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18 Signs That your Dog is a Furry Child

By: Renae Hamrick, RVT

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Is your dog part of your family? Do you refer to yourself as your dog's mom or dad? Dogs that are loved and valued as a child are lucky dogs.

It is becoming more common for dogs 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 dogs regarded as children, living in a loving home with their own warm bed, nutritious meals, and much spoiling!

Signs that your dog is a furry child:

1. You always carry a picture of your dog 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 dog 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 dog.

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 pet safe plants.

9. Your dog has birthday parties.

10. Instead of the kennel, your dog goes to Grandma's house.

11. On the way to and from work, you stop at the doggie daycare.

12. Your dog has health insurance.

13. There are arrangements in your will for you dog.

14. You have been known to take your dog to the mall in a stroller or a papoose.

15. Your friends threw you a shower when you got your puppy.
16. You've called off work because your dog is ill.

17. Spending quality time with your dog everyday is a priority.

18. Kisses from your dog are not gross, they're welcomed.

Treating your dog with the respect you would give a child is not only fun, it is important. Dogs 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 dog. 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 dog-raising that are easier than raising a child. Dogs don't go to college. They don't absolutely need a babysitter while you're at work. They potty-train much quicker than kids. Dogs 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?

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