Dogs in prams have become an increasingly common sight in Taiwan, and it speaks volumes amid the nation’s declining birthrate, reflecting a changing attitude Taiwanese have towards fur babies, according to The Guardian.
The British newspaper cited analysts who have estimated in September that the number of Taiwanese pets has already surpassed the number of children 15 and under.
This growing trend of putting pets in strollers may be indicative of the economic barriers many Taiwanese are facing in having children, they reported, hinting at the minimal maternity leave as a possible explanation.
In an interview with The Guardian, Syin, a local Taiwanese resident admits seeing the rate of pet ownership grow, especially among younger generations.
According to Syin, the reason behind this interest in pets may be the soaring costs of raising children in Taiwan and the responsibilities associated with parenthood.
This trend has also seen the pet accessory retail market boom, with a spokeswoman for pet pram manufacturer, Ibiyaya, reporting more than five-fold sales increase between 2002 and 2015.
However, as Taiwanese ponder over which sunglasses, raincoats, or shoes to get their fur babies, Wu Hung, the executive director of the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan (East) revealed his worries that these actions may be focused more on “human fulfillment, rather than on the animal’s needs”.
Hung added that though strollers are good for improving the life of old or disabled animals, pets still need exercise on a daily basis.