With our survey last year, Pet Parents Unleashed 2018, we wanted to cast a spotlight on the shifting trends in pet ownership. We highlighted a remarkable phase in the Indian pet industry wherein the rules of pet parenting in the country are being completely rewritten. In the same vein, our current survey has been designed to find out how capable, open and friendly Indian cities are to support this new dynamic people share with their pets.
Our survey metrics took into account a range of factors that are generally considered important for pet parenting - from access to good vets, parks, boarding & grooming facilities, to ease of renting houses as well as measuring other people's mindset towards pets/animals in general.
Additionally, we also wanted to explore what dog parents are looking for from their cities to help them become more responsible and provide better lives for their furry buddies. Finally, we assessed certain key trends and purchasing behaviour.
Thanks to over 1500 pet parents like you who took the time out to complete this survey, we present a summary of our findings which hopefully paint a comprehensive picture of how pet-ready and animal-friendly India really is.
When asked to define the overall pet friendliness of their respective cities in terms of access to quality pet products & services, vets and open spaces to walk and exercise their dog regularly,
- 70.9% of the total respondents said their city was moderately pet-friendly, which means some areas in their city had good access to quality pet services while some did not
- 14.5% of the total respondents said their city was not at all pet-friendly
- 12.4% of the total respondents rated their cities as very pet-friendly
- 2.2% of the total respondents were unsure
Which metro cities are the most pet-friendly?
Bangalore ranked the highest where about 20% of the participants rated their city as very pet-friendly closely followed by Mumbai at 18% and Pune at 15.5%. Delhi and Hyderabad were the worst off with only about 12% and 12.5% of the participants, respectively being very satisfied
Pet-Friendly Spaces & Outings
When asked how often dog parents plan outings with their pet(s) in their city, a majority of over 36% of the respondents said they do so at least once a month and another approximately 27% said at least once in 3 months.
- Yet, over 58% of the responses said that there were no pet-friendly public spaces (such as parks and/or cafes) in their neighbourhoods
- Even when it comes to neighbourhood parks, 28.7% said dogs were not allowed in their neighbourhood park and 28.2% said there were no parks in their neighbourhood
A more heartening response was received in terms of the accessibility of basic pet services such as vets, pet shops etc. A whopping majority of 54.3% said they were very accessible (within 1-3km) and another 18% said they were somewhat accessible (between 3-6km).
The Pet Parent Community & The Broader Neighbourhood Outlook
When it comes to interacting with other pet parents, 51.4% of the respondents say that they regularly interact with 1-3 dog parents, 18% do so with 3-6 parents and 12.4% interact with over 6 parents regularly.
However, to the question of whether there is a strong network of dog parents in the neighbourhood with whom to plan play dates or have WhatsApp groups to share information, 23.2% of the respondents replied in the affirmative but a majority of 58.5% of the respondents said no.
It seems like a sizeable proportion of pet parents do indeed interact with one another, which could potentially lay the foundation for a stronger pet parent community in the area.
To the question of what the neighbours' outlook towards dog parents was in general, a majority of 53.4% of the respondents replied positively saying they do not face any issues and most people were quite friendly towards dogs. 32.4% of the respondents, however, felt that most or some people in the neighbourhood dislike dogs and dog parents and cause problems. In this context, developing a stronger pet parent community may have positive implications for pet parents.
Outlook Towards Community/Stray Dogs
A vast majority of over 70% of the respondents felt that community dogs and humans have learnt to co-exist in most neighbourhoods. Some people treat the dogs well and take care of them while some continue to cause problems - overall, it’s a mix!
Over 60% of the respondents shared that they were unhappy with the lack of proper attention by local authorities on stray dog population control measures and their general health (such as humane, regular & efficient Animal Birth Control, ABC drives to control the population and vaccinations).
In response to a question asking what would dog parents like being changed in the neighbourhood, 34.6% said they would like better treatment of stray dogs (with respect to neutering, vaccines etc).
An overwhelming majority of 94.8% of the participants felt that their city's local authorities need to run structured programmes to sensitize children towards being kind and compassionate towards animals
In the face of increasing media reports regarding both stray dog attacks as well as the increasing numbers of rabies-related hospital visits, the responses to our questions regarding community dogs can potentially point towards a harmonious solution. If local authorities partnering with citizens can step up their game regarding timely vaccinations and sterilisations as well as running programs on sensitising children on proper behaviour with stray dogs, this could go a long way in minimising the urban human-dog conflict.
When asked what changes dog parents would like in the neighbourhood, a majority of 39% say they would like more pet-friendly open spaces in the neighbourhood so that their dogs can have healthy walks. A close second, 34.6% shared they would like to see stray dogs being treated better (as previously mentioned) and 14.5% wish people were more accepting of dogs and respectful towards dog parents.
Overall, it seems that Indian cities do well enough on the pet-ready scale in terms of access to basic pet services such as vets and pet products etc. While this is heartening, it seems that we still need to go a long way in ensuring more pet-friendly attitudes as well as open spaces such as parks, in every neighbourhood.
The outlook of the broader neighbourhood seems to be satisfactory towards pet dogs. Yet, a sizeable portion of the respondents did feel that most or some people in the neighbourhood dislike dogs and dog parents and cause problems. A stronger network of pet parents in every neighbourhood may help cities open up further not just in terms of being accepting of pet dogs, but also being more pet-friendly and having better infrastructure for pet parents and dogs.
A majority of the respondents do feel that there is a coexistence between stray dogs and the community however they also feel like a better treatment of community animals is called for. Ensuring a timely, consistent and comprehensive plan for them such as sterilisation and yearly vaccinations by the local authorities, in tandem with citizens, seems to be the need of the hour - a view that has been shared by a majority of the survey participants. On the other hand, simultaneous structured programmes aimed at children to sensitise them regarding the proper behaviour towards community animals surely has the potential to bring down cases of stray dog bites and conflict.
In this post, we have explored some interesting lifestyle trends that the survey has brought to light.