Each year, there are fewer children born into North America. While it is hard to know the exact reason that fewer babies are coming into the world, one thing is for sure: more people are getting dogs instead of having children. So, why are people adding dogs to their family instead of babies?
The main reason many young adults in North America are choosing pets over babies is the expense. While it is true that owning a pet can be very expensive, there are just way more expenses when having a child.
First, pregnancy and delivery appointments can be very costly, and at this point, you don’t even have the baby home yet. Plus, maternity and paternity leaves may not be paid for by employers, and even if they are, it isn’t likely that you will bring home the same amount of money as you did when you were working full-time. Not to mention, babies need a lot more things than dogs do. You will need a crib, changing table, diapers, bottles, pacifiers, clothes, toys, and possibly formula, which is not cheap. Dogs are fine with a $20 bed, food, and a few toys and treats.
Medical expenses are much higher for babies than dogs as well. Both dogs and children need vaccinations and frequent check-ups but taking your baby to the doctor is going to cost you more.
In fact, the average yearly cost of raising a child in the United States range from $12,800 to $14,970. Most people don’t spend nearly that much on a pet each year, and with costs continuing to rise, it isn’t likely that this number is going to drop much soon.
Dogs may need a lot of time and attention, but babies require constant monitoring. You can leave your dog at home alone while you are at work, but you can’t leave your baby unattended at home even if you are just running a quick errand. The cost of childcare averages between $720 and $2230 per month, and that doesn’t include a babysitter for date nights or emergencies.
Even if pet owners want to hire a dog walker or bring their dog to daycare every day, the cost is still much lower than childcare costs. Additionally, boarding a dog is an option if you want to go on vacation. You can’t just dump your baby somewhere for a week and not worry about it.
Many young adults don’t yet feel ready to be parents and caring for a dog is much easier than caring for a child. Watching your partner around a pet may also show you a little bit about how they will parent children in the future. Both children and pets are living creatures that depend on others to survive in the home, so getting a pet is one way to see how your partner will react to situations that are scary or stressful that involve a dependent.
While it is obvious that dogs and children don’t require the same amount of work, it is true that for many young adults, dogs are the route that is more beneficial right now. Babies are a future goal for many of these people, but not on the horizon any time soon, but dogs make a house feel like a home.