Is your pet part of your family? Do you refer to yourself as your pet's mom or dad? Pets that are loved and valued as a child are lucky pets.
It is becoming more common for pets to be a valued member of a household, rather than a replaceable possession. While there is still far too much of it, it is less acceptable for a dog to live tied to a tree or a cat to live wandering the streets, fending for itself. This trend is being replaced by pets regarded as children, living in a loving home with their own warm bed, nutritious meals, and much spoiling!
Signs that your pet is a furry child:
1. You always carry a picture of your pet in your wallet, and you show it off often.
2. When buying a vehicle, you specifically shop for one that will comfortably accommodate your dog.
3. Your pet has his or her own stocking and gifts under the Christmas tree.
4. Before going out in the cold, you dress your dog in the proper gear.
5. There is a seatbelt or car seat in your vehicle for your pet.
6. You always keep dog biscuits in your purse.
7. When cleaning out your pockets before doing laundry, you find doggie doo bags.
8. The plant life in your home includes cat nip and pet grass.
9. Your pet has birthday parties.
10. A common form of decor in your home is the cat tree.
11. Instead of the kennel, your pet goes to Grandma's house.
12. Your cat drinks from your milk glass, and instead of getting new milk, you just drink after him or her.
13. On the way to and from work, you stop at the doggie daycare.
14. Your pet has health insurance.
15. There are arrangements in your will for you pet.
16. You have been known to take your pet to the mall in a stroller or a papoose.
17. Your friends threw you a shower when you got your puppy or kitten.
18. You've called off work because your pet is ill.
19. Spending quality time with your pet everyday is a priority.
20. Kisses from your pet are not gross, they're welcomed.
Treating your pet with the respect you would give a child is not only fun, it is important. Pets are living beings just as much as kids are. They feel, think (some more than others!), love, and need like kids. Having a child should be taken very seriously, and so should getting a pet. Both are responsibilities. Both need medical care, shelter, proper diet, and your time and affection. Both are lifelong commitments.
Of course, there are many aspects of pet-raising that are easier than raising a child. Pets don't go to college. They don't absolutely need a babysitter while you're at work. They potty-train much quicker than kids. Pets don't get speeding tickets. They don't throw temper tantrums at the movie theater. And at the end of a long day, what is more soothing - a wagging, fluffy tail or a puzzling, algebra equation?