Raising kids is so expensive in America that millennials are prioritizing their pets instead and dropping up to $400 on designer dog clothes
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- Millennials are spending more than $400 on designer dog clothes, according to Fashionista.
- As millennials delay traditional milestones, like getting married, buying a house, or having children, they're choosing to be pet owners instead.
- In a world where raising kids is a six-figure undertaking, spoiling a pet is less expensive.
Millennials love their dogs - so much that they're willing to spend more than $400 on clothes for them.
That's the price of a high-end dog puffer jacket from a collaboration between luxury brand Moncler Genius and Poldo Dog Couture, reported Maria Bobila for Fashionista.
They're not the only ones to tap into the luxury dog clothing market - Very Important Puppies (V.I.P.) offers streetwear-inspired dogwear for between $160 and $202, and fashion brand Hemsmith launched a line of dogwear that includes a crewneck tee for $48 and hoodie for $60, Bobila reported.
As for who's driving the lucrative petwear industry, "we can look to millennials, who are now in their 20s to late 30s - an age range that, historically, has had to do with marriage and parenthood, but may not be the case these days," wrote Bobila.
"As a generation that puts off having children or opts out of it entirely, they're putting greater focus on pets instead," Emily Anatole, insights director at cultural strategy and trend forecasting company Cassandra, told Bobila. "Many are treating their pets as if they were kids and devoting a growing share of their disposable income to them."
Over the last year, 14% of millennials bought a luxury item in pet-care category - not far from the 18% of millennials who made luxury purchases on children's items, reported Bobila, citing stats from Anatole.
That disposable income isn't confined to doggie designer duds - millennials are also opting to buy more expensive pet food, reported Business Insider's Mary Hanbury, citing a report by The Wall Street Journal. Nielsen data has shown that annual household spending on pet food among pet owners increased by 36% between 2007 and 2017, which has led to an influx of premium food brands entering the market, according to Hanbury.
Speaking of millennials and their pets, Beverley Petrunich, owner of DoGone Fun, a dog-daycare center in Chicago told The Journal, "They treat them like it was their firstborn child."
Millennials may be paying big bucks when it comes to pampering their pooch, but it's less than the cost of raising kids in America today - an average of $230,000, according to Merrill Lynch's "The Financial Journey of Modern Parenting: Joy, Complexity, and Sacrifice" report.
This high cost has caused more parents to weigh finances into their decision to have a child; in 1970, around 33% of parents said their finances played a role in becoming a parent - today it's 73%, according to the report.
And a recent survey by The New York Times revealed that raising kids is more expensive than it's ever been before - finances are the main reason why people aren't having kids or are having fewer kids than they considered ideal, reported Business Insider's Shana Lebowitz.
It's cheaper to act as if your dog is your firstborn - even if you're paying to dress them in designer wear.
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