At $67 billion, the pet industry is one of the fastest growing industries out there right now. This can be linked back to one clear thing: millennials love their dogs.

A  study by Sun Trust Mortgage found that 33% of millennials (aged 18 to 36) cite that their desire to have a better space or yard for their dog influenced their decision to purchase their first home. Dogs ranked among the top three motivators for first-time home buyers, and ranked higher for millennials than marriage (25%) or birth of a child (19%).

“Millennials have strong bonds with their dogs, so it makes sense that their furry family members are driving home-buying decisions,” said Dorinda Smith, retired SunTrust Mortgage President and CEO. “For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle; home ownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation.”

This survey suggests that more millennials are buying homes because of their dogs, and not because of marriage or kids. Millennials are choosing to start families until later in life, and as a result, their dogs have become their children (and often times, their spouse). Sixty-five percent of U.S. households have at least one pet, up from 56 percent in 2012. As of 2017, 95 percent of U.S. pet owners consider pets to be family members, and refer to themselves as pet parents. This is a significant increase from 63% just five years ago.

As more millennial pet parents continue to buy homes, Entrepreneur Magazine predicts that an estimated 40 million pet households will use a connected pet device by 2022. This will be half of all U.S. pets! We still may be years away from this, but you can see the shift emerging as more connected pet products enter the market - everything from toys that dispense treats, to GPS devices, to activity trackers.

At Wagz, we have taken these one-off products a step forward with our suite of connected pet technology. Our goal is to create a suite of connected products that bring you closer to your dog through understanding, monitoring, and tracking. We are on a mission to create safer, healthier, happier dogs. To follow our Wagz journey, like us on Facebook.