by Mariana Burgos
People’s love of pets has grown stronger during the pandemic, whether they adopted a new furbaby to deal with the isolation of a lockdown or they became closer to the ones they already have. Usually, during the holidays, many pet owners plan to show their love for their furry children by showering them with presents and incorporating them in unusual celebrations.
Millennials have been shown to be true animal lovers, with seven out of ten having their own pets. Of the pet owners, 61 percent have a dog, while 39 percent have a cat.
Millennials regard their pets as children, and they are the generation most prone to lavish lavishly on their pets. According to a poll of almost 100 local pet owners in our own area (San Miguel, Bulacan) that I conducted, millennials are the most inclined to buy five or more gifts for their pets.
Millennials, unsurprisingly, are going a little too far with expenses for their ‘fur-babies’.
Gen Xers feel their pets can find camaraderie with other pets, whereas baby boomers see their pets as extended family members. Gen Xers are more likely than previous generations to possess two pets.
Many individuals underestimate the expenses of being a pet parent. Luxury accessories and toys have remained a significant cost of pet keeping, with millennial pet owners embracing the trends in particular. Millennial cat owners spend an average of P3000 a year on their pet and some (rich kids) are willing to spend up to P20,000 if their cat becomes unwell.
Nearly 71 per cent of those pet owners say they spend between P100 and P400 on their fluffy fam members around the holidays, 23 per cent spend more than P500, and 6 per cent spend more than P1000, according to our survey. Meanwhile, 5 per cent of respondents said they don’t spend any additional money on their dogs or cats.
However, keep in mind that our estimates only consider splurging, not regular pet expenses like food and grooming, or veterinary care and pet insurance. According to our interviews and surveys conducted, Gen Xers spend the most money on their dogs of any age group, while millennials spend the most money on their cats. A quarter of millennials said they buy matching clothes to correspond with their dogs. And 13 per cent of baby boomers said they buy more gifts for their pets than for their family members.
For social media posts, 40 per cent of millennials spend money on their dogs (for instance, for props or outfits). Twenty-one percent of Gen Xers and eight percent of baby boomers spend money on social media posts for their dogs. According to our survey, baby boomers are the least likely to go into debt for their pets and spend less overall than other generations.
Millennials are delaying starting families longer than previous generations, and as a result, they treat their pets like children.
One thing is certain: each generation adores dogs, with all three generations preferring canine company when it comes to pet ownership. Dogs provide a number of physical and mental health advantages, ranging from improved mood to reduced blood pressure, making them a popular pet choice. Cats, the second-most popular pet across generations, provide similar health benefits, albeit a correlation between cat ownership and a lower incidence of heart attacks has only been discovered in cat ownership, not dog ownership.
We’ve already established that this audience goes above and beyond when it comes to caring for their pets, so any pet care firm that launches a blog or other kind of more personal connection should be wary of providing genuine advice, tales, and interaction. Any thinly veiled advertising will be ignored.
Millennials crave a sense of belonging. They want information and updates. Making messages seem like a discussion, even if it’s only on the surface, is becoming an increasingly crucial outlet. Sure, you’re trying to sell something, but what if you make it appear as if the audience is a part of a solution when they take action?
This audience is looking for authenticity and involvement. They like to be “spoken with” rather than being “talked at,” therefore using social media is no longer optional. However, millennials can smell a rat, and the 37 percent of them who own pets are even more likely to seek out “the sale,” as they’re less concerned with brand loyalty than ever before. This generation is more likely to return to hear what you have to say if you engage them in discussions about improved ways to help them care for their “babies.” And then, you got them.
Millennials are the most educated and connected generation in history. They go online, and it’s becoming increasingly common for people of all ages to do so. Everyone’s word is not taken as gospel, including veterinarians.
Perception is reality, as it is with all clients. If Millennials believe their pet dog or cat is not being properly cared for or that they are not getting value for their money, they will not hesitate to seek out another facility that meets their needs.
Millennials understand the human-animal link significantly better than previous generations, and their pets’ emotional well-being is as important to them as their physical well-being. There is no evidence (yet) that Millennials are leading the change in terms of pet care. However, evidence shows that Millennials are driving up the number of veterinarian appointments and are concerned about their animals’ emotional wellbeing.
Millennials are demanding the best medical care for their pets. And that is a good thing.
About the Author: Mariana Burgos is a freelance artist. She is a solo parent for 14 years now because she is wife to a desaparacido. She and her daughter are animal lovers and are active in advocating not only human rights but the rights of animals as well.
This article also appears in the Manila Standard
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