There's been a lot of press about millennials being the generation with the highest pet ownership. It is reported that they see their pets as the first step in forming a family and easing into parenthood. One study found that 82% of Millennials polled said that pet ownership should come before parenthood because it better prepares them for that next step.
According to Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University, pets are becoming a replacement for children. “They're less expensive. You can get one even if you're not ready to live with someone or get married, and they can still provide companionship.”
We decided to dig into the date from the General Social Survey to see how true the ownership rate is. Surprisingly, at least when it comes to dog ownership, a greater percentage of Generation X households own dogs than millennials.
43% of millennial and more than half of Gen X households owning dogs is a big market. That helps explain the rise of dog-friendly restaurants and eatertainment venues.