DOGS in Spain now outnumber children under 15.
The country has 13 million registered pets and 6.2 million under-15s, Armando Solis, president of the Spanish Pet Identification Network (REIAC), said.
Ninety-three per cent of pets are dogs, 6 per cent are cats and the remainder rabbits. “People live longer and they are more alone,” explained Solis who said the number of pets would continue to increase.
Most registered pets live in cities where the number of people living alone – and not only the elderly – has also increased, he said.
Animals involve less responsibility and expense than children but enable their owners to lavish maternal and paternal feelings on them, experts said.
“It is difficult to bring up a family in cities because these are hostile to children,” said sociologist Miriam Fernandez Nevados.