More and more women consider their pets as kids, according to a new study. Specifically, those who fall into the millennial population. This is because this group of women is choosing to prioritize work, relationships, travel, and the like over having babies. And because of this, the cat or dog that lives under the roof receives the affection that babies would otherwise receive, were they a desired part of this generation’s lives.
Researchers from Veterinarians.org reviewed a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control that spoke to the trends in birth rates. While it has been occurring for decades, the pandemic thrust to the forefront that the majority of millennial women have no desire to start a family. Instead, they want to postpone having babies, (if they have them at all) to focus on furthering their careers, spending time with their significant other, traveling, and not being tied down with the responsibility of a baby.
While this is interesting news, from a veterinary standpoint, it is not exactly relevant. That is until the study stated that one-third of women surveyed stated that “caring for pets is more fulfilling to them than the idea of raising a child,” according to Veterinarians.org. And it was this fact alone that spurred a study waiting to know how millennial women view their four-legged friends.
Researchers spoke with 400 millennial women who stated they did not have a desire to have children. Of those women, the study found that:
- Nearly three-quarters of the women look at their cat or dog as a child
- Almost as many liked to be in the presence of their pet over that of a child
- Close to 70 percent saw caring for pets as practice for what it would be like to have a baby
- Nearly as many participants said it was easier caring for a pet than it was for a baby
Some other interesting findings, according to Veterinarians.org showed that costs were less to care for a pet than a babyfinding care for a pet is easier than a baby, having a pet is less stressful than having a baby, and more.
To determine just how spoiled these fur babies were, researchers wanted to know what these pet moms have done for their cats or dogs. And many of the activities are akin to what those who have children would do for their little ones.
Per the publication, more than half of the women made a decision on where they were going to live based on the needs of their pets. Just about the same amount had purchased clothing for their pet as well.
Further still, travel arrangements revolved around whether there were accommodations for pets, just like there would be for children. And not surprisingly, holidays, including birthdays were celebrated as wellaccording to Veterinarians.com.
This trend of treating pets as kids is something that women in Japan have done for the past several yearsaccording to JapanToday. And, just like in the US, the birth rate has been declining there as well.
Whether pets will eventually begin to be what younger women are drawn to versus starting a family remains to be seen. But what the younger generations are showing is that while there is a desire to have a bond with and care for another, that is not always going to be a baby.
Source: Centers for Disease Control, Veterinarians.org, JapanToday
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