Anything & Everything

December 8, 2013

The Term Pet Parents: Pissing Off A Real Parent

Filed under: Blogging,Musings,Parenting — Susan Morgan @ 12:50 pm
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It’s the expression I keep hearing in ads for pet products that’s fueled this rant. Pet parents… it’s clever I’ll give you that. And I like (as a writer) how it flows as you say the words and how it does describe the way many people feel about their pets.

I know I love my three like crazy, they are truly part of the family and I can’t imagine what we would be like without them. They have made our house a home.

But my pets are NOT my children.

They do not carry my DNA — any human DNA as a matter of fact. No pet is born from a human female. And while we do take puppies and kittens into our homes when they are very young, we can’t take them immediately at birth. They need parenting from creatures of their own kind — their true and rightful parents — before they can be well adjusted and happy pets.

I’ll give you that training a pet could be considered a primitive sort of parenting. If you do it right, a pet can enhance your life. Do it wrong (or not at all) and a pet will rule your life. Like children, pets need love and attention, discipline and limits. Very often, like children, they give subtle clues about the home in which they live.

But pets are NOT children.

Calling people “pet parents” is an insult to real parents. This term gives pet owners a status that they have not earned and do not deserve. As if pets are somehow equal to a human child; as if to parent something is as easy as going to pick it out of a litter and writing a check. I earned the right to be called parent after three long pregnancies, hours of labor and many sleepless nights.

Owning a pet is NOT parenting.

If you think they’re one and the same, treat a child as you do a pet and see how that goes. You should expect a call (or visit) from Child Protective Services if you do because you can’t forget to feed a child, you can’t leave it alone, or outside while you go off and live your life. You can’t ignore a child’s teeth or skimp on grooming. But many good pet owners have done these things.

Children and pets are NOT the same.

End rant. Back to your lives readers, sorry for the interruption.

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