a spouse, pet ownership and a strong attachment to a pet is associated with significantly less depression. (Garrity et al 1989)
  • Pets in nursing homes increase social and verbal interactions among the elderly. (Fick et al 1993)
  • Growing up with a dog during infancy can help to strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of allergies linked to asthma. (Hesselmar et al 1999)
  • Self-esteem is higher in children and adolescents who own pets. (Redefer et al 1996)
  • Kids who grow up with pets demonstrate more empathy, are usually more popular with classmates and are more involved in activities such as sports, hobbies, clubs or chores. (Melson et al 1990)

Want more tips? Check out the Pets Welcome Toolkit for info about how to launch a pet-friendly business initiative that can benefit businesses, pet owners and pets.

*If you choose to use the PAWrometer™ survey results, please identify them as originating from The BANFIELD™ Pet Hospital PAWrometer™ survey.

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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.