What does the millennial generation have to do with the future of pets in America? A lot apparently. The American Vetrinary Medical Association (AVMA) has recently released a report about their predictions for how the next generation will cause a decline in pet ownership. They regularly study generational effects on their industry. A smart move considering that simple financial statistics show an increasing amount of money spent on pets annually. If pet ownership declines, this would certainly affect the industry as a whole. A decline in pet ownership also means pet shelters at full capacity… But why are millennial’s less likely to own pets in the future?
Pet Ownership & the Millennial Generation
- More time spent in college – With a tougher and more competitive job market out there, younger people are spending more time in college working on better degrees. Having time for a pet while your working on a degree can be difficult – not to mention pet ownership on a college budget.
- Nomadic lifestyles – A whole generation of Americans will find home ownership an unrealistic option. Not owning a home means they are less likely to have roots. The millennial generation is more likely to move frequently in pursuit of new opportunities and lifestyles.
- Renters – Not being able to own a home means a whole generation of renters. Renters are more likely to be confined by lease agreements that exclude pets or charge hefty deposits for them…
- Reptile friendly – Millennials, more so than the generations before them, are favoring reptilian pets over the furry and friendly kind. This leaves dogs and cats out in the cold…
So what can be done to make sure that shelters don’t fill up and that the new generation realizes the enjoyment of committing to a furry companion for the long-term? Plenty! Millennial’s are coming of age in a different world than the generations before them and they have some great virtues that could offer some relief for pet shelters. The new generation is compassionate when it comes to affecting change and as shelters fill up, many millennials feel compelled do something to help! They are great social media activists and their ability to passionately spread the word about neglected pets in need of forever homes is having a great impact on abandoned pets across the nation! If they can’t own a pet themselves, they are still likely to put forth effort to encourage others who can, to adopt. Those millennials who do embrace pet ownership are also more likely to splurge on their pets than the previous generation. While they may not be big pet owners, at least they make sure the ones they have are well taken care of!
Expanding even more on millennials desire to affect change, this is the generation that is likely to get succeed in demanding more transparency and higher standards in the pet care industry. From dog groomers and pet sitters to food and toy makers, they want to know that their money is going to a quality product or service that is conscientiously produced. This is great news for pet owners who have concerns over unhealthy additives and a lack of quality nutrition in pet foods.
Are you a millennial (born between 1980-2004)? Tell us how you feel about pet ownership and what affects your choices for pet ownership and pet care?