Pet ownership is at a record high all across the United States, with recent data estimating that around 65 million American households currently own a dog, while 46 million currently own a cat. Millennials dominate the population of American pet owners, making up the highest percentage across all age groups.
As more and more people turn to pets for companionship and emotional support, they’ve increasingly come to see their animal companions as members of their families. New York University (NYU) professor of sociology Kathleen Gerson shares with CBC News that such a phenomenon marks a cultural shift when it comes to the ways Americans conceive of and speak about modern families. According to Gerson’s research, around 1 in 3 dog owners thinks of themselves as a dog “parent.”
Hand in hand with this altered view of pets comes greater demand for better-quality food, specialized services, and unique experiences for pets—and pet-related businesses are quick to respond to these new needs. Establishments such as dog parks and pet-friendly cafes have steadily become more common around the country in recent years. Animal-friendly bakeries are another popular fixture in the US pet industry today, producing pet-safe cakes and pastries for pet owners seeking to celebrate a furry friend’s birthday or “bark-mitzvah.”
Essential Tips for a Pet-Friendly Home
Any doting pet parent wants to make sure that their home is just as comfortable and welcoming for their beloved dog or cat as it is for any human member of the family. Designing your living space with a pet’s needs in mind might include, for instance, choosing hardwood floors over wall-to-wall carpeting and selecting fabrics for furnishings that are both stain-resistant and easy to clean.
Your pet will also appreciate having their own safe space at home that they can retreat to when they’re stressed or tired, or when they simply want to relax. You might designate a quiet corner or even a room for this purposes—but whatever you space you choose, filling it with wholesale dog toys, personalized dog blankets, and other similar items can help make it homier and more comfortable for your pet.
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