Tips for Applying for a BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ Grant

Once again in 2023, Mars Petcare’s BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program is offering grants to cities working to be pet friendly and keep people and pets together. Five grants of $20,000 are available to cities or their designated NGO/non-profit partner.

Applying for a 2023 BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ grant is designed to be an easy and applicant-friendly process. However, as with any grant application, it is still a process and we’re here to help!

Follow these tips to make sure your application is complete and competitive

Learn what you need. Begin reviewing the 2023 BETTER CITIES FOR PETS Grant Guidelines and FAQs. Make note of items you’ll need to gather, or resources you’ll need to consult, to complete each section.

Make a cadenced timeline backwards from the application due date (September 1, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time) to help keep you on track. 

Preview the online application form. Go ahead and do a run-through of the online application to get familiar with the process and system.

Stop and start as needed. The online application form allows you to start and stop as needed. You can save and come back later if you need to track down more info. Applications will not be reviewed until you complete and hit “submit.”

Think about your impact. Consider how your grant application proposal supports keeping people and pets together and make sure that is clearly addressed in your application. Think about questions like;

  • “How does my program address a fundamental issue that is keeping people and pets apart?”
  • “How does my program help keep people and pets together?”
  • “How will my program create lasting change vs. a one-time or short-term impact?”

Determine your category. Grant applications may focus on any of the four areas of the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program’s pet-friendly cities model: Shelters, Homes, Parks and Businesses. If your program touches on several areas, choose the one where the majority of your program’s budget/impact will focus. While examples have been provided within the application and the Grant Guidelines and FAQs, we encourage you to get inspired and learn more about the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program areas here.

Be specific about budget. While the grant application requires only a topline budget, be specific about what a $20,000 grant would fully (or largely) fund or support. For example:

  • Not right for this grant application: Blanket infrastructure funding as part of a large capital campaign such as a new building, purchase of green space or parks amenities without programming as part of the proposal.
  • Right for this grant application: Program-based proposals that help fund all, or a significant portion, of work that helps keep people and pets together and makes your city more pet friendly.

Ask ahead for your letter of support from your mayor’s office that is required for submission. Reminder, the letter must be signed on city letterhead.

Gather all your notes, required documents and optional materials in one spot so you are ready to simply copy/paste and upload documents into the online system. Make sure to allot 20-30 minutes to complete and submit your application.

Don’t forget your city assessment or recertification requirement

  • Verify that you are either a currently certified city or have submitted for recertification prior to the grant deadline on September 1, 2023. If you are unsure of your certification status, contact
  • If you are a city that has never applied for certification, no worries! You can complete the online city certification here. To be considered for a grant award, you only need to have completed the certification assessment by the grant application due date. Achieving certification is not required for a grant. 

We’re here to help!

We’re thrilled you are considering applying for a grant from the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions about either the grant application process or the city assessment.

Get inspired and learn more

  • Check out previous year’s grant recipients here
  • Learn more about the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program here
  • Learn more about Mars Petcare

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