Birth rates have been declining every year in the U.S. since 2007. From the rising cost of living to the climate crisis, millennials have been very outspoken on the reasons why they don’t want to have babies — human babies that is.
According to MIC, six in 10 young adults actually believe “pets are the new kids” while, kids are like fancy exotic sports cars that only rich people can afford. Pet parenting proves to either be a bridge or a replacement for human parenting.
Melissa Geraghty is an Illinois-based health psychotherapist says she’s definitely observed a trend in couples practicing their parenting skills on a pet before they decide to dive into human procreation.
“I’ve seen that a lot of couples want to start out with a dog to test out fur baby behaviors and see how they do with a puppy— trying to iron out some strategies before they have a human child,” she says.
However, some couples may realize right then and there that they’re not equipped for parenting. Michelle Harris, a 35-year-old copywriter from Buffalo, New York says adopting her Shih Tzu-Terrier mix has “fulfilled all of her needs to nurture another living being without cramping her desire to live her own life to the fullest.”