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Pets Are Helping People Connect With Each Other, Mars Survey Finds

‘The power of pets in bringing people together is stronger than ever,’ says an executive with Mars Pet Nutrition North America.

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FRANKLIN, TN — A new survey suggests that pets can greatly benefit their owner’s social lives.

Mars launched its “Pets Connect Us” Report, which “leverages new consumer insights to shed light on the future of pet parenthood in the U.S. and Canada,” according to a press release.

A key finding: 73% of pet parents have connected with someone from a different generation, culture or racial/ethnic background through mutual affection for their pets.

More from the release:

Despite the multitude of benefits to pet parenthood, new global data from the State of Pet Homelessness Project, an initiative by Mars and leading welfare animal welfare experts, estimates that 20% of dogs and cats in the U.S. and Canada are living outdoors as strays or waiting in shelters to be adopted.

“Our latest ‘Pets Connect Us’ report shows a very clear picture: the power of pets in bringing people together is stronger than ever,” says Lisa Campbell, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Mars Pet Nutrition North America. “With new consumer insights on the increasingly important role pets play in our lives, along with the latest data on the state of pet homelessness across North America, we are better prepared to build on our Purpose of creating a Better World For Pets.”

The “Pets Connect Us” Report’s key findings, based on a survey of pet parents in the U.S. and Canada and a survey of the general population in both countries, include:

Pets Combat Loneliness:

-Eighty-three percent of adults have communicated or interacted with people they otherwise would have not connected with because of their pet.

-Seventy-three percent of pet parents have connected with someone from a different generation, culture or racial/ethnic background through mutual affection for their pets.

-About 80% of pet parents meet neighbors through their pets.

-More than seven in 10 have formed unexpected friendships as a result.

 

Pets Enable Connection:

-About nine in 10 adults say that pets act as conversation starters or ice breakers.

-Eighty-seven percent of pet parents have an easier time connecting with someone else if they have a pet.

-Seventy-nine percent of adults say pet parents are kinder and 76% say they are more trustworthy.

-Eighty-eight percent of pet parents are more likely to “swipe right” on a dating app if a pet is featured in the profile picture.

-Nearly six in 10 pet parents who are employed talk about their pets often with coworkers.

Pets Build Community:

-Nine in 10 pet parents agree that pets contribute to a stronger sense of community.

-Eighty-three percent of pet parents enjoy proactive community support for their pets, including offers from neighbors to help with feeding or walking.

-Eighty-eight percent of pet parents want more community spaces that facilitate connections between pet lovers.

The power of pets to connect us and build community is undeniable, and yet, there are still nearly 50 million homeless pets in US and Canada. That’s why Mars takes seriously its responsibility to care for 450 million pets and pet parents around the world. A global leader in pet care – spanning comprehensive veterinary care, nutrition, breakthrough programs in diagnostics, wearable health monitoring, DNA testing and pet parent platforms – Mars’ brands are leading on issues that matter to pet parents, like creating more pet-friendly offices through the CESAR® brand’s Workplace Grants and hosting the largest-ever Pet Adoption Weekend. Through its BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, Mars is helping cities be pet-friendly so more people can enjoy the benefits of a life and community with pets. While positive strides have been made, there is still work to be done.

Mars and its family of brands will continue to introduce research and programs designed to further its purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS. Visit BetterCitiesForPets.com/2023report to read the “Pets Connect Us” Report and visit BetterCitiesforPets.com to get involved.

 

About Mars, Incorporated

Mars, Incorporated is driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. As a global, family-owned business, Mars is transforming, innovating, and evolving to make a positive impact on the world. Across our diverse and expanding portfolio of quality snacking, food, and pet care products and services, we employ 140,000+ dedicated Associates. With more than $47 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the world’s best-loved brands including Ben’s Original™, CESAR®, Cocoavia®, DOVE®, EXTRA®, KIND®, M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, and WHISKAS®. We are creating A Better World for Pets through our global network of pet hospitals and diagnostic services – including AniCura, BANFIELD™, BLUEPEARL™, Linnaeus and VCA™ – using cutting edge technology to develop breakthrough programs in genetic health screening and DNA testing.

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