Demographics and Insights - Dog Parents
While we were not able to obtain any relevant data describing the demographic breakdown of pet owners who consider themselves specifically as dog parents, insight from the available research suggests that dog parents are more likely to be Millennials, living in urban areas, have higher income, and childless. These pet parents have a tendency to humanize their dogs, celebrating them in ways that are similar to how they would express love for fellow humans, such as by recognizing birthdays, buying them clothing, or seeking out healthy organic food options.
Helpful findings of the demographic profiles of dog parents in the U.S.
- According to a scholarly research study by Peter Gray and Shelly Volsche, childless couples have a higher likelihood of identifying as pet parents.
- A market report by Research and Markets also indicates that the number of unmarried or childless dog owners has steeply increased within the past few years.
- Additionally, aged parents who have grown-up children are also more likely to identify as pet parents.
- According to a 2017 report by Consumer affairs, at least three out of five Americans own pets while at 95% of pet owners recognize their pets as members of the family. Experts consider this trend of humanizing pets to be largely fueled by Millennials who tend to delay parenthood, but still want something to share their love.
- According to a 2017 market report by Research and Markets, the increasing growth in dog ownership is largely driven by Millennials, Baby Boomers, and high-income groups.
- While 44% of Millennials perceive pets as their starter children, at least 86% of the Millennials view natural pet food as essential for their pets.
- When compared with rural pet owners, urban pet parents have a higher likelihood of deciding that their pets require special food and are more concerned with whether pet food is natural and/or organic.
- A 2018 research study found that at least 40% of dog owners had gotten their pet dogs a birthday cake. The study suggests that half of the women who are pet owners would rather "spend their Friday night with their pets than their partners".
- Dog owners are increasingly seeing their pets as a "psychologically significant attachment" and source of personal identity.
YOUR RESEARCH TEAM APPLIED THE FOLLOWING STRATEGY:
We began our research to determine the typical demographics of people in the United States that consider themselves dog parents, and what lengths do they go to celebrate and love their dogs by searching for research studies that target "dog parents" and describe their demographics. Although this search did not identify the specific demographic breakdown, we were able to find several scholarly studies describe a correlation between identifying as a dog parent and being childless.
Next, we searched databases such as Effie, MMA Mobile Case Studies, WARC and Snipp for marketing case studies and white papers that detail trends in "dog parents" specifically, as well as "pet parents" more broadly. This search suggested that Millennials are a large part of what is fueling the "parenting" approach to pet ownership, but these sources did not contain more specific demographics.
After that, we turned to industry-related news and marketing sites. These sources pointed to a key authoritative marketing report likely to contain some requested information but that report is behind a paywall. However, several of these news sites cited facts from this report, and well as other marketing research results, that were relevant to the CQ.
Since more specific demographics were not available, we focused on providing demographics and insight behind the pet parenting/humanization of pets trend with a focus on dog ownership as much as possible.