China has more than 60 million pet cats and dogs. Mars Petcare are engaging in community outreach programs across the country, sharing knowledge and helping people to become better, more responsible pet owners.
There are some interesting differences between consumers in China and those in Western countries. In China for example, owners like to cook for their pets. In Western countries as much as 70 per cent of the food consumed by pets is pre-prepared, but in China, only 3 per cent of owners feed their pets with prepared pet food. Human food however, isn't the most nutritious for cats or dogs.
Encouraging responsible pet ownership
According to research, only 40 per cent of a human meal is digested by pets. With specially designed pet food, the ratio goes up to 84 per cent.
In a society like China, word of mouth is often the most powerful tool of communication so Mars is setting up stalls, in apartment complexes for example, and is sending out their nutritional experts to speak to pet owners. One of the biggest barriers is nutritional awareness so it is important to reach out to potential customers to educate them about the nutritional facts of pet food against home-cooked food.
Pet nutrition is part of the responsible pet ownership policy that Mars advocates. "When you see your pet as a part of your family and not something like an accessory - in the same way as your car or your handbag or your watch might be - that is when responsibility just becomes natural," says Mark Andrews, General Manager, Mars Petcare, China.
Mars Associates share the same vision of creating a better world for pets and a growing population of responsible pet owners in China.
A pet friendly place to work.
Mars Petcare is not only a manufacturer of products for pets, but aims to set a positive example for pet-human relations in the workplace. The Huairou office complex of the China headquarters is a pet friendly environment. Employees can bring their pets to work every day and there is both a dog pen and play area for cats.
This not only boosts employee morale, but also creates a ripple effect that gradually influences a wider circle of society with positive pet-caring habits.