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  • Writer's pictureMary Puppins

Millennial Dog Parents: How Dogs Are Replacing Children

Updated: Apr 15

Dachshund with pet parent, millennial pet parents, luxury dog hotels

Millennial Dog Parents - How Dogs Are Replacing Children


Millennials are known for challenging the norms and expectations of previous generations, especially regarding lifestyle choices.

One of the most notable trends among this cohort is the preference for pets over children, with dogs being the most popular choice.

Many millennials identify as "millennial dog parents", treating their canine companions as family members and providing them with the best care and comfort possible.

A new phenomenon has emerged due to this trend: opulent dog hotels, where owners may treat their pets to various facilities and services while they are away.

millennials choosing dogs not children

Why are millennial dog parents opting for dogs over children?


Many factors influence this decision, including economic, environmental, and personal reasons.

For many millennials, having children is not a priority or a necessity but rather a choice that requires careful consideration and planning.

Some millennials may feel they need more time to be ready and willing to take on the responsibility and commitment of raising a child, while others may have different goals and aspirations that do not include parenthood.

Moreover, some millennials may be concerned about the impact of overpopulation and climate change on the future of humanity and choose to reduce their ecological footprint by not having children.

On the other hand, having a dog offers many benefits and advantages for millennials, such as companionship, loyalty, fun, and unconditional love.

Dogs also require less time, money, and resources than children, making them more suitable for millennials' busy and flexible lifestyles.

Additionally, dogs can help millennials cope with stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness, which are common issues among this generation.

One of the ways that millennials express their love and devotion to their dogs is by creating a home environment that caters to their needs and preferences.

Many millennials choose their residences based on pet-friendliness, space, safety, and accessibility.

Some millennials even go as far as renovating or decorating their homes to make them more comfortable and enjoyable for their dogs.

For instance, some millennial dog parents may install doors, ramps, stairs, beds, toys, or cameras to monitor their pets while away.


“Since the beginning of 2020, the coronavirus has caused a surge in pet ownership in American households. Many people turned to pets to offset their loneliness as a result of social distancing guidelines. The number of people who chose to adopt pets skyrocketed during this time, and millennials took centre stage as the largest pet-owning generation, surpassing baby boomers.

Millennials tend to view their pets as “starter children.” For many millennials, this means spending more money than the average on their pets, taking them to a pet daycare, throwing doggie parties for their “fur babies,” and of course posting their best-dressed pets on social media.” ManyPets


millennials choosing dogs not children

Rise of Luxury Dog Hotels


Another way that millennials spoil their dogs is by sending them to luxury dog hotels when they travel or need a break.

Luxury dog hotels are not your typical kennels or boarding facilities; they are more like resorts or spas for dogs, where they can experience the ultimate pampering and relaxation.

Luxury dog hotels offer a variety of amenities and services for dogs, such as spacious suites, gourmet meals, massages, grooming, swimming pools, play areas, training sessions, socialisation opportunities, and more.

Some luxury dog hotels even have themes or special features to make them more appealing and unique.

Luxury dog hotels are becoming more popular and accessible among millennial dog parents who want to provide their dogs with the best care possible while away.

Luxury dog hotels also offer peace of mind and convenience for millennial dog parents who do not have to worry about finding reliable or trustworthy pet sitters or leaving their dogs alone at home.

Luxury dog hotels are a win-win situation for both dogs and owners.

millennials choosing dogs not children

Millennial Dog Parents and a Pet-Friendly Home Environment


Creating a pet-friendly home environment is a way of spoiling your dog and ensuring their health and happiness.

Dogs are sensitive creatures that need a comfortable environment to thrive and flourish.

A pet-friendly home environment can provide your dog with physical and mental stimulation, security and safety, comfort and cosiness, and socialisation and bonding.

pet parents hands holding dog's paws, millennials choosing dogs not children

Elements of a pet-friendly home environment


- A designated space for your dog to sleep, eat, play, relax, and feel safe.

- A clean and hygienic environment where your dog can avoid diseases or infections.

- A temperature-controlled environment where your dog can stay cool in summer and warm in winter.

- A well-lit environment where your dog can see clearly and avoid accidents or injuries.

- A quiet setting free from distractions or loud noises that may otherwise stress or frighten your dog.

- A clutter-free environment where your dog can move freely and avoid choking hazards or toxic substances.

- A stimulating environment where your dog can access toys, games, puzzles, treats, or other activities that keep them entertained and engaged.

- A social environment where your dog can interact with you or other pets or people they like.

Small dog being cuddled by millennial dog parents, luxury dog hotels

Millennial Dog Parents and the Benefits of Dog Ownership


It is beneficial for you to be a dog owner.

Numerous advantages of owning a dog can enhance your well-being and quality of life.

The following are a few advantages of dog ownership:

- Companionship:

Dogs are loyal and faithful friends who will always be there for you no matter what.

They will keep you company when you are lonely or bored and cheer you up when you are sad or depressed.

They will also make you laugh with their antics and expressions and make you feel loved with their affection and attention.

- Tension relief:

By instilling in you a sense of peace and relaxation, dogs can aid in the reduction of tension and anxiety.

They can also help you release stress and frustration by playing or cuddling with them.

They may provide comfort and support, which can help you deal with challenging circumstances or feelings.

- Physical health:

Dogs can help you improve your physical health by encouraging you to exercise more and stay active.

They can also help you lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart rate by reducing your stress levels and increasing your happiness.

Exposing you to bacteria and germs can fortify your resistance to illness and help you develop your immune system.

- Mental health:

Dogs can help you improve your mental health by enhancing your mood and self-esteem.

They can also help you prevent or treat depression, anxiety, or other mental disorders by providing you with a sense of purpose and meaning.

Since they stimulate your brain and memory, they can also aid in improving your cognitive abilities.

millennials choosing dogs not children

Millennial Dog Parents and Dog-Friendly Holidays


You are not alone if you love your dog so much that you cannot bear to leave them behind when you go on vacation.

Many millennial dog parents take their dogs with them on their holidays, making them more fun and memorable.

However, planning a dog-friendly holiday requires research and preparation to ensure you and your dog have a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Some of the considerations when planning a dog-friendly holiday include:

- Location: Select a location that fits your dog's requirements, preferences, and personality.

For instance, if your dog loves nature and adventure, choose a destination with hiking trails, parks, or beaches.

If your dog is more of a city dweller, pick a destination that offers museums, cafes, or pet-friendly shops.

- Mode of transportation: Ensure your dog is comfortable and secure in the vehicle.

For example, if you are driving somewhere, make sure your dog has access to enough room, air, and water.

Ensure your dog complies with all carrier standards before taking a bus, rail or aeroplane ride.

Consider speaking with your veterinarian to ensure your dog is healthy and ready for travel.

- Accommodation: Choose a welcoming and accommodating accommodation for your dog.

For instance, if you are staying at a hotel, ensure it is pet-friendly and has the amenities and services your dog needs.

If you are staying at an Airbnb or a rental home, ensure it is clean and secure for your dog.

You may also check the reviews and ratings of the accommodation from other pet owners who have stayed there before.

- Activities: Choose fun and engaging activities for you and your dog.

For instance, if you want to explore the sights and attractions of the destination, ensure they are accessible and permissible for your dog.

If you want to relax and unwind, ensure your dog has enough entertainment and stimulation to keep them busy.

Look for activities specifically designed for dogs, such as parks, spas, or tours.

faqs millennial dog parents, dogs instead of children

Why are millennials choosing pets over children?

Millennials are choosing pets over children for a variety of reasons.

These include financial considerations, as raising a child can be significantly more expensive than caring for a pet.

The flexibility of pet ownership is another factor, as pets don’t require the same level of commitment as children.

Additionally, many millennials view pets as part of their family and enjoy the companionship they offer.

How are dogs fulfilling the role of children in millennial households?

Dogs are fulfilling the role of children in millennial households in several ways.

They provide companionship and unconditional love, much like a child.

Many millennials also enjoy the responsibility of caring for a pet, which can be similar to the responsibility of raising a child.

Dogs also provide a sense of purpose and routine, which can be fulfilling.

What impact does treating dogs like children have on the pet industry?

Treating dogs like children has had a significant impact on the pet industry.

It has increased demand for high-quality pet products and services, from organic pet food to luxury pet accessories.

Pet owners have increased demand for pet daycare and pet-friendly travel services to provide their furry family members with the best possible care.

How does owning a dog influence the lifestyle and choices of millennials?

Owning a dog can significantly influence the lifestyle and choices of millennials.

It can affect their living arrangements, as they must consider space for their pet and access to outdoor areas.

It can influence their daily routines, as dogs require regular feeding, exercise, and care. It can even impact their social and travel plans, as they must consider their pet’s needs.

What are some common trends among millennial dog parents?

Some common trends among millennial dog parents include focusing on their pets' health and wellness, along with a preference for high-quality, nutritious pet food and regular exercise.

Many are also willing to spend more on premium pet products and services.

Additionally, there’s a trend towards treating pets as part of the family, with many pet parents celebrating their pet’s birthdays, including them in family events, and even taking them on vacations.

millennials choosing dogs not children

Final Thoughts


Millennials are redefining the concept of family by choosing dogs over children as their companions and partners in life.

By becoming millennial dog parents, they express their individuality, values, and preferences in a way that suits their lifestyles and personalities.

They are also creating a new market for products and services that cater to their dogs' needs and desires, such as luxury dog hotels.

Moreover, they are experiencing the joys and benefits of dog ownership, such as companionship, stress relief, physical health, mental health, and fun.

Millennials and their furry family are changing the face of modern households one paw at a time.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

At Mary Puppins,  we prioritise your cherished pets' well-being, offering a haven of comfort and care during their stay.

Our commitment is to ensure your small breed dogs are treated like family, receiving top-notch attention and care.

BOOK NOW  via our website. We have limited places and get booked up super fast. Give your little dog the five-star VIP holiday they deserve, while you enjoy yours.

Mary Puppins, millennial dog parents, luxury dog hotels

Mary Puppins, Millennial dog parents, luxury dog hotels

mary puppins millenial dog parents choosing dogs not children

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny, an expert in small breed dogs and a pet parent to her own beloved small dogs.

With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families,

Kate shares her top tips with you.

Kate guides readers on small dog breeds, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate lifestyle for their small dogs.



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