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7 Pet-Friendly Trends Taking Hold Across America

Mars Petcare released a new report.

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FRANKLIN, TN — Mars Petcare and its Better Cities for Pets program released their first annual report, demonstrating how pet ownership is shaping communities. From housing and business policy to overarching economic health, pets “are making a profound impact on our lives and thus the decisions to be more inclusive made by businesses, shelters and government,” according to a press release.

As part of the report, Mars Petcare has identified seven emerging trends in pet-friendly cities that are leading the way.

“We’re excited to share the inaugural BETTER CITIES FOR PETS Annual Report, which highlights the latest trends in pet-friendly cities and what citizens want to see in their own communities,” said Mark Johnson, president of Mars Petcare North America. “We created this report using data and insights from our collaboration with government officials and consumers across the country. We look forward to following the journey of these cities as they continue to make progress, and we hope that this report serves as inspiration for other communities looking to drive change and welcome pets.”

Here are the trends:

From “Pet-Friendly” to “Pet-Optimized” Pads: With the rise of people owning pets, rental property owners are increasing their pet-friendly amenities to offer more upscale, convenience-driven options.

Open for Business: Businesses are evolving their retail experiences and catering to pet owners by educating shoppers and offering new amenities like in-store pet-sitting and pet-friendly decals in their storefronts for easy navigation.

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Pets as a Work Perk: An increasing number of employers are welcoming four-legged friends into the workplace to maintain and attract new talent and increase productivity.

Beyond Doggy Bags: Unique dining options for pooches and their human parents are growing across the country as pets on patio legislation becomes more popular.

Bringing Zen to Shelters: Shelters are sprucing up their environments to attract more potential adoptive families and make pets feel more at ease in their temporary homes.

Reclaiming Public Space: From Parklets to “Barklets”: Cities everywhere are transforming parking lots, street corners and sidewalks to establish gathering spaces for people and pets alike.

Pet “Paw-litics”: An increasing number of political leaders are advocating for animal rights and pet welfare as more of their constituents demand change.

This year, Mars Petcare introduced the Better Cities for Pets certification to celebrate cities that have implemented pet-friendly programs and policies and committed to expanding their efforts to make people and pets welcome. To become certified, cities shared data on existing and future pet-friendly features related to the 12 traits of a pet-friendly city across the areas of businesses, parks, shelters and homes. Similarly, the company rolled out a consumer assessment, allowing citizens everywhere to offer input on the status of their city and what they’d like to see change.

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The Better Cities for Pets Annual Report leverages data and insights from certified pet-friendly cities, consumer assessments, a consumer survey and recent studies from the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition and Banfield Pet Hospital.

Key data points within the complete Annual Report include:

Ninety-two percent of Better Cities for Pets certified cities surveyed said they have local programs that distribute pet food for families in need.

Eighty-seven percent of employers say being dog-friendly helps them attract and retain more talent.

A majority of cities (60 percent) say they’re now taking pets into account when planning their green space.

Only 41% of cities said pets are welcome in most rental housing.

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Certified Cities:

To-date, 31 cities have received the Better Cities for Pets certification, including:

Arlington, TX
Bentonville, AR
Bloomington, IN
Calumet City, IL
Cleveland, OH
Dallas, TX
Downey, CA
Fort Wayne, IN
Franklin, TN
Gresham, OH
Hallandale Beach, FL
Henderson, NV
Houston, TX
Key West, FL
Laguna Niguel, CA
Meaford, Ontario, Canada
Memphis, TN
Miami, FL
Miami Lakes, FL
Nashville, TN
Oakland, CA
Plano, TX
Port St. Lucie, FL
Reno, NV
Rochester, MI
Royalton, MN
Santa Clarita, CA
Southport, NC
St. Petersburg, FL
Topeka, Kan.
Tucson, Ariz.

To view the full Better Cities for Pets Annual Report, visit http://bit.ly/BetterCities2019ReportPDF. For more information on the Better Cities for Pets program and how to become certified, visit BetterCitiesForPets.com.

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