Downsizing life includes smaller pets

As we get older, we downsize. Trade in the mini-van for a mid-sized car or move into a smaller house or apartment. It’s a very common phenomenon.

But downsizing pets? Yes, apparently true, and according to a story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, it’s a growing trend tied to the the aging boomer demographic.

According to market research firm Packaged Facts, more than half U.S. dog owners have a canine that weighs less than 25 pounds. The trend towards smaller dogs has been growing since 2000 but has increased in recent years, dovetailing with the aging boomer population.

The reasons for it, as documented in the story, are familiar to many pet owners. People get less steady on their feet, their strength is less than it was and physically managing a big dog can be challenging.

Couple that with senior living spaces with pet size restrictions, hotels that allow smaller dogs and the trend is easy to understand.

The story notes other practical considerations including a less costly pet food budget and a more modest exercise regime for smaller breeds.

There is another factor to consider as well: the pet’s age.

Many rescue organizations and shelters encourage older animal lovers to adopt an older, or at least adult, animal.

Older dogs are less energetic and unpredictable with stable, established personalities and habits.

Simply put, the energy level of a senior citizen can be a perfect match for an equally senior canine.

To read the full story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, click here.