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Man’s best friend: Three trends influencing this relationship

A new kind of friendship is developing between people and dogs, as millennial dog owners become green consumers and dogwalkers


In Pat Shipman’s book, Our Oldest Companions: The Story of the First Dog, the relationship between humans and dogs is described as a relationship that have endured thousands of years. It changed with times and trends, but the bond of friendship remains strong.

Several trends today show that this friendship is once again changing, as companionship is becoming even more important in a post Covid-19 landscape.

In the spirit of International Friendship Day, let’s look at these trends and how they are influencing an even stronger friendship bond between ourselves and our dogs!

Trend: Millennials are turning rescue dogs into a social cause

Owning a rescue dog has become a trend for the generation of 18-to-34-year-olds, millennials. Motivated by social media, the new group of rescue dog owners also constitute a new generation of pet owners.

During Covid-19 lockdowns, millennials looked to dogs to support them when they were working remotely. Dogs helped with the emotional impacts of those lockdowns, and some even felt their dogs even alleviated stress and aided their mental health.

Research has shown this group is beginning to opt for rescuing shelter dogs, rather than buying from puppy breeders.  For them, choosing a rescue dog is an ethical way of living. This is good news for the many abandoned dogs waiting at shelters.

Even though restrictions are eased, the trend is continuing, with this demographic adjusting their lifestyles to accommodate their newly found friendships with dogs.

#LiveKinder hint: 


Those first impressions between you and your rescue dog will make all the difference! It is important that every member of your family should visit your dog at the shelter before you finalise an adoption. To create the right impression from the beginning from both sides, introducing dogs to small children especially, should be done slowly under constant supervision.


Trend: Dog owners are going green with more than food

More dog owners are opting for sustainable and environmentally friendly pet products, realising that their pet can help reduce their combined carbon footprint.

 Environmentally and animal-friendly choices for your dog’s menu can also extend to eco-friendly rope toys, hemp and bamboo collars or beds made from recycled material. Materials like organic cotton or recycled textiles are great choices for items like a doggy coat for winter.

Dog-owners are using these as ethical gifts to their four-footed friends knowing their dog deserves their very green best. This should however be extended to the day-to-day lifestyle for your dog.

Plastic doggy poo bags are a contributor to the planet’s waste issue and, as a result, to climate change. Why not shop around, especially online, for biodegradable or compostable bags to help mitigate the environmental impact of plastic waste.

#LiveKinder hint:


If these options for your dog to go greener are not easily available to you, you can make toys and clothing from old clothes and blankets yourself.  Dogs do not care about new products; they are very much into the textures and scents of their environment. Make dog cushions from old blankets and create stuffed toys and ropes from cut-up old t-shirts. 


Trend: Professional dogwalkers are getting increasingly popular

The use of dogwalkers has become increasingly popular as owners begin to understand the need of socialising between dogs. With a dog-walker including a few dogs in his walking duties, your dog might get to find a doggy friend.

This can also be of benefit to your friendship with your dog. A dogwalker can also help teach your dog to accept other dogs walking alongside with him. This can be a real friendship-booster for the two of you as future walkies might be more disciplined and more fun.

Dogwalkers can also be a great extension of the friendship between the elderly and their companion dogs because very often a walk might lead to an injury like a broken ankle for a senior citizen. This might cause a breakdown in their friendship – much safer for a dogwalker to take over this responsibility.

#LiveKinder hint:


Be a real friend to your dog and your dogwalker by making sure that the transport he is using to fetch the dog for a dog walk is safe and that the dog will be transported back and forth along roads where road safety is a priority.


These are a few green trends that can make the bond between yourself and your dog stronger. The best aspect of this relationship money can’t buy: The pledge from you to your dog to #LiveKinder and to reward his love and loyalty with your enduring friendship.

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