At a time when marriage is in decline and the average child bearing age is increasing, women are turning to pets to hone their parenting skills, creating a phenomenon of pet parenting angst and WACs (Women with animal companions), reveals new research by Petplan .
According to the survey, 84 per cent of women between the ages of 25 and 34 got their pet for companionship. Given that this is prime child-rearing age, it raises questions about whether women are filling a gap by parenting pets.
Over 10,000 pet owners were polled and the results show ‘pet parenting’ as a growing trend. Just like working parents, owners worry about leaving their pet alone when they are at work and 75 per cent of those experiencing ‘parenting angst’ are women.
Also, familiar compensation behaviour applies to pet parents and not just WACs. Both men and women are compensating for their separation guilt by feeding their pets human food treats with 82 per cent admitting to feeding food such as cheese, crisps and cake . This diet change may account for 17 per cent being told their pet is overweight .