When my sister got her dog nearly thirteen years ago, he really was her son. Her and her husband would treat that little mutt like he was the only good boy in the world, and for a while he was.

He’d eat steak, chicken, lamb, pork; he’d eat anything he wanted, and he was on top of the world. But then they had children, and little Harry went down in the pecking order. Time was too tight to cook a dog a steak, so he had to resort to packaged dog food with slogans like “as good as it looks”.

I thought my sister and brother-in-law were anomalies, but it turns out that more and more people are treating their pets to expensive food than ever… millennials.

As millennials reach deep into their pockets to buy their pets the best gourmet foods on the market, huge brands like Mars’ Pedigree, Nestle’s Purina, and Smucker’s Gravy Train and Kibbles ‘n Bits are losing sales.

As basically everything increases in price and millennials wait longer to get married and buy houses, they instead opt to spoil their pets in their rented houses – a cheaper alternative to raising a child and having a mortgage.

They treat them like it was their firstborn child,” Beverley Petrunich, owner of DoGone Fun, a dog-day-care center in Chicago told The Wall Street Journal.

With that, the number of high-end pet food brands has risen exponentially, with some even offering gluten-free snacks for your furry friends.

This is no surprise as, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), US pet owners spent $69.5 billion on their pets last year, compared to $66.75 billion in 2016 and a much lesser $41.2 billion in 2007.

So if you’re looking into starting a new business, try something like Kobe beef steaks for gold fish, or franchising an entire Gucci outlet specialising in just dog leads.

It’s the new way!

Images via Getty