It’s 2018 and truly the Year of the Dog. Since last summer, every economy report and marketing study seems to retain two words consistently – “millennial” and “fur baby.” Studies from Gale and articles in newspapers like The Washington Post, are all reporting that millennials are driving the economy not only as the nation’s largest demographic population but also as the largest pet-owning demographic. Gallup News reports that 60 percent of Americans own a pet, and of those pet-owners, 44 percent own a dog.
The term “fur-baby,” has only recently been publicly coined and applied, referencing the millennial mindset of owning pets as “starter children.” Though devotion to and doting on pets has probably remained consistent for pet-owners no matter the generation, public pet perception seems to have changed rather drastically, especially from a business perspective.
Businesses are not only integrating the “fur baby” construct as a marketing strategy, they themselves are adopting the new pet culture; extreme cases being allowing pets at the office, as Esty, Google, and Amazon do. This phenomenon isn’t just here nor there, nor limited to the west coast, its taking root all over the states. Tampa and St. Petersburg have been ranked within the Top 20 Most Pet-Friendly Cities since 2016, with Tampa currently holding 3rd place and St. Petersburg holding 13th.
Space As Art’s Amarin Cannon took a walk with Buddy and Mia to scout out St.Petersburg’s puppertunities.
The Dog Bar located off Central Avenue is at the forefront of this new trend as a business designed specifically for canines and their millennials. The establishment offers 2000 sq.ft. of supervised outdoor space, where dogs can swim, jump, explore, or lounge cabana-style while their owners sip craft brews and colorful cocktails. Buddy had a great time romping around, kicking it poolside, and making new friends! Lined with benches, chairs, games and toys, the Dog Bar promises fun for you and your pup’s next social hour.
An afternoon downtown at the patio of Cassis American Brasserie will suit any craving as pets can munch on lunch too with their special dog menu serving an assortment of dishes from “mutt loaf” to ice cream. Accommodation here is top-of-the line; Mia received a red, paw-shaped bowl filled with ice water to keep cool. Though small and slender, she eats like a Mastiff! She gulped her Hot Diggity Dog faster than the camera’s shutter, which suffices to say she loved it! For an easy-going afternoon at the downtown scene, Cassis is a real treat for both pets and owners.
Make a weekend of it and your fuzzy friend will get the royal treatment at Hotel Zamora on Saint Pete Beach. The hotel welcomes and accommodates any kind of pet at no extra charge and will ensure you and your four-legged friend’s stay is pawsitively perfect. There is no shortage of tail-wagging here as pups become instant celebrities with treats and rub-downs from staff and visitors alike; Buddy was over-the-moon with all the attention and definitely put on his A-game for adoration.The boutique-chic vibe is luxurious and fuzzball friendly, with a pristine lobby and grounds managed by caring staff. Traveling can be stressful and doing so with a pet can make a visit all the more taxing, but the atmosphere offered here is just what a vacation ought to be.
So next time you see that doggy in the window don’t be too astonished when you realize it’s at your local salon or coffee hotspot. After all, a world gone to the dogs may not be such a bad thing.
A special thank you to: