Calling ourselves “mummy” or “daddy” in front of our pets has become a phenomenon that’s all too common in this day and age. We invest as much time in their well-being as we would in a child, and it might be time to examine the role that our pets play in our lives–are they really just household pets, or have we begun to treat them as if they’re our children?.

In fact, according to a Pet Parent Survey conducted by Kelton Research, 74 percent of the 1,000 research participants in the US admitted that they share at least one meal with their dogs a day and that this meal tends to be dinner – a meal traditionally shared by parents and their children.

Topic Of Conversation

What’s more, talking about one’s furkid has become the dominating topic of conversation between couples, according to the same survey, where it has overtaken other topics such as jobs and friends.

Plus, 76 percent of pet owners would rather splurge on their pets than on themselves – at least according to research carried out in 2014 by Wakefield Research, a market research firm in Arlington. This includes buying premium treats or custom-made beds for their furkids. It’s no surprise then, that the pet industry in the US is booming, roping in about S$88 billion a year.

Being A Paw-Rent

It’s not uncommon to hear potential paw-rents conducting their own research before getting a pet. Some of these include reading up on dog breeds and their different personality traits, talking to fellow paw-rents to get the best tips and tricks, and buying everything that’s necessary beforehand.

There is no doubt, however, that the effort behind raising Puss or Fido is strikingly similar to raising a human baby of your own. Books on being the best parent you can be, parent support groups and prenatal classes, and even furnishing the nursery before your third trimester… Sound familiar?

All this seems to point to the fact that this generation of pet owners are not only pampering their pets, but are in fact treating their furkids as if they were their own children.

* This article was updated on 14 July 2020. It first appeared in Pets Magazine, 17 March 2017.