Thursday, December 4, 2014

Young Americans choose pets instead of children

According to the US Department of Health, birth rates in the USA have plummeted. Meanwhile, Americans buy more and more small dogs weighing under 20 pounds, and the population of dogs in this weight group has doubled since 1999.

This could be a coincidence, but the decline in children born and increase in small dogs belong to the same age group. Dogs can give an outlet for the human instinct to care and coddle while maintaining independence and a career. Recent studies have also found that the bond between dogs and owners is very similar to the bond between babies and parents.

Naturally, this increase and the tendency to treat pets as family members mean wonderful times for the pet industry. Premium dog food has grown by 170 percent over the last fifteen years, and the most expensive kinds of dog food now account for nearly 60 percent of the overall dog food market.

There are pet clothes, pet strollers, special purses for carrying small dogs, pet jewelry, and almost everything one can think of.

The trend follows that of many European countries which have seen declining birth rates for long times, and where pets long ago attained family status.

What do you think? Children, pets, or both? Do you think this trend is here to stay?

~ Maria Sadowski ~

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