I noticed an interesting post that has been circulating Facebook from blogger and mom Elizabeth Broadbent. If you have not seen the post Saying Your Dog Is Your “Baby” Is an Insult to Moms Everywhere, you may want to check it out. Can pets be a member of your family that is equal or similar to that of children? Around the internet, this question seems to be brushing the fur from the tail to the head as people speak out.
Related: 5 Best Tips for Choosing the Right Family Pet
Are Pets & Kids Equal Members Of Your Family
Pets Can Be Family
Some people feel that their pets are equal members of their families. A pet is quite a bit of responsibility. Similar to a baby, a pet needs regular attention, food, lots of love and lots of patience. We play and cuddle with our pets. Sometimes we put the needs of our pets before our own such as when the rainstorm is rolling in but Pickles needs to go for a walk. We wake up to the sounds of doggy cries at three A.M. and lose part of our bed to our furry family.
The relationship we have with our pets can be intense. They are happy to see us when we get home, and they are one of the first companionships we seek when our emotions are ripping apart. There is an unconditional love that often comes along with having a pet, just as having children requires unconditional love. We love them even though they broke our favorite vase and rolled in the mud puddle right after bath time.
Related: How Can Your Pet Help Stop Bullying and Boost Self-Esteem?
Some of our readers on the Our Family World Facebook Page are already talking about this topic. Some feel that their Furbabies are equal members of their family. Here is a comment from one of our readers:
Pets Are Pets, Children Are Children
Others feel that there is no way the responsibility of raising a child and the responsibility of caring for a pet are in the same league. A child is a life-changing, 24/7 responsibility that simply cannot be duplicated. When you choose to adopt a pet, you pick out a pet from the shelter or the store. If your pet ends up not being a good fit for your family, you find a new home for them or take them back. When you choose to have a child, that child is physically part of your body for nine months and then there is the birth process. If the child is not yours biologically, often you are subjected to a grueling adoption process. Once the child has been brought into the world, that child will always be a part of you.
Though a pet can be part of your family, your pet will never ask you to kiss their boo-boos. If you leave a dog by himself for the day, you are not a negligent dog owner. When you go out with your dog they must be kept on a leash. Meanwhile your child has the freedom to barrel away from you full speed in the grocery store with you running after them.
Other readers on Facebook felt firmly that the responsibilities of kids and pets is entirely different, with some moms even a bit miffed when the two are compared. Check out the comment from another one of our readers:
So loyal readers, what do you think? Are your dogs also your Furbabies? Do you feel that people should not refer to both their children and their dogs as their kids? Let us know what you think in the comments!
(Image Credit: suziwahoozi)
25 thoughts on “What Is Family: Are Pets & Kids Equal Members Of Your Family?”
I see no reason to bestow upon one’s dog a lower level of affection, love or commitment than that offered to a human child. Indeed if pushed, I’d have to say the opposite. I furthermore believe that anyone who disagrees is missing some component of what it takes to possess a whole human soul. And the more vigorously they disagree, the bigger the piece that’s missing.
I don’t have any pets anymore. My ssietrs, brother and I used to have cats and dogs when we lived in small rural places so they could be outside since I’m allergic. I tried to have fish once but I didn’t do a very good job of keeping them alive. What’s your cat’s name? Why would you describe him as weird? Ms. SimonsenYorkton, SKCanada
Of course they’re not equal. Years ago I had a friend who cared for 12 cats. Some of them house cats, others were wild and lived in her backyard. When she finally got pregnant, she said to me ‘I guess I’m prepared for taking care of the baby because of the many years I’ve spent with the cats.’ Of course I told her she was utterly and completely wrong, she doubted me. However, once that baby came home she quickly understood what I was talking about.
They are not equal, they never will be.
I love our pets and they are a huge part of our family. I think for some people, animals do equal family members. My cats are not equal to my kids but I know some people who feel different.
I can see how one would consider them part of the family but not equal! I guess I don’t know anyone who thinks that way!
Although I have always had pets and no children I can see why people with kids would get upset with the comparison. I think of my pets as part of the family but not quite on the same level as kids.
Whether you bring a child into your life\home or a pet, they are yours forever, and you either know that you will accept full responsibility, or you simply do not do it to begin with. Think it all through first and ensure you are making a decision that you can live with for the rest of your life.
Our pets were important parts of our family. They weren’t quite my children, but my brother’s dogs are the closest I may ever get to nieces or nephews.
Pets are so important, their health, especially during the summer months! We are close to our canine and felines, very much so!
My daughter has a cat, and she’s most definitely like her child. They can certainly be members of the family.
Growing up, we had a dog, Mahogany and she was more than a pet, she was my sister and best friend! I still miss her to this day! Now we have Kizzy and I cannot imagine life without her!
We did think of our dog as ourfamily. I don’t think it is on the same level as a child.
Once you got or adopted a pet, you should be ready to consider them as part of your family. I consider our dogs as family members.
Of course they are! I treat my pets like family, they are special and I do love them; no reason to treat them differently.
I don’t think pets and children can be compared and be thought of as being loved the same.
This is actually a pet peeve of min. I think that pets can be well loved but they are still pets. Children are children.
Loved my pets when I had them but no, they are not your children – very close but not quite!
I am so happy you wrote this! I was just talking to my hubby about this the other day. We love our doggies, but they are not our kids.
We love our dog, but he’s definitely not at an equal level with my kids.
My little dog was def. family when I was growing up. I’d like to get a pup for my son so he can experience the same thing. 🙂
Aww, I hope your son does get a pup friend to love. Pets can enhance our life and broaden our love for sure.
Our 2 dogs & 2 cats are our furbabies and a big part of our family. Pets and Children do require different care so in that they are not equal but on being part of the family they are.
That’s a good point that children and pets require different things, yet still both can be considered members of the family.
I always considered out dog as part of the family, but I just don’t have that connection with our cat…..I don’t know why, I just don’t.
Always considered myself a dog person, always had one growing up. But this cat of ours…..I just don’t feel the same.
This is interesting that dogs and cats can even be in separate categories also, and that you have a different connection with both. There are some distinct differences for sure.