ship with the Downtown Franklin Association, City of Franklin,
Nashville Civic Design Center, Williamson County Animal Center
and the Williamson County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mars
Petcare is launching this pilot in Franklin, Tenn.—home to Mars
Petcare’s U.S. headquarters—using this market to create the model
for other cities across the nation to adopt in the future. Participating businesses will receive a comprehensive toolkit and guides to
implement pet-friendly policies, and will collect feedback over the
next few months to gather best practices to offer to other cities in
Studies show that pets help people in so many ways, from re-
ducing stress, lowering blood pressure and increasing a sense of
community. But despite these benefits, communities are still faced
with a mix of barriers that make it difficult to create pet-friendly
environments. As more people move into urban areas, and more
young adults are choosing to have pets over children, it’s clear that
the role pets play in people’s daily lives continues to evolve, said
Mar Petcare officials.
To better understand the impact of these barriers and opportunities, Mars Petcare issued a survey with the U.S. Conference of
Mayors, asking mayors about the current landscape of pet-friend-liness in their cities, and the results validate these trends around
The results show that the power of pets is no secret—100 percent of mayors agree pets can have a positive impact on people’s
mental and physical health, and 82 percent of mayors agree that
providing pet-friendly amenities can have an overall positive
economic impact on their community. But the need for support
still exists, with 66 percent of mayors not having, or not being
aware of, pet-friendly policies for public spaces such as restaurants and stores.
Mars Petcare has a history of improving pets’ lives, and Better
Cities For Pets extends this vision by building the right partner-
ships, working with businesses, and engaging local governments
to better understand how to improve communities for pets by sup-
porting homes, shelters, businesses and parks, company officials
reported. A few ways Mars and its partners are making progress
on this front are:
• Giving pets more places to play by sponsoring dog parks
across the country, and hosting volunteer events to improve public
parks by creating trails and installing hydration and relief stations.
• Encouraging more families to add a pet to their family by
supporting adoption events, as well as refreshing and rebuilding
play areas at shelters, ensuring that the time pets do spend at shelters is warm and welcoming.
• Ensuring pets are welcomed in the community by providing
responsible pet ownership education to pet owners and nonpet
owners alike, from safety to health and etiquette policies for pets.
To help other nonprofits, local governments and businesses
looking to make their communities more welcoming to pets, Mars
Petcare has created a dedicated website, bettercitiesforpets.com, to
offer downloadable tools and information.
STUDY: PET DOGS HELP OLDER
ADULTS STAY ACTIVE
For older adults, owning a dog increases the likelihood of achieving World
Health Organization (
WHO)-recom-mended levels of physical activity, according to a recently published study.
This research adds evidence to show
that owning a pet dog can help support
health as people age.
“We all know that as we get older we
tend to slow down a little,” said professor Daniel Mills, project leader for the
study. “By staying active, we can improve our health and other aspects of
our quality of life. Factors driving higher levels of physical activity in adults are
not well defined. We were interested in
assessing whether dog ownership has
the potential to improve the health of
older adults though increased activity.”
CONTINUED ON PAGE 16