Why Pets Are Not Like Babies

I often hear pet owners comparing their fur babies to real babies. Before I had a pet of my own I used to roll my eyes and think how ridiculous it was to compare an animal to a baby. Now, here I am, just a few months into being a dog owner and while I may not be as judgmental about the idea, I stand by my original opinion that pets are not at all like babies.

There may be some similarities but I just don’t feel as though caring for a pet and caring for a child are the same.

Feeding a baby and feeding a puppy are two completely different things. Struggling through nursing or keeping a newborn awake long enough to take a bottle can be so frustrating. My puppy has never fallen asleep at the breast, milk drunk leaving me unable to move for hours! Forget about the toddler days when they go on food strikes and more of it ends up on the floor than actually in their bodies! Unfortunately you can’t just leave a bowl of food out and expect your baby to eat.

Diapers. One word says it all. Oh you may have to clean up the occasional pee, or maybe way more pees than I would like to clean up in my case, but I clean it up and move on. The rest of it is literally a walk in the park. Or more like a perfectly timed walk every 30-60 minutes to make sure he understands that he can’t go outside walk but at least there are no diapers.

Planning a night out with kids takes much more preparation than it does with pets. Babysitters are needed and usually have to be booked ahead of time. If you don’t have family around it also requires money to pay the babysitter on top of what you will spending on dinner and a movie. Puppies may need to be crated or if you have an older dog they may even be able to be left alone. I find when we go out our puppy tends to spend most of the time he’s alone sleeping. I think he enjoys the quiet.

The worry is nowhere near the same with a pet. If my puppy isn’t feeling well or is off, yes I worry but it’s usually nothing a quick call to the vet can’t fix. The first time my puppy threw up he was afraid. He didn’t seem to know what was happening and right after he crawled up on my lap and needed some cuddles. Within a few minutes he was back to himself. When my child throws up it is not as simple as that. There are usually tears to be wiped and backs to be tickled. Bedsheets need to be washed and temperatures taken. It’s not usually a one-time thing either, it most often means an all nighter for me. But that’s ok because I will spend a good portion of the night worrying about my child and not sleeping anyway, wondering if they ate something bad or if they have a stomach flu or if it’s something more serious that needs to be seen by a doctor.

Now that I’m a proud puppy owner I can say they quickly become a big part of your family. Even though, my dog has only been in our lives a few short months I don’t know what any of us would do without him. He’s brought us joy and laughter, he’s calmed our anxieties and kept us all company. He’s teaching my kids responsibility and how to care for something.

Yet as much as we love him and as fast as he became a part of our family, I fully understand that having him is not like having kids. My responsibility to him is not on the same level as it is with my children. I need to take care of him, give him love and affection and train him to keep himself and others safe. My job as a mother to my children is about more than just taking care of them; it’s about raising them to be good, kind and generous people who contribute to the world and help make it a better place.

Bringing a puppy into our family was the best decision we could have made and while it may not be like having kids, it’s an entirely unique responsibility all of its own.

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