Study: 36% of couples in Wisconsin choosing pet parenthood over kids

MILWAUKEE — A study found more than one-third of Wisconsin couples are choosing pet parenthood over kids.

Innovet Pet, which produces pet supplies, conducted a survey of 3,800 pet owners, which revealed 36.4% of couples in Wisconsin who own pets said they’re prioritizing their pets over human parenthood. The study found that in states like Louisiana, more than half of couples who own pets would prefer to parent their animals versus children.

The study also revealed that the average pet owner would be willing to take four unpaid days off work to care for a sick pet — nearly an entire week of work — the equivalent to a $404.46 loss from the average American’s salary.

In Wisconsin, it was actually higher, with pet owners indicating they would take five days off. The survey revealed men were willing to take slightly more time off work than women — 3.8 days, compared to 3.5.

According to the study, gone are the days where people kept their pups outside, feeding them leftovers from the dinner table as treats. An increasing number of pet owners are going above and beyond to make sure their pets are living their best lives — from feeding them organic diets and throwing birthday parties, to taking unpaid “pawternity leave.”

The study found pet owners are putting their animal’s dietary needs above their own in some cases. More than a quarter (27.3%) of Wisconsinites admitted to feeding their pets specialized diets, such as vegan or vegetarian meals.

Our pets also serve as therapists, with a quarter of owners indicating they go to their pets with personal problems, and 38% said they’re closer to their pets than they are to some family members.

The study found 6% of pet owners admitted to video chatting with their pets, and even sharing a bath with them!

One in 10 people said they kiss their pet goodbye on the lips, and more than half, 56%, said they allow their pets to sleep next to them at night.

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