Gen Z adults buy cats and dogs because traditional milestones are becoming more and more unaffordable
Marriage and children? No, Gen Z wants ‘fur babies’ (that’s pets, by the way)… Adults in their 20s buy cats and dogs as traditional milestones become increasingly prohibitive
- Adults born between 1997 and 2012 are more likely to have pets than previous generations
Today, adults in their 20s don’t seem nearly as eager as previous generations to get married, become parents, and settle down.
But it seems like all they’re committed to is “fur babies” — that’s cats and dogs to the rest of us.
The boss of a leading pet care company says adults in the Gen Z group, made up of those born between 1997 and 2012, are also buying pets rather than homes.
This may be because animals are relatively cheap compared to the increasingly prohibitive traditional milestones.
Lyssa McGowan, chief executive of Pets At Home, said: ‘Gen Z are getting pets earlier than previous generations, perhaps because they are delaying child rearing, marriage or owning a flat.
Adults in their 20s are more willing to commit to “fur babies” — that’s cats and dogs to the rest of us — than to buy a house
Lyssa McGowan, CEO of Pets At Home, said Generation Z is more likely to get pets than previous generations
“They put all that time, energy and attention into fur babies, especially in urban areas.”
She even suggested that owning a dog “gives you more pleasure” than getting married or having a baby anyway.
Lockdown and more working from home caused a “massive boom” in pet ownership, according to Pets At Home. It says the pet population has increased by 10 percent since Covid hit.
“But it’s not just a Covid boom,” Ms McGowan added. ‘It hasn’t gone away. We are still seeing large numbers of puppies and kittens and [lots of] owners have taken second pets.”
She said: ‘The reasons for that are largely related to working from home, you can reliably be home to walk the dog at lunchtime.’
According to trade organization UK Pet Food, one in five 16-24 year olds has bought a pet since the start of the pandemic.
The figure is almost the same for 25 to 34-year-olds. But marriage rates have fallen in recent decades, with the 2021 census showing that the biggest drop came from those aged 25 and 35.
Britons are also investing more in outfits for their pets.
Ms McGowan said she was considering buying her own dog a “Doggy Parton” denim jacket from Dolly Parton’s pet clothing line.