Are you guilty of treating your dog like a baby? Are you thinking of taking it down a notch, but not sure what’s acceptable and what’s not?
Some people say the only way to treat a dog like a dog is to scare, pinch and jab them. If you’re like millions of pet owners and certified dog trainers who are refusing to depend on punishment-based training, you might as well be treating your dog like a child. A happy child, who is never yelled at or spanked, of course.
Others draw the line at closetfuls of tiny outfits, body-hugging doggy slings, and elaborate doggy lullabies. Millennial women are having dogs instead of babies, and children are accepting canines as their siblings.
Dog babies are the new norm. They’re here to stay.
However, if you’re a dog baby-mama, you do need to have some boundaries.
Don’t ask me how I know, but there are 5 things that you certainly, definitely should stop doing:
Also, refrain from using a breast pump. Bottle-feeding is not appropriate either.
But definitely don’t breastfeed your dog.
You will get kicked out of Walmart, and you will have to drive across town to get your nursing bras. Feed your dog kibble or an appropriate, well-researched raw diet.
#2. Don’t start a college fund for your dog.
Dogs can learn to read, and they can even graduate as honorary class members – but face it, your dog is not going to make any significant progress in a human school, even if you write a strongly-worded letter of recommendation to every dean in the country. Instead of saving tens of thousands of dollars for your dog to attend university, think about your own future. And let your dog be a dog.
#3. Don’t have a baby shower a few weeks before you plan to bring your new puppy home.
It could cause some confusion. People expect baby showers to be about human babies. You might make your Puerto Rican grandmother cry in front of everyone, and your best friend will flip the table, spilling ice cream cake and pig ears all over the floor.
#4. Don’t bring your dog to a Mommy and Me yoga class.
They’re only meant for new mothers of small human children and babies. Even if you’re able to get through the warm-ups, you’ll be forcibly removed when your chihuahua mix “causes a distraction” by “licking the other students.” Definitely, definitely don’t scream “I know our rights!” while security drags you out of the building.
#5. Don’t ask your dog questions only to answer for her in a squeaky voice.
Nobody’s falling for that. Your dog cannot talk, and if she could, she certainly wouldn’t have such a ridiculous little voice. Well… actually… carry on with this one. It’s always hilarious.
If you’re making an effort to avoid these 5 deadly sins of treating your dog like a baby, you’re on the right track. If you’re keeping your dog safe, comfortable and healthy, making sure she gets plenty of exercise and teaching her good manners, you’re a good dog owner.
You can love your dog like you would a child if you choose. You can call her your fur-child, fur-baby, or any variation of that. You can dress her up in clothes (even clothes that match yours), buy her lots of toys and bring her to dog-friendly outings. Nobody has any right to judge you. Nobody is in charge of how much you are allowed to love your dog.