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Pet trend: Couples choosing pets over raising children
Couples who are of child rearing age are increasingly choosing to raise dogs, cats, birds, snakes, and other pets over children. Why and how could this be? We’ve delved into the idea and interviewed a couple that has done just that.
Interestingly, we at PetsInOmaha have located a statistic that surprised us a bit about this concept. According to this article, a survey was recently conducted about the issue. Here’s a snippet from the information collected:
“Flexcin International, Inc., a company that makes natural supplements for humans and pets, saying that according to its recent survey, more Americans are electing to house dogs over kids. The company polled 1,250 pet owners nationwide (ages 21 to 30) about their attitudes on child rearing and pet adoption. When asked what’s a better fit for them, more than half (54 percent) of respondents said dogs; 46 percent said children. When asked why they prefer dogs, 34 percent of respondents said they’re not sure if they can handle the needs of raising a child; 28 percent said they don’t have the time to raise a child; 21 percent said kids are more expensive than dogs; and 17 percent said they “just love” dogs more than kids.”
Other factors cited elsewhere include:
- Middle-aged couples are entrenched in their careers in such a way that raising kids, and tending to the responsibilities that go along with that, is just not a good fit.
- Others are hesitant to take on child-rearing in fear of being inadequate parents.
- Some couples simply don’t like the idea of raising children.
- Other couples are satisfied with raising pets because they provide an experience not unlike that of raising children; pets require less maintenance, less financial means, and don’t prevent people from continuing the lifestyles they want to lead.
Don’t get us wrong- we all love our pets, but some of us just don’t feel compelled to raise children- and there’s nothing wrong with that. Previous articles here at PetsInOmaha list the myriad of physical, emotional, and social benefits of raising pets. Choosing pets over kids is simply a lifestyle choice; not unlike choosing one car over another, picking “this” style home compared to another, or one diet instead of another choice. We embrace our pets as if they were our kids; in fact, some even call their pets their “children.” We certainly don’t disparage those who choose pets over kids. Happiness is the key to life and raising kids simply isn’t conducive to the concept of happiness for some of us.
This Female First article gives us some insight on the minds of those who choose pets over kids. It says:
“According to one psychologist: “Animals are surrogates for children and appeal to our need to nurture. We’ve even selectively bred dogs to make them more like children…to be attuned to our emotions and to give unconditional love.”
It’s hard to argue with psychology and this little anecdote proves to us that pets truly are a viable and happiness-creating option to child rearing.
One Omaha couple, Ryan and Kristi, decided early on in their relationship that kids were just not the way to go for them. In an interview with the couple to gain some of their feelings and insight, we gathered much proof that the trend is common and works for many young-to-middle-aged couples.