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Walnut Creek Magazine

WHY MILLENIALS ARE SO DOG OBSESSED?

Nov 04, 2019 02:53PM

As a generation, millennials (ages 22-37) are infatuated with dogs. For someone single and career-minded, who can't imagine life five years ahead let alone having a baby, a dog is an achievable goal. A recent Adweek study found that 44 percent of millennials see pets as "practice" for babies later in life, while others consider pets a new form of parenthood.

 Data from a 2016 study revealed San Francisco has more dogs than it has children—116,000 compared to 150,000—numbers that have probably soared along with apartment rents and home values.  Millennials say dogs provide companionship, emotional support, security, and a sense of home.

Nowhere is this trend more evident than in the billion-dollar pet industry which has grown three-fold since 1996, expected to hit $281 billion by 2023. According to the Washington Post, last year Americans spent $11 billion on pet-pampering alone. Most millennials—76 percent—say they are more likely to “splurge” on expensive outfits for their pets than something for themselves, fueled by furry influencers on social media.

The doggiest generation—three out of four Americans in their 30s own dogs—are also influencing where pets live and play by increasing access to apartment rentals, restaurants, stores, and resorts. The truth is that apart from their daily walks and regular food, dogs don’t ask for much and give unconditional love. –CASSIDY MCCLEAN