A Third of Millennials Start Parenthood With a Pet

More young New Zealanders are hearing the pitter patter of tiny paws with one third believing pet ownership is the ideal introduction to parenthood – and Pedigree’s® latest adoption drive is using smart technology to help Kiwis adopt their pawfect shelter pooch.

Colmar Brunton research for the Pedigree Adoption Drive Charitable Trust of Kiwis aged 18-39 also found many are starting their families with a dog. Around one in five young dog owners or those actively considering dog adoption are doing so as practise before welcoming a child. The majority of dog owners surveyed also see their pups as fur babies, with 72 percent of men and women saying they view their dog as their child.

These trends have inspired this year’s Pedigree Adoption Drive campaign which lovingly encourages Kiwi millennials to take a baby step into parenthood – by adopting a dog.  By visiting pedigreeparenting.co.nz potential pet parents can share details on their lifestyle and be matched to suitable shelter dogs available for adoption.

Kiwi-designed adoption platform MyHooman powers the doggy matching process through artificial intelligence and sophisticated matching algorithms – more accurate than those used by dating apps.  The smart technology assesses the potential adopter’s lifestyle profile and each dog’s nature and needs to pair rescue pets with their ideal guardian.

Pedigree Adoption Drive Charitable Trust spokesperson Cormac Van Den Hoofdakker said as more millennials start parenthood with paw-ternity, there’s opportunity to share the love with shelter pups.

“For the past decade, the Pedigree® Adoption Drive has helped Kiwi shelter pets find forever homes. Just 16 percent of all dogs in Aotearoa are adopted from shelters – we want to change this and help every dog find a loving owner," said Van Den Hoofdakker.

“Pedigree is determined to end pet homelessness, so while we hope the campaign will make people smile, our big ambition is to encourage those Kiwis ready for more family responsibility to adopt one of the thousands of dogs in shelters around the country.”

Companion Animals New Zealand General Manager David Lloyd welcomes the Pedigree Adoption Drive and said the concept of pet parenting has been on the rise in New Zealand for some time.

“As a generation, millennials have the highest rate of dog ownership in New Zealand. With the cost of living, and Kiwis looking to further their career before kids, a dog can be a great way for couples to express their nurturing side and test their parenting skills – and our own research tells us millennials typically embrace the responsibility of pet parenting.

“Kiwis deeply value dogs as members of the family, and this is playing out in demand for premium products and services, such as specialist diets and doggy day care. Animals don’t often get to choose their home, so we welcome initiatives such as the Pedigree® Adoption Drive that improve the chances of matching animals’ needs with their humans’ lifestyles.”