44% of Millennials See Their Pets as Starter Children, and That's a Big Opportunity for Brands

The fur baby economy is real

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Millennials are putting off marriage and starting families later in life, but there’s one big milestone they’re right on track for: their first pet. To many adults ages 20-36, these furry creatures are much more than cute companions—they’re starter children.

A recent study from business solutions agency Gale found that 44 percent of millennials see their pets as “practice” for the real deal, with 21 percent citing that as the main reason for welcoming an animal into their homes and another 23 percent saying it was at least part of the reason.

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