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The Year of the Dog & the rise of the millennial pet owner

For thousands of years, the Chinese lunar calendar has been based on a 12-year repeating cycle that incorporates 11 animals and one mythical one (a dragon). On 16 February 2018, we entered the Year of the Dog, the 11th animal in the Chinese zodiac.

Each animal is associated with one of the five elements: Metal,Water,Wood, Fire and Earth (the specific association changes from cycle to cycle). In 2018, the Dog has been paired with Earth – making it, more precisely, the year of the Brown Earth Dog. The Dog is – unsurprisingly – associated with exuberance, kindness, good fortune, harmony, humanitarianism, and an idealism that overshadows materialism. It is said that Earth Dogs make great leaders because they are trustworthy, dependable, con dent and supportive of others.

In uncertain times, we want to hang on to the idea of unconditional love and loyalty, and it coincides with the rise in popularity of dogs as companions and side kicks for a young generation of pet owners that have a reputation for job hopping and living in tiny apartments. Millennials are breaking the mould and putting o big life events in favour of having fur babies. Like any parent, these pet owners want nothing but the best for their besties. This includes nutritious food and splurging on non-essential but high- quality items – like customised pet beds and matching pawrent-pet accessories.

What’s the spin-o? Well Millennials like to dine out and want to bring their dogs to restaurants and breweries. Eateries are learning to cater to all members of the family (dogs included), or risk losing out on in potential business. For this experiences-not-things generation, doggos inspire their owners to go on more adventures, whether to get in shape or collect some Instagram- worthy mountaintop sunrise photos. With dogs popping up not just on your timeline, but in pet-friendly co-working spaces, social events, restaurants and doggie daycares near you, businesses are evolving to accommodate four-legged patrons. And with Millennials being the largest pet-owning generation, expect to see more pet-friendly places and products. We can’t wait!

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