5 May 2023Read of the weekRead of the week: Gen Z shake up pet ownership

Furry companions are playing a more central role in the lives of many Gen Zers. Gen Z pet owners are willing to make sacrifices for their pets more than any other generation, reflecting the changing profile of pet owners and the desire to have something to care for and love as part of the family.

J’Nae PhillipsJ'Nae Phillips is an Insights Editor at Canvas8. After an early career working in fashion and media, her passion for culture and journalism grew and she made the transition to writing and editing full-time. Outside of Canvas8, she can be found writing for her style-focused newsletter or adding to her growing book collection.

As younger cohorts increasingly delay parenthood, many are opting to parent pets instead. The bonds formed with their furry friends are no less strong – 7 in 10 Gen Z adults would rather have pets than kids.

A survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Synchrony has found that 41% of Zers report being more likely to spend $100 on their pet than on their partner, and 36% admit to getting more joy from seeing their pet happy than seeing their partner happy (21%).

With animals taking a central role in Gen Zer's lives, often before they start families or find partners, and with Gen Zers now accounting for 16% of pet owners in the US (up from 11% in 2018), the power of pets as family members shows no signs of slowing down.