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Raising a Child Versus Raising a Pet 0 Comments

There are many similarities when thinking about raising a child versus raising a pet. This article discusses some of the interconnected reasons why raising a pet is like raising a child.

Raising a child versus raising a pet

Raising a child versus raising a pet

One can never fully comprehend the impact that a child is going to have on their life. On the same token, when we think of bringing home a new pet, we tend to underestimate the impact they can have on our lives. Dogs easily become our best friends as they are always excited to see us when we come home from school or work, they are there to console us when we are sad and they rarely, if ever, talk back to us.

They provide us with so much and in return, we must always be there for them as well. We need to make sure they have regular access to food, water, exercise and doctors visits. A dog is also a living creature with a pyramid of needs that need to be met in order to stay happy and healthy.

Here are a few over-arching themes that one would find pertinent in raising a child as well as raising a dog:

1)      Time and Effort

Both endeavors require a significant amount of time and effort. Before embarking on the long journey of caring for and raising a new life, most people spend a significant amount of time reading about how to do it well. There are books galore written on the subject. There is a lengthy learning period as we initially take-on the challenge. If we let it, it can be an all consuming task.

2)      Information Overload

It is easy to find yourself inundated by all the different books and tips available. There is so much to learn and so many different ways to approach it! In the end, it is inevitable that we make mistakes. Sometimes it can be overwhelming…what are appropriate food choices? what are appropriate play partners? etc. Take comfort in the fact that both humans and animals are resilient creatures. It’s important that we remind ourselves of our innate instincts and judgement. We need to learn to be in touch with and trust our instincts. Sometimes however, we also need to know when to consult a professional… it can be a fine line.

3)      Carrot & Stick

Being consistent with our expectations help a young one feel secure. Knowing that rules need to be followed and that doing so leads to reward and praise, while not doing so leads to fair consequences, helps the child, and the dog, feel like they can safely and confidently navigate their environment.

4)      Routine

When thinking about raising a child versus raising a pet, we believe both children and animals respond well to a routine. This helps them become more calm and comfortable. This is similar to point number three in that it’s important that we know what to expect and it helps us feel like we are safe.

5)      Pee & Poop

If you’re not careful, you can find yourself up to your neck in pee and poop! On a serious note, humility is a virtue. If we pay attention to dogs and children, there is a lot we can learn from them.

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