A date at the park or a cafe sure sounds romantic — until you’re told by your SO that it’s at the dog park or a cat cafe! And it’s with Fido and Whiskers, not you. It can sound disappointing — but many are the type to do these things that the older generations will be confused by. Not only are the younger people more likely to treat their pets as their kids, but many would also rather shop for dogs and cats — and the things they need — instead of going on dates.

Younger Folks Would Rather Shop for Dogs and Cats’ Items Than Go on Dates

Based on a survey that Synchrony commissioned, most pet owners said that they’re willing to give up a plethora of their luxuries for their furry companions. This, of course, isn’t too surprising. After all, we have to make a few sacrifices for our cats and dogs. But what makes the survey wholesome is that 45% of the participants said they’re willing to give up eating out for one whole year if it’s in exchange for free pet expenses for a year straight as well.

Even though lots of people think that we’re in an era where many of us won’t survive without social media, some pet owners are still willing to give up having one — as 42% of those who participated in the survey said that they’d do it for, again, a year if it means they’ll receive pet freebies; 36% said they’d cancel their subscription to their current streaming services for cat and dog items.

Moreover, 48% of the respondents said they don’t mind staying single for a year if it means that their pet would have an extra 365 days to live. Even 49% of the surveyed Millennials would forgo their basic need of a shelter for an extra year for their pets to enjoy — they said they’d sleep on the floor and endure the winter weather for that reward.

It may be easy to say that a “no dating” policy isn’t much of a problem, but even some of those with a dating life to speak of would still rather see their pets happy than their very own SO! — 41% of the surveyed Gen Zs said that this warms their heart more!

Is Anyone Still Surprised we Love to Shop for Dogs and Cats?

If you’re a pet owner, then you know that the short answer is already a reverberating “no” — and it’s now evident that many truly care for their cats and dogs. 90% of the pet owners who participated in Synchrony’s survey feel as though their pets are like their children.

The responses to the survey may be hilarious and pure, but keep in mind these are people who are willing to give the most that they can for their cats and dogs — that’s why most of them said that they bought at least one unnecessary item for their pet over the past year.

The cruel and heartbreaking reality, however, is that many other animals are still victims of abuse and neglect. According to the World Animal Foundation, roughly 10 million animals die from animal cruelty in the US every year. It can be harrowing to learn that this statistic, where pets that could’ve been good gals and boys, are reduced to being that — a statistic.

I Already Bought Something For My Pets, Where Do I Spend My Money Next?

To some, dogs and cats aren’t just pets — some of the animals in the shelter are “retired” workers who served their purpose for other people. They were once a person’s hunting buddy, fellow law enforcer, medical alert assistant, or sled puller. That’s why these multi-talented animals need all the care that they can have; you don’t have to utilize or maximize their purpose in order to make them happy.

Even if you can’t adopt a cat or dog (although it’s highly recommended), you can cooperate with your local government and see what you can do for these kitties and doggos — if they allow you to donate, you can do that as well.

If you don’t have a date, you can walk a shelter’s dogs or cats at the park — with them as your companions instead. Who knows, you might just get a *human* companion because of them! On the other hand, if you’re seeing someone, then there you go! — there’s your next activity.

Dating? Are You Fur Real?

It seems like the younger people are willing to give up dating and would rather shop for dogs and cats — even if it’s just for a year! If you think that these people are strange for deliberately sacrificing so much for their pets, know that many of them simply just adore their companions, and, to them, being fur parents is fulfilling and profound.

If you’re a pet owner who wishes to help animals on a bigger scale — one that even your own pet might also be grateful for — find ways to also help their fluffy friends. Report animal abuse, donate to shelters, or give them a companion — even if you’re, well…willing to give up having one yourself!

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