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Human connections made through pet playdates


A new report reveals that pet owners have met new people in their community through pet interactions

NDABCREATIVITY / stock.adobe.com

NDABCREATIVITY / stock.adobe.com

This is Mars Pet Nutrition North America’s fifth annual report examining how pets can connect us with the community and people we normally would not meet without our pets. The survey is based on participants in the United States and Canada.

"Our latest 'Pets Connect Us' report shows a very clear picture: the power of pets in bringing people together is stronger than ever," said Lisa Campbell, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs, Mars Pet Nutrition North America, in the release. "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."1

Some key findings on how pets can help us meet new people include the following:1,2

  • 89% of adults say pets are one of the easiest conversation starters.
  • 88% of pet parents are more likely to "swipe right" on a dating app if a pet is featured in the profile picture.
  • 85% of pet parents say pets have made them feel more familiar with their neighbors.
  • 83% of adults say pets cause interactions with people they wouldn’t have connected with otherwise.
  • 73% of pet parents have connected with someone from a different generation, culture or racial/ethnic background through mutual affection for their pets.
  • 70% of pet parents say owning a pet makes them more invested in their community.
Key insights from the “Pets Connect Us” report by Mars Inc.

Key insights from the “Pets Connect Us” report by Mars Inc.

Some additional key findings promoting the inclusion of pets in our community:1,2

  • 90% of pet parents agree that pets contribute to a stronger sense of community.
  • 88% of pet parents want more pet-friendly places to connect with other pet lovers.
  • 84% of dog-friendly employers see improvement in culture and retention.

Pets have a remarkable ability to bring people together and creating shared experiences between people that otherwise seem very different from ourselves. The shared responsibility of caring for a pet also encourages collaboration and teamwork among family members or roommates, strengthening bonds through the shared commitment to the well-being of pets. From these overwhelmingly positive results, Mars encourages the expansion of pet-friendly places within communities to allow for more connection. Whether it’s a pet-friendly restaurant, retail store, café/bar, work office, or hotel, allowing for pets to come along with their owners can break the cycle of loneliness. Through its BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program, Mars is helping cities be pet-friendly.1

In partnership with the State of Pet Homelessness Project and animal welfare experts, it is estimated that 1 in 5 or 20% of dogs and cats in the US and Canada are living outdoors as strays or waiting in shelters to be adopted. Adopting a pet can offer a very rewarding experience and can help an animal in need.


  1. Report finds that 73% of pet parents have made connections despite differences because of their pets. News release. Mars Inc. February 27, 2024. Accessed February 28, 2024. https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/report-finds-that-73-of-pet-parents-have-made-connections-despite-differences-because-of-their-pets-302071924.html
  2. Pets Connect Us: Mars Pet Nutrition North America 2023 Report. Mars Pet Nutrition North America and BETTER CITIES FOR PETS. Accessed February 28, 2024. https://www.bettercitiesforpets.com/resource/2023-report/
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