“Women are not only having fewer children, but are also getting married later. There are more single and unmarried women in their late 20s and early 30s, which also happens to be the demographic that buys the most small dogs,” said Damian Shore, an analyst at market-research firm Euromonitor.
The U.S. is not the only country leading the childless charge, Italy's birth rate has hit a record low. The stats are so staggering that even Pope Francis has publicly come out against the trend, warning married couples against substituting pets for children. He also suggested that such couples have been too strongly influenced by a "culture of well-being" which promotes the idea that life is more enjoyable without kids.“It might be better — more comfortable — to have a dog, two cats, and the love goes to the two cats and the dog. Is this true or not? Have you seen it? Then, in the end this marriage comes to old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness.“We're not suggesting that a pup is necessarily a replacement for a baby, but we do know plenty of dog parents who treat their pooch like any other member of the pack. It will be an interesting trend to keep an eye on in coming years!