Can Pets Help Today's Teens Cope with Mental Health Issues?

A new video campaign from Pets Add Life, written and directed by a member of Gen Z, gives a compelling look at the emotional benefits of pets

STAMFORD, Conn., Sept. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- American Pet Products Association (APPA) CEO Steve King announced that the Association's non-profit campaign Pets Add Life (PAL), charged with promoting the joys and benefits of responsible pet ownership, launched its latest video campaign today. A Pet Sees You is a short film highlighting the mental health benefits of pet ownership for members of the Gen Z population. To help tell the story, PAL has partnered with Gen Z director, Richelle Chen, to connect with young adults on a relatable and emotional level. Watch A Pet Sees You on YouTube or visit

"While previous generations have come to understand the positive impact pets can have on their health and well-being, members of Gen Z are tackling entirely new pressures and mental health issues unique to their generation," said King. "We're committed to doing our part to help promote alternative ways pets can help today's younger generations cope with their struggles, while joining the meaningful, and extremely timely, mental health conversation."

A Pet Sees You shows the day to day challenges of a high-school aged girl who faces the constant pressures of school, having an online presence, anxiety, heavy use of technology, mass shootings, and the desire to change the world. Despite these struggles, the short film emphasizes that a pet sees you, even when it feels like others don't. The actress in the film stars alongside an affectionate and loyal Weimaraner, who also happens to be her best friend behind the scenes. The duo was cast as a package deal, making their on-screen connection even more relatable.

According to a recent Wakefield survey of 1,000 Gen Z Americans ages 11-17, nearly 80 percent have a pet in their household. 60 percent have a dog, 36 percent have a cat, 14 percent own fish and 23 percent have a small animal, reptile, bird or horse. Research from the 2019-2020 APPA National Pet Owners Survey also shows that Gen Zers identify stress relief (66 percent) and reduced levels of anxiety and depression (61 percent) as specific health benefits of pet ownership, more than any other generation.

"With the growing support of research showing that pet ownership can positively affect the Gen Z population, the pet care community has a responsibility to be at the forefront of these important discussions," said King.

In conjunction with A Pet Sees You, PAL has provided resources on its website to further connect with Generation Z, which include links to mental health lifelines, quizzes to help respondents find their perfect pet, influencer testimonials, a pet finder and conversation starters to help teens talk to their parents about getting a pet.

For more information on A Pet Sees You, visit or contact Jamie Baxter at

About Pets Add Life
Founded by the American Pet Products Association, Pets Add Life (PAL) is a nonprofit campaign dedicated to sharing information about how pet ownership benefits animals and people alike. PAL's mission is to increase awareness of the bonds and other rewards associated with pets of all types. Primarily through social media with videos, contests and engaging content, PAL spreads the joys of pets and aims to deliver key messages about the human-animal bond, responsible pet ownership, pet acquisition and health benefits of pets. Learn more about Pets Add Life at

Media contact: Jamie Baxter
The Impetus Agency

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SOURCE American Pet Products Association

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