Do We Treat Our Pets Like Our Children?
By Lisa Spector, Juilliard Graduate, Canine Music Expert and co-founder of Through a Dog’s Ear.
A recent article in Pshychology Today by Stanley Coren, PhD referred to a recent online survey by Kelton Research. Of 1,000 people tested, more people are considering their dogs as part of their family and are also referring to them as children. Here are some of the results:
- Nearly 60 percent say that their dogs play a different role than the dogs of their childhood
- 54 percent call themselves “pet parents” instead of “pet owners”
- 58 percent have nicknames for themselves, such as “mommy” and “daddy”
- 35 percent call their dog their “son” or “daughter”
- 62 percent of the dogs have their own chair, sofa, or bed
- 81 percent of dog parents know their pets’ birthdays
- 77 percent have celebrated their pets’ birthday by buying him or her a birthday present
- 23 percent of pet parents have a photo album dedicated to only pictures of their dogs
- 16 percent have started scrapbooks for their pets
- 71 percent of pet owners admit that they have at least one picture of their dog that they carry with them (although the convenience of storing photos on mobile devices may have added to this percentage)
Personally, even though I do consider my dogs as part of my family, I’ve never called myself a pet parent or referred to myself as mommy. However, Sanchez and Gina do have their own dog beds, I celebrate their birthdays (you are invited to a virtual party for Sanchez’s 8th birthday), have scrapbooks dedicated to them, and a picture of my dogs is both my screen saver on my laptop and on my iPhone.
Next: Are you a pet parent?
That being said, I received so many beautiful comments in response to my article Happy Motherís Day! Love, Fido, that I am now starting to not only consider myself a pet parent but am proud to be one. One reader commented that “all children are our children, as all animals are our children and deserve our love enough to want to be their voice, to protect and offer a happy healthy life.”
Another wrote, “Being a ‘MOM’ is about compassion, nurturing and caring for those who have come into our lives with trust and faith in us, whether they walk on 2 legs or 4. I have both kinds of children, and it is a blessing each day to interact with/care for all of my children.” Another Care2 reader posted this beautiful poem, of unknown origin:
Not flesh of my flesh,
Nor bone of my bone,
but still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute;
You didn’t grow under my heart
but in it.
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank my Care2 readers for really brightening my Mother’s Day and also use this as a chance to hear from more of you on the subject. If you have pets, do you consider yourself a pet parent? Thanks for voting and adding your comments.
As co-founder of Through a Dogís Ear, I am offering my Care2 readers a free download from our latest release, Music to Calm your Canine Companion, Vol. 3. Simply click here and enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy.
Image: Dog in Baby Carriage