Born between the early 1980s and 1990s, Generation Y or Millennials are stealing the spotlight after a recent study shows that they tend to pamper and treat their animal companions as their own children.

Nielson reported that annual household pet food spending among pet owners increased by 36 percent over the last 10 years. From $41.2 billion in 2007, pet owners now spent as much as $69.5 billion on their fur-babies.

Data analytics firm GfK even found out a 45 percent boom in pet food after more than 4,500 new pet food products were introduced in 2016.

(Photo from: Healthy Paws Pet Insurance)

Though this seems like good news for pet-related companies, this sudden interest in animals and not real children led to the closing of some Toys R Us stores due to the decline in birth rate.

According to a report by Urban Institute, birth rates among women in their 20’s have dropped by 15 percent between 2007 and 2012. The closing of Toys R Us is just the beginning and many more industries could be affected by this.

The Peter Pan Generation

Because of their tendency to stay with their parents and delay typical adulthood activities, Millennials rely on having a pet, instead of starting a family.

An animal companion seems like a lesser responsibility for the Millennials, it seems.

According to an article by Unilad, 27 percent of Millennials admitted that they spent more time with their paw-some creatures than their actual human friends, while five percent said they planned to spend their time with their pets than their own fathers.