A report has found millennials treat their pets as if they are their first born children, and they’re more than happy to splash the cash on them.
I can happily say right now I think dogs are cuter than babies. I’d probably have a different opinion if I had a child of my own, but for now, a fluffy bundle of love who’s always happy to see you seems much more appealing than a crying, screaming child.
So it’s understandable why pets have replaced children for some people, and I don’t think it’s just millennials who have this mindset. There’s an entire stereotype around people who treat pets like children, and when you say ‘crazy cat lady’ a 22-year-old doesn’t necessarily spring to mind.
But while you’d imagine having pets to be significantly cheaper than raising a child, there’s some owners out there who are all too willing to splash out on their adorable little animal, spoiling them as if the value of money had any meaning to them.
According to Neilson, annual household spending on pet food among pet owners increased by 36 per cent between 2007 and 2017.
Analysts found many of these consumers are young people who have invested in pets and are feeding them grain-free kibble and wild-caught tuna before having children or buying houses.
Beverley Petrunich, owner of DoGone Fun, a dog day-care center in Chicago, said:
They treat them like it was their firstborn child.
Last year, data analytics firm GfK found more than 4, 500 new pet food products were introduced, a 45 per cent increase from 2016. Most new products were premium brands, boosting the average price per/lb of pet food from $1.71 (£1.35) in 2011 to $2.55 (£2) in 2017.
But the increase in price doesn’t stop people spoiling their pets, and according to the Retail Gazette, Brits are expected to spend a collective total of £750 million on their pets this Christmas – with more than a quarter of those admitting they’d spend more on their furry friends than their loved ones.
I mean, the pets are the ones you’d be more likely to to see everyday, you don’t want to undermine them with rubbish gifts.
Online marketplace OnBuy.com conducted a survey of 3230 pet owners, where 87 per cent of the respondents said they would be buying their pet a Christmas present this year.
27 per cent admitted they spend more on their furry friends than their actual human friends, and another five per cent revealed they planned to spend more on their pet than on their own father.
35 per cent said they spend between £20 to £30 on their pets, while the average amount spent was £16. That doesn’t say great things about the quality of presents some fathers will be getting this Christmas, but it’s the thought that counts!
With gender reveal videos being swapped for pet reveal videos and family photos often revolving around a four-legged friend, it’s no surprise people are willing to give their favourite animals such a lavish life!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.