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Wag!, the platform for pet care, pet insurance, and pet advice recently conducted a survey of dog owners to find out how they feel about their canine companions. What the company found is a marked generational difference between Gen Zers and Baby Boomers in the ways they relate to their fur babies.

Wag! Finds Generational Differences in Dog Owners

Wag! surveyed 1,000 dog parents between the ages of 18 and 65 years old across the country to understand how people in the U.S. approach their roles as pet parents in 2023.

What the survey found is that “today’s pets are increasingly living the high life, more akin to humans themselves than the four-legged animals of yesteryear,” according to a press release. Modern dogs are being treated to everything from fancy grooming to organic food, propelling the quality of life of canine companions to be almost on par with their human counterparts.

What’s most notable, however, is that Baby Boomers and Gen Zers have vastly different perspectives on what pet ownership means. Baby Boomers are more likely to consider their pooches as their canine children (49%) while Gen Zers see their dogs as their best friends instead (34%).

More Generational Differences in Dog Owners

Because Baby Boomers see their fur babies as kids, they tend to focus on discipline and seek affordability when it comes to caring for them. Gen Zers, on the other hand, take a more “flexible” approach to their pups, according to 36% of respondents. Gen Zers are also more likely to take their pets with them to public places, such as restaurants, and are more likely to dress them up. This means that Gen Zers tend to spend more money on dog fashion and food.

But other age groups aren’t far behind when it comes to spending a pretty penny on dog food (now there’s a phrase only a Boomer would use). All ages of survey respondents, from Gen Zers and millennials to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, drop an average of $50 to $100 per month on food for Fido. Younger dog owners, however, are also prone to splurge on grooming, fashion, and pet insurance than older dog owners, despite Gen Zers making less money than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

One difference we bet the survey didn’t find? That no matter what the age of the dog owner, everyone loves their pups like crazy.

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