Common Barriers to Pet Ownership & Access

With over 84 million pet-owning homes in the United States, there are still a surprising number of obstacles in many communities that make pet ownership more challenging than it needs to be.

While major issues like a lack of pet-friendly housing options may discourage families in your community from getting a pet altogether, other seemingly smaller obstacles can unfairly make life difficult for people and their pets.

A lack of pet relief stations and green spaces can make daily activities like walking your dog needlessly frustrating. Employees of workplaces without pet-friendly policies may run into challenges when trying to take time off to care for their pets when they are ill. Even a lack of pet-friendly transportation options can discourage pet owners from using vacation time to travel for fear that their pets may not be welcome.

These barriers, big and small, add up.

Fortunately, things are beginning to change. An ever increasing number of communities are choosing to embrace pets and the benefits they have to offer, by working to make more facilities, businesses, and homes accommodating to pets and people alike.

Before you can take action to improve the pet-friendliness of your own community, it is important to understand where the barriers and challenges are. While every community is different, we have compiled some of the more common barriers to pet ownership and access here to give you a sense of what obstacles might exist in your community and to help you develop a plan of action for making your community more welcoming to all.

Want to Make Your City Pet-Friendlier?

Check out our guide on advocating for a pet-friendly community. Find out what you can do to make your city more welcoming to pets and owners alike.

View the Guide

Mars Petcare's Better Cities for Pets™ program features a comprehensive set of materials and resources designed to help you develop practical strategies for improving the pet-friendliness of your community.

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