‘Fur-baby’ boom: Pets span new generation of parenthood in PHL2 min read
ALEXANDRIA AMIGO CHAN, 27, keeps a cabinet for clothes and toys, pillows and water bottles for each of her 15 dogs — a Jack Russell terrier, a beagle and 13 Belgian Malinois.
“My family and I are dog lovers,” the jewelry designer from Manila said in an e-mail. “Our dogs are part of our family. We give them the love and attention they need. We give our dogs the best organic treats and good quality toys.”
Her family also celebrates their birthdays and gives them Christmas presents. The popular saying is so apt: pets are the new kids and plants are the new pets.
Her family spends as much as P30,000 ($542) each month for their pets.
“Growing sociological literature expands the notion of family as ‘inter-species’ to include pets in the care and support relations in the family as a social unit,” Ateneo de Manila University sociologist Czarina Medina-Guce said in an e-mailed reply to questions.
“Some theories emphasize that pets contribute to individuals’ and social groups’ affective or emotional identity development, counteracting the increasing demand for rational and productive work,” she said. “In close bonds, pets are treated as children-proxies, only because children conventionally are the subject of care and nurturing affection in families.”
Veterinary clinics have experienced a sudden surge in customers as dog owners sought to provide their fur babies with proper care during the pandemic. Owners take care of dogs, cats, fish and birds not as a working animal but primarily for companion and entertainment.
Last year, Pola Del Monte, 33, entered her dogs at the PAWS’ Binibining Aspin pageant, where one of them won third place.
“For that pageant, I spent over P3,000 for YSL’s custom gown,” the Manila-based writer said, referring to her corgi-looking aspin. Her sister handcrafted a float for Meghan, the “child” of YSL with a schnauzer named Philip to ensure both were dressed for the occasion.
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