Millennials Are Buying Homes Because of Their Pets

Millennials are driving change.  Spending trends reveal that they are an ethical group, concerned with environmental protection, and health-conscious behaviors. They choose Whole Foods over fast food, and flavored wine over wheat-based beer.  From paper napkins to diamonds, it seems a wide range of industries will be affected as Millennials surpass Baby Boomers in purchasing power.

Not surprisingly, savvy Millennials look for value in their investments, and in 2016 they were the largest demographic of home-buyers.  However, there is a twist.  Millennials have a special reason for purchasing homes, according to the American Kennel Club.

I Bought this House For My Dog

While some people purchase for investments, and others to start a family, Millennials are buying homes for their dogs.  The AKC cited a Harris poll taken of new homeowners, and their reasons for purchasing a new home.  According to the study, 33 percent of Millennial homeowners bought a house so their dogs would have more space to roam, particularly a yard.  By comparison, marriage was only the driving force for 25 percent of Millennials homeowners, and children fell far behind with only 19 percent citing them as motivation for getting a home.

That might seem like unusual behavior, but for the millennial generation it’s anything but. Millennials have traditionally pushed marriage down the list of priorities, choosing to live with partners for longer before tying the knot. Having kids is similarly lower on the list of priorities, because millennials understand better than anyone how expensive it can be to care for kids. However, as the product of the Great Recession, millennials also seek comfort and stability in their lives. And what is more stable or comforting than a dog? Someone who is always happy to see you, and who loves you unconditionally?

Other data backs up the close relationship millennials have with their dogs. When compared to baby boomers, and members of Generation X, millennials were more likely to buy presents for their pets (toys, treats, etc.), and they were more likely to take their pets to the vet more often. Sure signs that, for millennials, the quality of life their pets experience is important. And, perhaps most tellingly, millennials own the most pets now, surpassing previous generations in the sheer volume of animal companions they have.

Deciding What Matters

Millennials have confused so many businesses because the things they value seem so drastically different from previous generations. In many ways that’s true. However, understanding that value and thrift are at the core of millennial spending habits is key to making sense of why they do what they do. They understand value, and they want to know what they get out of every dime they spend. A status symbol doesn’t matter to them, and they have no interest in the luxuries and leisure of older generations… they want what they want, and they’re not shy about paying for it. Which often means that older, more established trends get thrown right out the window.

For more information about the relationship between millennials and their pets, simply contact us today!

Dogs are Man’s Best Friend: Benefits of Having a Dog

In today’s modern plugged-in world that unfolds on so many screens rather than in real life, many people feel increasingly isolated. Pressures at work seem to have no end, and we are increasingly encouraged to stay plugged into so many social media outlets. Friendships with people seem to be based on clicks rather than genuine connections.

With so much noise around us, how can we find an authentic companion who loves us simply for who we are?

Girl with Her Dog
Dogs are Part of the Family

For so many the answer is obvious. Our dogs are our best friends. They explode into wiggles when we come home. They are thrilled to get in the car with us. They do not care about petty squabbles or unsubstantial gossip. They just want to be a part of our lives. In return for us providing them with food and shelter (and probably more than a few toys, and maybe even a spot on the bed) we get a fantastic best friend, in more ways than one.

Dogs Keep Us Physically Healthy

Let’s be honest. When we get that 6am phone call from a chipper friend reminding us to meet them at the gym for a workout, we more often than not want to let the call go straight to voice mail. But something about an early morning dog walk is much more inviting. Not that 6am is really anybody’s cup of tea, but your dog is just thrilled to go outside with you. And he will never yell at you to do more push-ups or burpees, or shout at you to do ten more reps.

Dog walkers experience better cardiovascular health, stronger bones, lower blood pressure, and decreased stress. (BetterHealth) And since most dogs want to check out the sights and smells of nearly everything on the walk, you will also develop an eye for the things you might normally just walk past. You and your best friend are literally stopping to smell the roses.

Dogs Keep Us Psychologically Healthy

Studies have shown that within five to twenty minutes of positively interacting with a dog, stress hormones in a person’s blood can decrease dramatically. This is far quicker than any anti-depressant or mood-stabilizer can work. (PsychologyToday) Dogs just make people happier due to the affectionate bond and consistent support a dog can offer a person. Even looking at a dog can make people smile, and the mere act of smiling can improve our moods immediately. (PsychologyToday)

Many people turn to pets in times of loss and grief. Criminal court systems will often offer emotional support dogs to witnesses. As early as the eighteenth century saw The Society of Friends, an organization that allowed mentally ill persons to care for animals as a means of emotional rehabilitation. (AmericanBarAssc)

As beneficial as it is to own a dog, their loss can be as devastating to us as losing a person. Studies have shown that the grief we feel when we lose a dog is very close to that of losing a family member. (PsychCentral) That’s because to so many of us, our dogs are indeed family members.

There is unconditional love followed by financial and/or social sacrifices we have made for our dogs. We have made vacations into trips for the dog as well. We have turned down invitations because our dogs were not invited as well. And unlike complicated human-human relationships, bonds with dogs are non-judgmental. We may not like it if they poop on the carpet, and they may not love it when dinner is an hour or two late. But once everything is taken care of – cleaned and fed – judgments are over and life goes on very simply.

Suggesting a dog is “just a dog” is at once inaccurate and true. A dog is not diminished by being a just a dog, as non-dog lovers might suggest. But for dog-people, being “just a dog” is the best thing their best friend can ever be.

We believe in this bond between people and dogs, and want to enhance it as best we can. Please contact us at Clearly Loved Pets to learn about our products that allow for dogs to be your best friend.

5 Things Toddlers Learn from Growing Up with Dogs

One of the major lifestyle debates for parents of young children is whether or not to get them a dog. Naturally, most parents help their children care for the dog at first and keep a closer eye on the two playing together in return for the dozens of rewards the kids will get from this early bonding experience. The incredible empathy of dogs allows them to detect your child’s mood and cheer them up when they’re down but dogs can also detect things like illness as well.

Of course, besides companionship, the most important things a dog can offer your child are learning experiences. Studies have shown that children who had dogs as babies and toddlers are even more prepared for school than their pet-free peers. Here are 5 of the most important things children can learn from their dogs.

1) Responsibility and Leadership

If your child is old enough to walk and communicate, they are old enough to start contributing to the care of the family dog. You may start with a single task like cleaning and refilling the water bowl and work your way up from there, but soon your child can take care of everything from food to training. Having a creature that relies on them and does what they say gives children an inherent understanding of responsibility and the challenges of leadership.

2) Empathy and Relationships

Dogs are very emotional creatures and so are children. In fact, dogs are like children in many ways, from their unerring desire for snacks to their boundless energy with which to chase toys. Bonding with their pets helps children to understand each other later on because they have seen the base happy nature of emotions. Children with a close relationship with their dogs are more likely to understand the favorites of others vs themselves and concepts like “friends even when you’re mad at each other”.

3) Patience and Self Control

Dogs are not always what we want them to be. Sometimes they are over-excited, jump too much, bark, slobber, and they usually can’t be included in board games no matter how cooperative they are. Learning these things teaches a young child patience, and learning to be patient with their dog even when it is being frustrating teaches self-control. Through training their dog, they also learn how a soft but firm voice and careful actions have a better effect that yelling, hitting, or tantruming ever could.

4) Inter-Species Biology

Children who have dogs before they go to school are more likely to understand basic biology and how that translates between animal species because they have spent a lot of time thinking about their dog. Activities like counting ribs or laying on their dog listening to heartbeats and tummy gurgles passively familiarizes children with the inner workings of another form of life, giving them a surprising bonus in later science classes.

5) Living an Active Lifestyle

In a world where it is becoming increasingly difficult to pull kids away from the TV and video games, having an active loving companion who always wants to play outside is incredibly beneficial for growing children. As part of their duties as responsible pet owners, your kids will head outside with balls and sticks at the ready and end up running around for at least a few extra minutes each day. Even if this doesn’t seem like a lot, a few more daily minutes of exercise stacks up throughout weeks and years of happy dog ownership and this habit will stick with them as they get older, leading to a more sporty and active lifestyle.

Dogs are wonderful companions for children at any age, but are especially attuned to bond and care for babies and toddlers. Older dogs introduced to a baby often take an adorable protective role while puppies raised with your toddlers will learn to tumble and snuggle like litter mates for the rest of their lives. However, perhaps the most valuable thing gained from the bond between children and dogs is what your kids learn as loving, responsible, and active pet owners starting from a very young age. For more fun news about dog ownership, contact us today!