Written in partnership with Mars Petcare.

Cassadee Pope’s beloved pup Cuppy plays many roles in the country singer’s life. He’s her trusty travel companion, her co-star (the French Bulldog appears in the video for her single, “Tomorrow Night,” from her new album, Thrive) and even her occasional therapist. “Dogs are the best therapy,” says the 32-year-old Season 3 Voice winner. “They’re just always there for you.”

The star — who’s been dating fellow musician Sam Palladio since late 2017 — talks to In Touch’s Katie Bruno about teaming up with Mars Petcare for the launch of their new Airport Certification through its BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, her friendship with her former Voice coach Blake Shelton and her plans for 2022.

In Touch: How has Cuppy helped you in tough times?

CP: Dogs always make you feel needed. When you’re feeling down, you’ve got a responsibility to feed them and take them outside and give them love and attention. That feels good and fuels your heart.

In Touch: As a musician, you’re on the road a lot. Is Cuppy a good traveler?

CP:  He’s great. I bring him on the bus when I tour, and on planes he’ll just fall asleep. I’m lucky he’s so easy to travel with. I’ve been flying with him since he was a puppy.

In Touch: Why did you partner with Mars Petcare?

CP: Knowing Cuppy is going to be comfortable when we’re flying is really important to me. We checked out Nashville International Airport yesterday, and they’ve got a dog park right before security check and a great pet relief station, too. Cuppy enjoyed that! The partnership makes sense for me.

Cassadee Pope

“I’m obsessed with my dog,” gushes Cassadee, at Nashville International Airport, which was the first to attain Mars Petcare’s new Airport Certification through its BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program. “He’s helped me a ton during tough times.”

In Touch: Tell us about your new album, Thrive.

CP: I wanted to incorporate my country roots and my pop punk influence and created a sound that feels really authentic to me. My fans helped me coin the genre — we’re calling it Y’alternative, which is the perfect description of what I’m doing now.

In Touch: What was the writing process like during the pandemic?

CP:  Like everybody else, I had a jolt where I wasn’t on tour anymore or doing in-person writing sessions. So I leaned into Zoom sessions and ended up covering things I’ve never talked about in songs before. It was a raw time.

In Touch: You won The Voice in 2012. What was that experience like?

CP:  Really fun. The show does a great job of nurturing artists. Blake was a great coach.

In Touch: Do you keep in touch with him?

CP:  I do. He’s always supported me, even after the show. He’s shouted me out on social and let me rent out his Nashville bar, Ole Red, for my album release show in 2019.

Cassadee Pope

“Blake was part of such a monumental moment for me.”

In Touch: How does it feel to be playing live again?

CP: I’m so glad. I just had my album release show for Thrive, and it was a packed house. I think everybody realized they took live music for granted.

In Touch: Any big goals for 2022?

CP: I’ll be going on tour and expanding on the Y’alternative brand. I’d love to do more merch with it and maybe turn it into a clothing line. And I’ll be hanging with my dog as much as I possibly can!

For more details about Mars Petcare’s initiative visit: Bettercitiesforpets.com. And follow Cassadee Pope on Instagram  @cassadeepope.

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