Baby boomers are often credited with starting the trend of pets as family members. They are known as “helicopter” parents, hovering over their children, but without children to care for, many turn to pampering their four-legged friends instead. More than 70 million American households keep a pet today. The pet-care industry is expected to top out at more than $50 billion this year, thanks in large part due to the affection and love boomers have for their animals. Unfortunately, experts are saying that this loving relationship may not be sustainable.
Pet ownership tends to decline among aging individuals. With boomers starting to high retirement age, the pet care industry is already thinking about when boomers are tempted or even forced to give up their pets because of smaller homes, physical problems or financial struggles. On a fixed income, the average routine vet care for a dog, at $250, can be too much to bear.