Pets are good for business
Bringing pets with us out into the world means companionship, a social ice-breaker and not having to worry that we’ve left them home alone. Yet many businesses have strict policies against dogs and cats. From allergies to accidents to poor pet behavior, owners worry about the impact of having furry friends underfoot.
But there are good reasons to welcome dogs and cats! People with pets are more likely to visit pet-friendly businesses, and to stay longer during their visit, leading to added revenue. Plus, having pets around leads to more social media buzz, providing both tangible and intangible PR benefits for the business.
Pets are good IN BUSINESSES, too
As a pet-friendly workplace, at Mars Petcare US we know the benefit of bringing our pets to work. They boost morale, build a sense of community and get us up for regular walking breaks — all things that are good for our health.
Since we’ve been bringing our pets to work for years, we want to share our learnings to help other businesses realize the benefits of pets-at-work programs and how to implement them successfully.
Both these opportunities – making pets welcome and pet-friendly workplace programs – add up to form our BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ businesses pillar. We want to help more businesses make pets welcome and help more people enjoy pets in the workplace.
The key is educating business owners, pet owners and non-owners about how clear guidelines and responsible pet ownership can make pet-friendly businesses a success for everyone.
ACTION UPDATE: 2017 PROGRESS
Making PETS WELCOME in Franklin, Tennessee
In June, Mars Petcare US launched the Pets Welcome program in Franklin, Tennessee. Pets Welcome is about changing the way we think. Just as many people’s relationship with pets has changed and grown, we want to help perceptions about pets in public spaces evolve with those changes.
The program is a coordinated, community-wide test of pet-friendly business practices, aiming to better understand the positive impact of welcoming pets at retail locations. Learnings from the launch will be used to inform Mars Petcare US’s national model for pet-friendly cities as part of our BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ initiative.
With its vibrant downtown and culture that’s already quite pet-friendly, Franklin is a perfect location to test and learn to take pet-friendly policies to the next level. Our U.S. headquarters is located in Franklin, so we were excited to bring the benefits of the Pets Welcome program first to our hometown.
The program was developed with the City of Franklin, the Downtown Franklin Association, the Williamson County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Williamson County Animal Center and more than 90 local businesses. It runs through the fall, with results, insights and best practices evaluated in late 2017. We hope businesses will see many benefits of welcoming pets, and that the practice will continue long after the pilot concludes.
Participating businesses received:
- Best-practice research about pet-friendly businesses
- A pre-drafted Pets Welcome Code of Conduct
- Free signage to signify participation
- Free materials for in-store education
- PR and social media support to help promote the program and its participants
- Survey research throughout the pilot to understand what works, what doesn’t and how more businesses can be successful making pets welcome