Pet Parenting vs. Human Parenting – Are They Legitmitley Comparable ?

Photo by Yuliya Strizhkina on

I know you are probably thinking our blog died of COVID and in some ways it did but it is still nice to pop back once in a blue moon and vent about something. So here goes…

As some of our more loyal followers may know, while most people my age were postponing weddings, making lockdown babies and getting PhDs during our two-year pause on life, I inadvertently became a dog Mumma to a ‘vicious pitbull’ from the wrong side of the tracks. Beyond becoming an insta-sensation, my ‘oops doggy’ has taught me a lot about taking care of someone other than myself, persevering when things don’t go to plan and dealing with a shit tonne of unsolicited advice. So much so, that I’d really advise anyone human with a heart, especially those looking to procreate or raise little humans to get a shelter dog first to see if they have what it takes to be a parent.

Just like any functioning human baby parent, I’d take a bullet for my dog (and she’d EAT anyone who tried to shoot me) but is it really fair to compare being a dog ‘owner’/mum/dad to being a real-life parent. Of course, there are many (mostly elders and the like) that would say roll their eyes at such a thought, but here’s why people who treat their animals like kids should are entitled to the title despite having none of the benefits that human parents.

If Someone Treats Their Dog Better Than You Treat Your Child, It Says Something You Not Them

Before the arrival of my dog-child, I would have rolled my eyes at the thought of doggy daycare. But I kid you not, such places exist. And not only do they exist but they are otherworldly. With themed rooms, an adventure playground and designated nap time when the pups snooze to the sounds of Mozart, you can’t make this shit up. My first trip to doggy daycare (before my delinquent child was suspended forevermore) was an eye-opener. There were people who packed bone broth for the precious poodles and the fabulous dads who carried their babies in Louis Vuitton pet carriers, no jokes. At first, I found it all a bit overwhelming and like most people, felt quite cynical about the whole thing After all, if people pay for their dogs to have spa days and swimming lessons, when humans are starving down the road, what does it say about the state of humanity? Well, actually a lot.. In my humble opinion, people who treat their dogs like royalty shouldn’t be looked down upon, in fact, they provide an excellent example for a lot of human parents. At the end of the day, whether you are a pet or baby momma, you should want what’s best for your child and if that means the dog only sleeps on a memory foam mattress, while the procreators of the world leave the mini-mes to fend for themselves. Perhaps, I’m too much of a Thatcherite, but whether you choose a dog, tree or human, it’s up to you to provide it with all the love and a champagne lifestyle it deserves so don’t expect society to foot the bill.

Selfish Motivations Much?

So, I’ve already expressed my unpopular opinion that having children is almost always driven by selfish motivations. However, could the same be said of pet parents? Yeah but no but. So, while some people would say that being a crazy cat (or dog) is synonymous with being a sad spinster, I would argue otherwise. Although fear of dying alone is probably not the best motivation for getting an animal, I don’t think that’s what drives most people to bring these terrors into our lives. While I don’t think the reasons for owning animals are purely altruistic (no one else will love them, they want protection from bad hombre, it’s a cute handbag accessory) and let’s not even get started on the fancy purebred vs. sloppy seconds rescue dog debate here, I think the motivations generally aren’t quite as selfish. After all, as much joy as our pets brings us they are almost certainly going to die in our lifetimes and break our hearts in the process.

Financial Realities

I saw a meme some time ago that basically said: ‘Today. plants are the new pets, Pets are the new kids and kids are exotic animals that only the rich can afford. Which pretty much sums things up quite nicely. If you want your kids to have a nice life – books, overseas trips, private schooling and extracurriculars – you better be willing to pay, biatch!. And what kind of decent parent doesn’t want to give their children Disneyland? A lot by the looks of things. Dogs don’t come cheap either – vet bills (15K when that bitch decides she wants to eat rocks), toys, bone broth, designer outfits and bows – however, all in all, you can give animals a great life at a fraction of the cost you’ll pay for an ungrateful little brat, who’ll likely still moan that Billy from school has a PS5 or some nonsense. For most people that aren’t made of money, allowing another living creature into your life (even the plant!) will require you to make certain changes to your lifestyle which people are capable of doing, but the bottom line is just that and if you don’t have the finances to do it well, should you do it at all (while waiting to win the lotto, of course!). Just like once upon a time people used to have 40 kids which dwindled down to 2.4 at some stage, perhaps pet-parenting is just a sign of the financial realities of the age we live in?

And The Final Verdict?

As much as I come across as a crazy dog lady/hater of minions, I’m actually not. While I’m not the type of dog-mum that spends her weekend making gourmet dinners for my mutt, I still want to give her Disneyland (which would be off-leash mountain walkies) and I think the same sentiment should apply to human children. But you simply need to look around to see that it doesn’t which makes me sad.

Of course, raising a human is far more challenging than looking after a puppy. Even with the best intentions, your kid will likely be in need of therapy. Shame. But the sad fact of it all is that we live in a pro-natalist world that glorifies procreation with no real regard for the quality of life that these minions will have. So, I’m glad that there are people out there that bucking the trend, opting not to violate their bodies and choosing to parent pets in an EXTRA way that is far better than the way the average human child is raised. Sure, human parenting is definitely harder (if you are actually putting the effort in), but the fact that a lot of people treat their pets just as they would a human child makes it legitimately comparable.

It’s just sad that we don’t have the same support structures in place and people just roll their eyes when they see you debating the state of world affairs with your dog, interviewing pet-sitters as if they were applying to be the CEO of a global company and sourcing raw salmon skins for your cat. There is no such thing as paw-ternity leave, no tax breaks for adopting a shelter dog and if your dog so much as barks you’ll hear ‘train you f*cking dog’ whereas the world will happily embrace a baby crying on 12 hours flight. Oh, and before the baby mafia come at me saying animals will never do anything to benefit society whilst every child has the potential to cure cancer, let’s just say even my half-blind mutt guarantees that I can walk the mean streets of Cape Town without becoming a statistic which certainly saves police time (and then there are those dogs that sniff our bombs and rescue idiots who get lost of the mountain!).

Regardless, I do think the world would be a better place if everyone was forced to parent a (shelter dog) before sowing their wild outs. At the end of the day, if you are the type of evil that ties your dog to a pole and pokes them with a stick, it’s probably a reasonable indication that you probably won’t do much better when it comes to a little human. Whereas, if you carry you pup in a papoose, you might be accused you being a helicopter parent, but at least you’ll know your heart was in the right place.

So while the audacious idea of ‘pet-parenting ‘might seem sacrilegious to those with aching ovaries, if it’s done well it may just be the thing this god-awful world needs right now.

So rinsers (is anyone still reading1), what are your thoughts on the matter? Are pets the new kids? Or do you think people have become extra in the way they choose to smother their pets? Is it understandable that people are reluctant to have human kids in this god-awful Moneky Pox infested reality (because Covid is so last season) that we are now experiencing? Go insane in the comments,



  1. Having done both parenting children and being pet owner…pets love unconditionally. At my dig does lol. Both require alot of training and of course alot of love. At this point in my life I am really enjoying pet parenting because of my dog’s personality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree! Dogs are magical. And they are hard work, but I don’t think screw up as much as humans do. My dog has given me plenty of grief, but I was definitely a worse child to my parents than she is to me! I cry about her dying in my lifetime because I’m fatalistic like that. But at least she can’t turn around and tell me I’m to blame for all her issues (which I am in part!)


      • I don’t think about the time when my little guy is no more. I enjoy him and see the humorous personality that he has. At the beginning it was a challenge to understand how his personality was but I did research on the breed and match it up with what it was experienced with him then I saw the personality that he is and the fun part kicked in. With children at first you are not sure who’s personality they have. Do they have yours or your mates. Or someone else in your family? My dog isn’t a barker he’s quiet he talks with his eyes. Kids eventually talk and express themselves sometimes quite loudly lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t think about it. It is depressing! I tell my Suki that we’ll be like the old people in the Notebook and I will die 5 minutes after her of a broken heart 😛 There are lots of similarities between dog rearing and child rearing. I wish more people would get a dog first, there are no guarantees but I think it shows you a) if you are capable of looking after another living being and b) the type of parent you’ll be…chilled, neurotic, run into a fire to save your crazy ass kid.


  2. I recently posted a piece of my cliché 30 Things I Learned Before 30 and point #13 is: Having children is not for everyone and choosing not to have children is not selfish. I enjoy spending my money on myself, I prefer uninterrupted sleep, and I like my freedom. Toddlers are annoying, teenagers are infuriating, and they all cost a fortune to raise; I know–I used to be one. And while I’m grateful to my parents for choosing to bring me into this world, for raising me, and providing me with everything I ever wanted and needed, that does not mean I am required to follow in their footsteps. At least with pets you can leave them alone for most of the day and know that they’ll probably be okay and you won’t be arrested for endangerment. They also won’t fall into the wrong crowd and take up recreational drugs…

    If you want to read the list in it’s entirety, here’s the link. 🙂


    • Thanks for your comment. Read your post. No.12 – Virginity is Overrated was my favourite!

      I agree with you, kids aren’t for everyone and no one should feel pressured to go down that path. I’d take your point one step further though, I think having (biological) kids is intrinsically selfish. There really is no altruistic motive for bringing another being into an overpopulated world. However, even though its selfish, it isn’t wrong… we do a lot of selfish things so whatever. My biggest objection is that this pro-natalist view infiltrates every aspect of our lives and people who choose to have babies be it the regular way, IVF, turkey baster or surrogate, are all glorified and supported by wider society. If you choose not to, you miss out on a lot of freebies.

      Here is my post if you are keen to take a look :

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been a parent of both, sadly I lost my fur baby of 9+years last November. She was a darling, pets do love you unconditionally, Children are the same or at least when it suits them. No doggy day care or pet sitter for Mitzy, I’ve only ever left her with my sister for two weeks and missed her terribly during that time, I brought her with me from The Bahamas to Scotland. When lest us the house just feels so empty, I miss her, I miss her attitudes and miss her cuddles.


  4. Same here. But no way Mitzy was going to be rehomed, loads of people asked, including my sister and the answer was NO!! She was the baby of the family, we didn’t go anywhere we couldn’t take her. People would always say we treated her like a person, well it was a responsibility WE as a family took on so we had to take care of her because she was not able to take care of herself. If you’re not ready for that commitment, don’t get a fur babdy.


  5. Practicing on doggo parenting is a great warm-up, but nothing can beat the high privilege of mothering and fathering our precious offspring. For newlyweds who are building their own relationship, it can be a pseudo ramp-up to the amazing real thing. Everything changes in the delivery room. As an aside, we have a photo of our kids jammed into a dog crate that we used to insert into our parenting workshops, but I’d forgotten about that until reading this article. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely agree that the parenting kids probably takes your skills to another level. Dog parenting is definitely easier…they can be problematic, but lets face it they won’t disappoint you the way a child potentially could (they also won’t find a cure for cancer!).

      That said, I do think about 75% of human parents are rubbish. Sure, we all make mistakes but some realities were probably predictable from the get go. I wish more people would think things through, not feel pressured into procreating by society or just foster a dog to develop some skills.


  6. I took a break from blogging myself, after COVID, but am trying to get back in the habit (this is Brian, your guest writer from “Prime Recovery so long ago 😂). You should too! I miss reading you girls’ stories!

    Liked by 1 person

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