SAN FRANCISCO — Wag! released its survey on pet parenting in 2023, detailing a slight generational difference in pet ownership, as well as the growing importance of pet nutrition to consumers. The survey sample consisted of 1,000 dog parents from ages 18 to 65 and was conducted by DKC Analytics.

Overall, the survey found that today’s pets are “living the high life,” according to Wag! Many of today’s pet parents, especially Gen Zers, are striving to match their pet’s quality of life to that of their own — purchasing premium supplies and nutrition products to ensure a high quality of life.

Generationally, sentiments toward pets vary. Nearly half (49%) of Baby Boomers view their pets as their children. Baby Boomers also hold a more traditional ideal of pets in the home, maintaining affordability and discipline. However, 34% of Gen Zers view their pets as their best friends and have a more flexible view of pets in the home.

Generational differences toward pets shrink when it comes to nutrition. According to the survey, all generations (Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z) spend an average of $50 to $100 monthly on their pet’s nutrition. Younger pet parents tend to spend more, according to Wag! Gen X and Baby Boomers reported spending the least on their pets, despite the fact that these generations typically have more disposable income compared to their younger counterparts.

Pet health and wellness are important to all pet parents, no matter their age, but generations approach pet health in different ways. Fifteen percent more Gen Zers utilize pet health insurance compared to Baby Boomers, while 23% more Baby Boomers regularly visit the vet compared to Gen Zers. This focus on pet health is influencing the current trend in pet nutrition, with pet parents focusing more on premium offerings.

According to Wag!, 53% of all pet owners reported that their pet has at least one dietary restriction, like gluten-free or vegetarian. Thirty-one percent of pet parents feed their pets human food often or all the time, and 21% let their pets eat off their plate.

As Gen Zers get older and awareness of pet health continues to increase, demand will grow for more premium pet nutrition, supplies and services to help pet owners ensure their companions have the highest quality of life.

Keep up with the latest pet food trends on our Trends page.