FRANKLIN, TENN. — Mars Petcare, a subsidiary of Mars, Inc., released the results of its annual report on Nov. 15. The report, “Pets for Better Wellbeing,” measured current pet ownership trends and the impact of pet ownership amid economic uncertainty and other external factors.

"The insights from the 'Pets for Better Wellbeing' report underscore the importance of keeping people and pets together," said Lisa Campbell, director of external affairs at Mars Pet Nutrition North America. "This data drives our innovation in pet care and nutrition, and our aspiration to make more communities around the world pet-friendly — so more people and pets can enjoy the positive benefits of a shared life together."

In the report, Mars Petcare shared 92% of pet owners surveyed said the relationship with their pet has helped to improve their mental and physical wellbeing over the last three years. Additionally, 77% of respondents said their pets have provided companionship, and 70% reported their pet provided emotional support.

Barriers to pet ownership remain, however, including affordability and accessibility. According to Mars Petcare, 66% of prospective pet owners (i.e., those looking to acquire a pet) said they are concerned about affordability, while 47% are concerned about not being home enough, and 42% are concerned about the availability of pet-friendly housing. Additionally, 50% are concerned about species, breed or size restrictions imposed by local governments or landlords.

Among all survey respondents, only 10% stated their employers currently offer pet-friendly benefits. Two-thirds (66%) of pet owners stated they are more likely to remain with a company who offers these types of pet benefits.

To help pet owners retain their pets amid economic uncertainty, Mars Petcare shared 35% of survey respondents said short-term support for pet costs, including pet food, would help, while 29% cited pet-friendly housing options and 24% seek affordable training for behavioral issues.

The report also highlighted an uptick in adoption interest among younger generations. Gen Zs and Millennials are nearly twice as likely to adopt or foster a dog or cat over the next three to five years, compared to 36% of all current non-pet owners surveyed.

According to a June 2022 report by Shelter Animals Count, a national database of sheltered animals, animal shelters in the United States are on pace toward the worst overpopulation rates and resource constraints seen in at least the last three years, Mars Petcare shared. To address this issue, the company asked respondents how they are likely to acquire pets. More than half (61%) said they intend to visit an animal shelter or rescue when looking to adopt or foster.

Mars Petcare leads several initiatives to support animal shelters across North America, including a nationwide shelter volunteer program, hosting Adoption Weekend events in six US cities in late October, awarding grants to promote cat adoptions, and donating pet food to shelters in need.

Read the full report on Mars Petcare’s Better Cities for Pets website.

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