Is Raising a Pet The Same As Raising a Child?

This statement has been uttered a few times within earshot, and I normally don’t give it much thought, because I think the answer is “No.”

But I was wondering how many of you out there actually believe this to be true, or to have some semblence of truth.

I say, “No” because the level of committment and the responsibility involved in raising a pet is miniscule when compared to that of raising a child.

The similarities of infants and toddlers to children to puppies/kittens only go so far. But the fact is, you don’t leave infants and toddlers home for hours on end while you’re at work, or out shaking your booty. MOST people don’t find a babysitter for their child when they go off to Thailand for 2 weeks.

Now some of the same principles may be the same for TRAINING pets and children, as those of us who are rewarding bad behavior can attest to; it WILL hurt you in the long run, (jdsays, speaking as a man who is woken up at 6-6:30 AM everystinkingday by his cat…why? Because he opened the door when she meowed as a kitten :s ); however, to say that RAISING a child and raising a pet are equal, or even NEAR equal, well, it’s a bit insulting to me as parent.

jdsmith: “I’m psyched! After years of reading to him and teaching him letters and words, Jdson reads on his own now!”

Pet-owner: “My cat can poop in the toilet and flush it down!”

Now, I’m biased. I’ve never been in a house that didn’t have a pet, dogs, cats, goddamned birds, fish and such, but I’m more of an animal appreciator and not an animal lover. I’m not dowplaying it, but I’ve never been able to understand the level of attachment some people have to their pets, usually displayed when the animal dies. But then a funny thing happens, many of the people go out and get another animal, sometimes the same color, size, and breed.

I don’t think that’s too common with children.

Anyway, awaiting your thoughts.

Animals are important to many people. I guess it’s just a crude analogy to get people to think about the commitment they are making when buying or adopting an animal.

If you’ve ever had or lost a child, there really isn’t really a comparison.

‘Which is more important?’ is only really a valid question if you are truly too poor of wallet and spirit to not take care of both animals and people. We should be able to deal with both. We always rank our love for people: most people rank their parents above the smelly old aunt who moved to another country to teach English. That doesn’t mean they feel that aunt doesn’t have the same rights to safety and happiness. And if you don’t have parents, maybe the smelly aunt becomes more important. Same with dogs.

The concept of pets always seemed ridiculous to me, even as a child. I don’t like being around animals as they can not talk and we generally don’t have the same interests. It’s like if all your friends were Welsh or something. However, rescuing other peoples’ unwanted pets is a wonderful thing to do.

You can’t make this comparison. Dogs are dogs and kids are kids. There is nothing similair.
I know people who treat dogs like kids and those who trerat kids like dogs, both are stupid. imo
You really can’t compare a child to a dog, a child has self determinism, which is imo the most valuable thing a human being has, like freedom of choice.
Now, of course we all saw Lassie and what a wonderful dog she is etc… and they are probably many others like that. Dogs or animals in general have many qualities and great attributes, but you can never compare a dog to a child, ever.

I did see a hartbroken father on TV after 8 huskys that was let lose without the owners supervision had hunted down he’s 8 year old kid and killed him.

Pet ownership is just as big responsebilety as having kids bacause both can go terible wrong if you fail to do a good job.

Pets usually reach a certain size and then stop growing.

Plus, pets don’t become sullen hulking youths, get pierced, tattooed and involved in scooter gangs.

Hmm think I’ve done this to death before…I’ll leave it.

kids cost more. for longer. and i am told that it is generally more painful to have a baby than it is to go to the store and buy a new kitten.

but apart from that, about the same.

It seems acceptable if not slightly uncomfortable for a pet to watch you having sex.

I would agree, but having spent a lot of my time learning how to get the best out of kids and now out of dogs, I can say without any doubt that there are many similarities. Certainly, raising of either has its responsibilities, and the consequences of not raising properly can be serious in both cases.

In my experience, it is this belief that leads to the most serious problems developing when raising a dog. There certainly are differences, but believing that the responsibilities of pet guardianship are miniscule is bound to lead to dire consequences. A dog (and other pets) needs rules, limitations, discipline, food, shelter, love, time, energy, etc. - very much like a child does. If a parent fails in any of these areas, the results will be obvious but the child won’t be put in a pound and killed ten days later if his lack of guidance leads to unwanted behaviour. In extreme cases, though, it could lead to prison. For a dog, the results of poor guardianship may seem miniscule to the human, who is further removed from the consequence, but, to the dog, it is his or her life - nothing is more important than that. At the very least, a poorly cared for dog will be unhappy, unfulfilled, and unhealthy. I would say that the level of commitment is the same, but a dog requires a little less of your time, shall we say, as he or she can function happily and healthily with just a few hours of dedication a day (feeding, walks, grooming, cleaning up after, etc.).

If you did leave a toddler at home, make sure he or she is in a confined space with water available and at least some newspaper to pee on. :wink: Dogs grow up very quickly - a one-year-old dog is the equivalent of a fifteen-year-old child; a two year old dog, the same as a twenty-five year old. Five years per year thereafter. Dogs develop faster then age slower (relatively speaking).

And, while dogs can be left alone, as with children, this is not preferred - though the result of the neglect is not so easy to spot, so it is often disregarded.

Those of us who may never have kids might be insulted that you believe our four-legged family members don’t require being raised properly. :wink: If we don’t raise our ‘kids’ properly, they might bite your kids, after all, so I believe it is extremely important. Don’t be insulted - be glad that we’re being responsible, just as I’m glad that responsible parents such as yourslef raise kids who contribute to society instead of becoming antisocial. Would you be insulted that someone believed it was extremely important to properly mantain their car? Or store their guns? These are innanimate objects, but I’m sure glad that their owners take them seriously.

jdsmith: “I’m psyched! After years of reading to him and teaching him letters and words, Jdson reads on his own now!”

Pet-owner: “My cat can poop in the toilet and flush it down!”[/quote]

There is sheer joy and pleasure to be found in the accomplishments of anyone close to us. Should we only confine such feelings to our kids? When a dog ‘graduates’, it often goes unnoticed, until some time later when it suddenly dawns on us that he or she has stopped being destructive, is always peeing outside, is calm around people, etc. When you make these breakthroughs with your dog, it is extremely rewarding, though I understand that when it is your own flesh and blood, the comparison is faded, because when your son finally learns to read (and I will test him, jd :wink:), that is your genes doing that.

This is such an important issue. When pet guardians (I hate calling them owners) fail to make that connection with their dog or cat, they are missing out on so much - there is a huge range of joyful experiences that we turn our back to when we fail to fully appreciate that other being that is capable of sharing and enriching our lives. I see parents who miss out in much the same way.

And I too would call myself an animal appreciater rather than an animal lover. I believe the former is the greater. Too many people ‘love’ animals but fail to appreciate their needs. Many parents love their kids but lack in similar ways.

If we are going to take on an animal - purchase him or her to become part of our household, that being has little say in the matter, primarily because we are not intelligent enough to understand his or her language. But our own deficiencies should not be the benchmark of how much attention or caring or commitment that being needs. We humans have made many serious errors in our history when it comes to our commitment to other beings, particularly those we enslaved for our own purposes. But, thanks to those who questioned our right to perceive those we can’t understand as lesser beings, that has become a huge stain in our history that will not be repeated. I envision a day when the same can be said for those beings even further genetically removed from our own.

It is natural to consider ones own children before even our closest pet, but that does not make our commitment exclusive. If we take on a pet, as far as the animal is concerned, the responsibilty that goes with it is the most important issue in his or her life. Because it is another life; it is another being. And we should show the same commitment to other beings as we would like bestowed upon ourselves.

Just my tuppence-worth.


Excellent post Sean.

I did not say that animals don’t need to be raised properly though. I’m happier when they are.

And I don’t know how much I’m missing out on the emotional connection. I dig my cat, and now that it’s colder, she digs hanging out on my lap and keeping warm. The purring is nice, but there is just NO comparison to a child…ok, to one’s OWN child. :laughing:

Anyway, excellent post. :rainbow:

I dont have any kids yet, so its kind of pointless for me to post here…

But I miss my dogs more than I miss my 11 nieces and nephews from back home…

Luckily, they dont read :smiley:

[quote=“pubba”]I dont have any kids yet, so its kind of pointless for me to post here…

But I miss my dogs more than I miss my 11 nieces and nephews from back home…

Luckily, they dont read :smiley:[/quote]

Why? I’m sure your dogs would appreciate the sentiment.

:laughing: :laughing:

Both is a lifelong commitment (for as long as the child or animal lives)

No dog or cat is going to come up to you out of the blue and ask:

“When did you get old?”


“Do I have to get a job and be tired after work and drink all that wine?”


“Was Jesus important before I was born?”

IMO Nope. Children are reflections of you. They are people with characters that can and can’t be molded. And eventually they leave and hopefully, make the world a better place.

Pets on the other hand make your world a better place. They have their own characters but can be shaped by you- for examples-show dogs. Plus they depend on you for life. No matter how many tricks you teach them, they will never learn to leave the house, get a job and call once a week to see how ya doing. Nope, they’re their until their demise, looking to you for support and comfort. They are naturally co-dependant.

That’s a very interesting thing to say.

That’s a very interesting thing to say.[/quote]

Why :laughing: it’s true. It’s not like I can pimp my two dogs out. Well, one of them is still in tacked :smiling_imp: Hmmm I sense a new opportunity for me when I get back to the States…

That’s a very interesting thing to say.