On Children and Canines

People with dogs are quick to tell you how having a pet is just like having children. People with children are quick to tell you how having a pet is nothing like having children. But which side is right? Well, based on my 4 years of experience as a dog owner and 27 days as a little bundle of flatulence owner, I can tell you that the dog people are sorta right—having a pet is similar to having a child.

Now, you may think, as you struggle to remove the poop-soiled onesie from your squirming newborn, Daniel, how can you possibly think that? Well, it’s quite simple actually. Having a pet prepares you for the concept that your life is no longer your own.

Unless you’re one of those monsters who leave their dogs outside all day and night, having a pet is a major responsibility. The cleaning, feeding, and caring of a dog maybe isn’t all that similar to a baby; obviously they have different needs. But what is similar is the idea that this animal depends on you for survival.

Having a dog means understanding that you have to buy it food, take it on walks, give it somewhere comfortable to sleep, and so on. Every day, you have to spend some of your precious private time taking care of your canine son or daughter. That’s important. That selfless expenditure of time and effort prepares you for having a child. Having a child may require 100x or 1000x the effort of a dog, but the idea is still the same.

We’ve adjusted vacations, time spent out of the house, our evening routines, and countless other aspects of our lives just to accommodate our pups. We plan our walks so the pavement isn’t too hot and choose limited ingredient dog foods to keep their stomachs happy. We spend time picking up poop in our backyard so they can run and fetch without tracking it into the house later.

It’s just basic responsibility, and it’s a nice preview of what’s to come with a child.

So, dog owners, you should feel confident in your assertion that having a pup is just as difficult as having a child. You’re not completely wrong.

Now, dog owners, stop reading. Go take your pups for a nice, long walk.

You’re gone? Good.

Alright, parents, listen up, here’s the truth. Having a dog is nothing like having a child. Children are human; dogs are canines. Also babies smell good most of the time. If you accidently kick your dog in the face because they are constantly underfoot, you’ll feel bad about it, but not for too long. If you accidently kick your newborn in the face, maybe you should reevaluate parenthood. How did you even get into a situation to do that? Seriously, unless you’re standing in the crib or putting your child down just anywhere when the mood strikes, how does that happen?

Stop putting your babies on the floor.

They’re not dogs.