Our furry friends are important to us. Boomer pets are like members of our families. They’ve certainly helped fill the void in our lives when our children move out on their own leaving our nests empty. Let's face it, pets have become an integral part of Baby Boomers lifestyles.
We dote on our pets, then bask in their unconditional love. We give them their own beds – inside of course – and their own special toys. We prepare yummy treats for them, often organic – got to consider their health after all.
Our pets provide much more than companionship for us. They offer us security – warning us when others approach, scaring off unwanted solicitors, alerting us to dangers we may not have noticed. They hear things we don’t, smell things we don’t and see things we’re missing.
They listen to us no matter what kinds of rants and rages we spout and never disagree or talk back. They keep our deepest, darkest secrets – we can tell them anything without fear of being judged or having it repeated. They don’t gossip and talk behind our backs.
Boomer pets even travel with us as much as possible. They ride in cars with us, get on airplanes with us – if they’re small enough, they can travel in a carrier in the cabin. Larger ones have to ride in a crate in the cargo hold.
The travel industry recognizes our attachments to our pets. It wants to accommodate us, make it easy for us to have what we want. Just think of all the hotels that have become “pet friendly” in the last few years.
Even if we don’t take the pets along, we make sure they’re well taken care of in our absence. We spend loads of money on pet-sitters or luxurious boarding arrangements (eons better than leaving them in a cage at the local vet’s clinic). We have lots of options these days.
Many folks, especially those in the pet industry, claim that pets provide health benefits for their owners. Pets help us reduce our stress – what better way to do that than unload all your worries on a sympathetic and nonjudgmental listener? It also helps with stress when we take our pets out for a stroll, walk off our concerns, calm our nerves and relax a little.
Pets reportedly help their owners lower their blood pressure and cholesterol, fight off depression and loneliness and enjoy a better quality of life.
But the downside – and isn’t there always one of those – is that Boomer pets are expensive. Ask those in the burgeoning pet industry – from top-of-the-line grooming and boarding facilities to specialty pet pampering boutiques that offer designer clothes, accessories and supplies for pets. Like everything else in our lives, Boomer pets have to have the best.
Boomer pets no longer get only the basic food and regular veterinary checks – they get all of the amenities as well. They are, after all, members of the family and have to be treated as such. In addition to regular pet doctors, you can even find pet psychologists.
How expensive are our pets? Americans are expected to spend $55 billion this year alone on their pets. That’s a big chunk of change.
Another downside that we would like to ignore is that sometimes our pets cause serious injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that over 86,000 people have to go the emergency room each year because of falls involving pets and their paraphernalia.
But are the downsides enough to stop us from having and loving our furry friends? Not likely. Boomer pets need not worry. Those of us who have pets think it’s worth the risks and expense without question.