The generation of people born between 1980 and 2000 also known as "The Millennial Generation" is the topic of a lot of conversations. The Millennials are often criticized about how different their choices, their technology and their attitudes are from past generations. A study has found another area that Millennials differ from previous generations: they own more pets. Not only do they own more pets but they are more likely to "splurge" on little gifts for them.
It has been reported that 75% of Americans in their 30's own a dog and 51% own a cat. Psychologist Jean Twenge of San Diego State University believes that pets are taking the place of having kids for the Millennial generation which has influenced this rise in pet ownership.
"Pets are becoming a replacement for children. They're less expensive. You can get one even if you're not ready to live with someone or get married, and they can still provide companionship."
Not to mention the endless joy and happiness the provide. The researchers suspect this has something to do with the fact that the generation is half as likely to be married than their parents generation. They also tend to wait longer to have children and spend more time on their careers which leads to more pets.
Of the men surveyed between the ages of 18-34, 71% owned a dog and 48% owned a cat. For the women, 62% owned a dog and 35% owned a cat. This increase has contributed to $63 billion pet industry that has tripled since 1996. Americans spent $11 billion last year alone on toys, treats, pet strollers and costumes.
The majority of millennials (76%) were willing to splurge on their animals where only 50% of baby boomers were willing to do the same. Although it doesn't seem crazy if you realize that there are dogs and cats out there with bigger Instagram followings than a lot of celebrities and can make in the upwards of $1000 per sponsored post.
If Millennials are replacing having children with getting a dog or a cat, it makes sense that they would be happy to spend money on them. Or maybe I am just saying that to justify the dinosaur costume I purchased a couple weeks ago for my dog.