75% of Pet Parents Have Made Unexpected Friendships Because of Their Pets

Global pet care leader Mars releases, “Pets Connect Us” report showing how pets help us push our differences aside and connect with our communities

Franklin, Tennessee, Feb. 29, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Pets and friendship go hand in hand. At a time when 24% of people aged 15 and older report feeling very or fairly lonely1, developing and nurturing deep connections with friends, family—and yes, especially our four-legged pals—is more powerful than ever before. Whether we’re greeted with enthusiastic tail wagging or happy purring after a long day, we’re never alone as long as we have our pets.

Pets offer support through the toughest of times and unite us, no matter our differences. New insights from Mars’ report, “Pets Connect Us,” found the positive impact pets make on individuals and their communities.

The report, based on a survey of pet parents and a survey of the general population in both the U.S. and Canada2, reveals how pets open the door to human connection. From combating loneliness to building a sense of community, animals and the unconditional love we have for them is universal. In fact, 73% of pet parents have connected with someone from a different generation, culture or racial/ethnic background through mutual affection for their pets. About nine in 10 adults say that pets act as conversation starters, while 83% experience acts of support from those around them, including offers to help with feeding or walking.

While these insights inspire us to continue building A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS™, we know that there’s plenty of work left to do. For real change that impacts people and pets alike, we need to prioritize the animals who are most in need. According to The State of Pet Homelessness Project, a global data initiative by Mars and leading animal welfare experts, 20% of cats and dogs in the United States are homeless. Considering our pets make us feel at home, it’s our responsibility to return the favor and offer these sweet animals the love and safety they deserve.

Today, there is a huge opportunity to harness the power of pets and their ability to bring everyone together. By finding ways to get more pets into loving homes—and building pet-friendly communities in the process—we’ll be able to form unbreakable bonds that will last for years to come.

1 https://news.gallup.com/opinion/gallup/512618/almost-quarter-world-feels-lonely.aspx
2 KRC Research conducted online surveys of 1,000 pet parents each from the U.S. and Canada from October 30 – November 6, 2023.
3 KRC Research conducted online surveys of 1,000 adults each from the U.S. and Canada. The study was fielded from December 15 – 17, 2023, in the U.S. and December 15 – 21, 2023, in Canada.