Did you know there are more pets than people living in the USA? There are just under 300 million people, and 360 million pets. That’s astonishing. Not only that, but spending on pets has surpassed the candy industry and the toy industry. We sure do love our dogs!
More than half of dog owners purchase a Holiday gift for their dogs. Depending on which study you go by, between 8 and 50 percent of dog owners do something special for their dog’s birthday.
This is fascinating to me, because I believe it reflects some social trends. I don’t have specific research to prove this, but here’s my opinion. Dogs are the new kids. Women are waiting longer to have kids, and more women are electing not to have children. Those of us who can’t have kids still want a little brood to watch over, care for and nurture. Couples, whether married or not, want to find out what sort of parents they’d be. Singles want a heartbeat at home with them, someone to run around with on the weekend.
So here we all are – single and married women, married couples, empty nesters, gay couples and even older kids – lavishing all our nurturing instincts on our dogs. Call it role-playing, substitution, whatever you like. As a culture and as individuals, we have a lot to give. And we want to give it. Good for the lucky dogs who are on the receiving end of that.