People are used to being asked if they’re a dog person or a cat person, implying they have a preference as to which furry companion is closer to their heart. But has anyone ever asked you if you’d rather raise a fluffy puppy or a human child? If not, perhaps you should be expecting that question soon because in 2021, more and more people are choosing to have pets instead of children.
Young Americans, particularly millennials, are delaying traditional life milestones like marriage, being homeowners, and raising kids. The $69-billion pet industry has seen significant growth lately, and it seems like millennials are the main reason for its exponential growth in the last couple of years. This means more people are spending money on a designer dog harness than baby bottles. This begs the question,
“What are the possible reasons for millennials to choose pets over parenthood?”
The truth is that there may be a couple of contributing factors as to why millennials are treating pets like surrogate children. Let’s explore some of them.
Reason #1: Money
Raising a dog isn’t cheap. According to the American Kennel Club, raising a small dog will cost you $2,674 in the first year alone. On the other hand, the average lifetime cost of raising a dog is $23,410. While that’s no small amount, it’s still significantly cheaper than raising a baby all the way through adulthood.
The USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion came up with the statistics of child-rearing costs. For a two-parent, middle-income family raising a child from birth up to the age of 18 will have to spend $245,340. That doesn’t even include the initial expenses you may incur during pregnancy and delivery, not to mention the unpaid maternity/paternity leaves that many parents face. By looking at those numbers alone, raising pets is seen as much easier from a financial standpoint.
Reason #2: Freedom
If you’re the type of person who can’t stand giving love and attention to your loved ones, then getting a dog is definitely good for you. The only difference it has with raising a child is that it doesn’t need constant monitoring.
Kids require round-the-clock attention, especially during their early years. On the other hand, a dog allows you the freedom to just go out whenever you want to. Yes, you may need to leave your furries some food and keep your leisure time at an acceptable duration, but you can still go whenever you want to. If you have a child, you’re compelled to bring them wherever you go or hire a babysitter for date nights with your partner.
Reason #3: Parenting Practice
Taking care of a dog can also give you a taste of what it’s like to raise a child to some degree. They both require lots of love and attention from their parents. It helps committed couples who are planning to have a future together learn some parenting skills. You get to experience all the challenges of parenting without some of the costs.
At the end of the day, dogs and babies aren’t exactly the same. It may be a little crude to compare them to each other, but for some people, having pets is almost as good as having a child of their own. If you’re in that stage in your life where the idea of nurturing and raising a child is just too tedious and financially debilitating for you, getting a dog is just the right companion for you.
For all the pet parents out there, giving your dog the love and support they need is important. You can show that love by purchasing fashionable dog collars and leashes for your fur babies. Our collections are fashionable, fun, and affordable! Visit our store page to order.