Should Pets get married? A Commentary by The Irreverent Vet
Recently, I received a press release about two dogs that got married in Chicago. This brought up the question…should pets get married?
Is it natural for pets to get married? Are we personifying our desires and needs to be with someone for the rest of our lives on to our pets? Is it stupid? Or is it cute?
I'm curious if you are pro or con!
Now…I'll tell you what I think. I'm really not in to weddings. I can't help it. Something in my DNA. I go out of obligation but never really feel the joy that it seems I SHOULD feel. Most weddings I've been to in the past 10 years have ended in divorce.
So what about pet weddings. Well…I'm a little torn. On one hand, maybe I can finally participate in a wedding that doesn't end in divorce? Maybe? Then so many questions come up? Who can officiate a wedding? A veterinarian? That makes sense. Should the vet have special training in relationships? Or a religious person? That doesn't seem right.
This brings up another point….Is pet marriage open only to breeding animals? Are same sex marriages acceptable? How about neutered and spayed pets?
What do you do if the two get in a fight causing terrible bite wounds in a year? Is that spousal pet abused? I'm confused.
Okay…that was a little silly….So, what do I really think?
First, What is Marriage?
According to Wickipedia, "marriage is an interpersonal relationship with governmental, social, or religious recognition, usually intimate and sexual, and often created as a contract. The most frequently occurring form of marriage unites a man and a woman as husband and wife." Wickipedia goes on to further say…"The reasons people marry vary widely, but usually include one or more of the following: legal, social and economic stability; the formation of a family unit; procreation and the education and nurturing of children; legitimizing sexual relations; public declaration of love."
Which of these apply to dogs? From what I know about dogs, not much. Are dogs capable of caring for each other? Providing for each other? Not really.
Then here is another question….
Are Dogs Capable of Loving Each Other?
Do dogs love each other? Or do housemate dogs just learn to tolerate each other?
And if dogs can love each other, how do you know that they love the dog you choose for them? When you organize a dog marriage, you are basically creating an "arranged marriage". How is to say "Bruno" really wants to marry the one you chose for him and he wouldn't prefer the little cute poodle "Fifi" down the street?
Can Dogs be Monogamous?
I had an interesting conversation with a couple friends. I met them out for drinks and they are pet lovers so I casually asked over a drink…"what do you think of dog marriage?". Of course they looked at me like I had just gone over the deep end but…the following dialogue ensued: "Are dogs capable of being monogamous? If a dog is in heat and a male dog is around…is he going to be loyal to his wife back at the dog house?" I answered, "no, probably not" but commented "neither are a lot of men". And my friend commented, "Exactly, that is why they call those men DOGS"!
Dogs are not capable of being monogamous.
My Final Thoughts
So…I don't think dogs have the ability to choose a partner, communicate their love, are capable of providing and supporting another dog or of being monogamous. I don't believe in dog marriage.
However, I think that pet weddings are fun things for people to do that have lots of extra money and time on their hands. Pet Marriage and Weddings is up there with dressing your dog in an outfit that complements your outfit. It is innocent fun. It also shows a passion and love for pets that is wonderful.
I do think that if pet marriage is to be…then any pets can be married. Preferably if they get a long but any sex, breed, age. That's my opinion and that's all I'll say.
Feel free to disagree or give me your thoughts. Email me, I'm curious about what you think.
The Irreverent Vet is a columnist that regularly contributes to PetPlace.com. The goal is to add a balanced and alternative view of some controversial pet issues. As happens with all of us, veterinarians can't say what they really think without offending some clients. This commentary allows vets to say what they think and give you, the pet owner, the opportunity to consider another view. All opinions are those of the Politically Incorrect Vet and not the views of PetPlace.com and are not endorsed by PetPlace.com.