How much do you know about dog parenting? Studies have revealed that many young couples end up adopting pets rather than having a child at home. The reason being they are not that keen on making a child of their own hence they feel content parenting an animal instead. This is an individual choice that none of us can question, but if it is the same as parenting a child? I have seen many pet parents pretending that parenting a pet is as overwhelming. Having the experience of parenting several pets and multiple children, I can clearly say that both experiences are pretty different.
If taking care of a pet is tough, parenting your own child crosses all thresholds of difficulties.
Children Are Far More Difficult Than Pets:
Pet parents may disagree with this, but as I am experienced in raising both pets and kids, I can vouch for it that parenting a child is far more complex. Mainly because of the time frame. When you get a dog, you just have to train them, feed them, walk them and play with them. But with a kid, there are several other significant responsibilities like education. A dog takes about a year or 2 to become an adult and independent, but it takes about 18 years for your child to be independent, which is like a long time. This itself indicated how raising a child is not a cup of cake.
Currently, I live with a Cockapoo full grown dog, which is a lot of work. As it is a crossbreed between Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle, I was unsure of its size. Well, as she grew, I ended up with a standard-sized Cockapoo. As a larger-sized dog is more work; hence I obviously have to invest a lot of time in my dog. She has had a few medical conditions as such, which I had to deal with, but I would say it was still not as challenging as raising my kid. I love my dog, but it is a lot of work, especially walking the dog in the phase where it pulls on the leash hard. Honestly, I had assumed walking a toddler is easier as they do not have the dog’s physical strength and could be easily controlled. I could not be more wrong.
Honestly, walking a toddler was a nightmare that I was not prepared for. It was more of a phobia of mine, mainly because I am an extremely careful parent, which I think most new parents are. Hand holding became a rule for years, and more than keeping my kids safe, it gave me much-needed mental peace.
Especially with a brand new kid, every parent goes through this phobia of living under constant fear that the kid might get hurt. Eventually, they learn they cannot be there to protect their child always, and it is good for the kid to learn a bit of independence too. The kid needs to face all their fears and conquer them.
Understand you are parenting the pet knowing that your dog is going to be dependent on you forever, but then you have to let it grow to be independent, which would mean a completely different set of rules.
It is Easier to Control the Dog:
Training your pet at an early age ensures that they will remain obedient to you. Once you become their pack leader, it stays like that always. They will respect you and follow you forever.
Parents wish kids would do the same, but it is different. They have the ability to think and express themselves better; hence as they grow, their opinion about you changes, and you cannot always remain in a position of authority. Your kid will leave the house someday and become independent. You will lose your say in their life which may sound tough, but you have to deal with this.
Your Kid will Talk Back:
Dogs understand a specific set of commands. They cannot speak our language and hence will never question us. When you throw a ball, your dog will always get it back for you just for appreciation or a treat and never question you why it needs to bring the ball back.
Well, having a kid is a bit different. Kids are curious and will start asking you tons of questions when they are toddlers. It could get tricky to answer them. As your child grows, you will have fights with them when they may talk back. This is mainly when they are teenagers. You have to be prepared for all these phases in life as a parent. Pet parenting is absolutely uncomplicated in this matter.
A Pet Stays with Your Forever:
Here, by forever, I mean till either of you is alive. Once you get a pet, you know it is not going anywhere. That is a great relief, as watching your loved one move away is tough. Sadly, your child has to leave home someday to figure out its life. That may be a challenging phase as you raised this kid.
Pets Get Potty Trained Faster than Kids:
This had to be highlighted here, as cleaning after a potty accident is not a pleasant experience. Unfortunately, you have to do the cleaning for a few years with a kid until the child is potty trained. The good news of having a dog is that it can get trained within a matter of a few days. It took my dog 3 days to understand where she was allowed to relieve herself, which was a great happy moment in our lives.
The Bottom Line:
If you are trying to substitute a kid with a pet, it is not the same. You must have realized that child parenting is a lot tougher and more expensive. Parenting a pet does not really make you an experienced parent. Only having a kid of your own will really give you the true experience.