Unlike the generations that came before them, millennials tend to delay traditional milestones like settling down, buying a house, and raising a family. Instead, they are building multiple careers, traveling the world, and opting for pets or dogs over having babies.


According to research, 57% of millennial households own a dog versus 51% of all U.S. households. This decision might alienate Boomers and Gen X-ers, but the factors why they are choosing pets over traditional parenting are compelling:


Dogs are less expensive


According to the American Kennel Club, the average cost of raising a dog ranges from $1,580 to $3,536 for the first year depending on size and breed. Both these estimates could go up to $5,000 or higher when you add other costs for a dog license, microchip, surgeries, medicine, toys, and other accessories. Dogs are not cheap, but they are still a lot cheaper than a baby.


A 2013 USDA report says the average annual cost of raising a child for a two-parent, middle-income family is $12,800 to $14,970. If you happen to live in the urban Northeast, that cost goes up to $282,480 until they are 18. Note that this approximation still does not include healthcare costs attached to pregnancy as well as unpaid maternity/paternity leaves.


dog breeds best for babies collie and baby


Dogs require less attention


Puppies require a lot of time, training, and attention, but not constant monitoring as a human child does. You will not go to jail if you leave your puppy at home and unattended to go to work, socialize, or do errands. Looking for someone to babysit is optional — something you can never do when you are raising a human baby. The cost of childcare runs from about $720 to $2,230 per month depending on the type of service the parents choose.


On the flipside, fur parents who hire a dog walker or drop off the fur baby at a doggie daycare every day may end up spending about the same as the low-end cost of childcare.


Dogs as a prelude to parenting


dog and parents hug new owners

Another benefit of taking care of a fur baby is it can help couples who are married or at least living together get some sort of test run on parenthood before they decide to have a kid. At the very least, it gives you and your partner a glimpse of how each other will do as a parent. Will your partner take care of the dog properly when you are indisposed or unavailable? Are they willing to adjust their schedules for the benefit of the puppy? How will they react during tense situations and discussions regarding your furry pet?


Are you both ready to lose some sleep during the early stages of raising a pup? Are you ready for all the whining and howling that it will make during crate training? Are you excited about the idea of waking up every few hours to check on your little buddy and clean up after any accidents that may bring damage to your stuff and property? These are just some of the questions you have to ask yourself before adopting or producing a living creature.


Here are 20 reasons why you should consider getting a dog if you are thinking of having a kid:


1. Dogs are always obedient and will never talk back to you.

2. Dogs come when you call them. Children make you come to them.

3. Dogs will never ignore you regardless of the time of day, mood, or situation.

4. Dogs will not ruin your body, nor do you have to go through the pain of child labor to have one.

5. If things are not working out, you can always give a dog away, while children are a lifetime commitment.

6. Dogs will eat whatever you give them. Children are fussy and hard to please.

7. You can give your dog the same meal every day and he will eat it with a smile on his face.

8. Dogs don’t throw tantrums. Children’s moods are like a box of chocolate. You’ll never know what you’re gonna get.

9. The process of house and potty training your dog is much quicker than teaching a child how to do anything.

10. If a dog cries, there is usually a reason. On the other hand, children never stop crying. Never.

11. Dogs are always excited to see you. Children will resent you for the rest of their lives.

12. Dogs need babysitters sometimes. Children must have a babysitter at all times.

13. You can show your dog affection no matter how old they are. Good luck trying to kiss your child in middle school.

14. Dogs might destroy some stuff around the house, but they will never hang out with bad crowds and make bad decisions.

15. You can have your dog spay or neutered, so they don’t get pregnant.

16. A few squeaking toys is all a dog needs, while a child will demand the latest technology.

17. Similarly, a dog does not require expensive clothes or diapers.

18. Dogs do not constantly ask for money.

19. Dogs can’t get embarrassed by you.

20. Dogs have unconditional love for you and will always remain loyal until their final breath.


dog kiss and hug by woman


Final thoughts

Of course, fur babies and human babies are not the same. It is not even a fair comparison, to be honest. But if you are in a stage of life where the thought of having a child is too physically and financially challenging, having a dog is a good idea. A dog will provide good companionship, unconditional love, and a sense of responsibility for you and your life partner.

After owning a dog for a while, you may decide to take the plunge and have children anyway. In this case, your dog has better prepared you for the trials of child-raising. The responsibility of living creatures depending on you to live will be nothing new to you. But be warned, this experience will be no walk in the park. Until you are truly ready, choose dogs over babies.

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I Love My Dog So Much is an American-Based Online Magazine Focused On Dogs, Including Entertainment, Wellness, Educational Resources For Pet Owners, Advocacy, And Animal Rescue.