- The Washington Times - Friday, April 11, 2014

Young women just aren’t that crazy about babies any more, shunning the diaper changes and midnight feedings for dubbed-in family members that don’t demand as much care: dogs.

And not just any type dog — specifically, those that weigh less than 25 pounds.

“I’d rather have a dog over a kid,” said Sara Foster, 30, the proud owner of a French bulldog named Maddie, the New York Post reported. “It’s just less work and, honestly, I have more time to go out. You … don’t have to get a baby sitter.”

Her view is being repeated across the nation by women in the 15-to-29-years-old group, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. New statistics show that big drops in the numbers of babies born to women in this age group coincide with big increases in the numbers of dogs owned by females around the same age range, the business site Quartz reported.

In the past seven years, the level of births per 1,000 U.S. women in that age range has fallen by 9 percent, the data showed. Simultaneously, American Pet Products Association reported that dog ownership — specially, of pooches under 25 pounds — has risen from just over 34 million in 2008 to nearly 41 million in 2012, the New York Post said.

“Women are not only having fewer children,” said market researcher Damian Shore, to the Quartz online publication. “But [they’re] also getting married later. There are more single and unmarried women in their late 20s and early 30s, which also happens to be the demographic that buys the most small dogs.”

Mr. Shore also said that it does seem true that these women are subbing out babies for small dogs.

“There’s definitely some replacement happening there,” he said.