Millennials are single-handedly upending traditional life milestones — we're delaying marriage and house-buying.
And now, we're delaying baby-making.
Or rather, delaying and replacing kids with dogs. Just call us Generation Rex.
As dog-mom Kimberly will tell you, the reasons why she and her husband chose to adopt Bacchus, 4.5 old Cavapoo and heart-breaker to-be, over having a baby (for the time being) are plenty.
And, they aren't alone...
According to Millennial Marketing (MM), 44% of Millennials remain unsure on if they want to start their own family.
For starters, having a dog fits more into the Millennial lifestyle.
“My husband and I are both lawyers, so we have full-time practices to attend to. It definitely is easier — for now!”
Overall, while dogs need loads of love and attention, dog parents have the luxury (though it pains us) to leave them behind while at work or to make a quick outing.
Kind of a no-no (and very illegal) for parents with tiny humans to do.
“We’ll head to work and bring Bacchus to doggy daycare once a week. I will work from home twice a week, my husband once a week and then I get to bring Bacchus with me to the office one day of the week!”
Another reason, housing prices and living expenses in Vancouver makes adding a dog to the family a no-brainer for most Vancouver couples.
“We live in East Vancouver, close to Commercial Drive. Living space and expenses definitely have something to do with our choices.”
And when it comes to spending money, the big question we all want to know is: is it cheaper to have dogs or kids?
“I mean, we spend a lot of money on Bacchus — he’s our baby! It’s sort of creepy how obsessed we are with him. But it doesn’t compare to how much a child costs. We can save some money for us, too!"
Ain’t that the truth. According to a 2013 report, the annual cost of raising a child for a two-parent, middle-income household (depending on the age of the child) averaged anywhere between $12,000 to $14,800 annually. And that doesn't include college or university.
A big factor for those price tags includes childcare, which can be hard to find and pricey (not like PawSwap, which literally only costs you $1).
We won’t be the first to say that raising a dog is expensive (we spend more than we’d like to admit on our doggos). But the average cost of raising a dog, just within the first year, pales in comparison to that hefty price tag — a mere $2,674.
Most would agree with Kimberly in saying your entire life changes after a child.
“If we had kids, our lifestyle would change a bit. Living space for sure, taking vacations and travelling, that kind of thing. We don’t have a car but I think we would have to get one for convenience if we had kids.”
Another nice thing about having a dog — not only are they good for you physically and mentally, but they’re also chill about your lifestyle, providing you with a bit more freedom.
“We’re trying to balance giving enough attention to Bacchus along with our jobs. Having several walks throughout the day is always welcomed! Bacchus makes sure we get out plenty.”
And finally, the choice in the temperament and type of dog is the owners to make, and most choose based on their lifestyle.
"We went with a Cavapoo because they’re known for being hypoallergenic and well-mannered.”
“Fur-babies are furry so therefore the cuddling potential is unlimited! Also, Bacchus doesn’t talk back...much. And Bacchus is the cutest little guy! Sure, he has his diablo phases, but overall? A total sweetheart.”
"And we’ve made some great memories with him so far. We went to Tofino over August long weekend was a blast. We took Bacchus to the beach for the first time and on his first bike ride.”
Throw in their soulful eyes, always-happy-to-see-you-demeanor, and unconditional love, you’ve got yourself the best companion.
We think it’s safe to say that we all know that dogs and babies aren’t the same. One comes with two legs, the other comes with four. One has opposable thumbs, the other has opposing views on cats. One grows up, the other stays 5 years old forever.
It’s pretty clear why more Vancouver couples are choosing dogs over babies, for now. Not only are they great for your mental and physical health, but they’re also adorable and are incapable of not loving you. Plus, if you are hoping to one day have a baby, they’re perfect baby steps for you and your partner!
“I do think we want children in the future, but where we are now in our lives with our busy jobs, having a dog just makes more sense. It’s still challenging since we want to be with Bacchus all the time but we make it work.”
So, if you’re in the phase of life there the thought of nurturing a child is, frankly, too much (financially or otherwise), then a dog may be the perfect companion. Especially in a place like Vancouver, where just existing can feel expensive.