Embarrassing Secrets of Pet Parents

Dr. Vivian Cardoso-Carroll, PetMD

The other day I was in an exam room with a client and she sheepishly admitted that her dog sleeps with his head on her pillow. My tech looked over at me and said, “That would be a good blog topic: Whatís the most embarrassing thing you do with, for, or about your pet?”

I thought it was a great idea. You guys have the benefit of being relatively anonymous. I, on the other hand,† have to stand tall in front of you faceless masses to admit my doggie dirty-laundry. But thatís okay — I donít think Iíve got anything too scandalous going on!

So after some thought, I’ve come up with my most embarrassing dog confession. You can start thinking of your embarrassing moments now, too.

Related: 3 Reasons Dogs Are Like Kids (Slideshow)

First, Two of my three dogs are dubiously housetrained. Katelin, my Min Pin, became my dog precisely because sheís potty training-deficient.

It was during my first job post-vet school, as I was walking through the kennels, that I saw her lying on a little bed in the back of a run. Katelin was simply the cutest dog I had ever seen. Supposedly her owners were pretty sure she was a Min Pin (Miniature Pinscher), but they had bought her at a garage sale for $35, so who knows? I told them that if they ever wanted to get rid of her, Iíd take her.

The little voice in my head said, “Hey newlywed girl, maybe you should run that by the new husband first?”

I ignored it, naively thinking nothing would come of my offer.

Well, Katelynís issues became a problem. Her owners offered her up and my receptionist took her. I realized my folly and figured I wouldnít make my never-had-a-dog-before husband have to deal with a second dog. However, the receptionist couldnít potty train her — this wasnít her excuse for not keeping her, but I donít remember what was.

She gave Katelin to a lady with cancer. This lady pretty much sat around all day with Katelin in her lap, so it was perfect. Except for the fact that Katelin peed over every inch of her house (or so I presume). The story was that the lady was too sick to take care of her. Iím sure that was the case, even a perfectly healthy person tires of cleaning dog excrement all the time.

Then Katelin went to my friendís friend, Marty. Marty had been looking for a Min Pin. Perfect!† He took her for approximately 24 hours.

You can guess what she did.

He said that, well, actually he wanted a Min Pin that fetches, and Katelin didnít fetch. This I know is untrue because she loves to fetch; she bounces after the ball like a little red gazelle! She really just peed all over his house.

So I picked her up from Martyís house and brought her home, telling my husband it would just be for the weekend until I could take her back to work on Monday. My secret plan, though, was for him to fall in love with her and let me keep her.

Well, heís not really a dog lover. He likes them okay, I guess, but ultimately dogs are my thing. So I subsequently appealed to his engineer side: I wanted a cat, but couldnít have one because of his allergies. Katelin was about the size of a cat soÖ I should be able to keep her instead of a cat!

“Fine,” he relented. “Sheís our substitute cat.”

Cats are far easier to housetrain than our stubborn little Katelin. She was extremely talented at peeing and pooping in areas of the house we didnít frequent; the formal dining room and the game room, for example. These places were like little graveyards with poop headstones all over the place.

We finally had to resort to the “umbilical cord” method of potty training: you keep her on a leash on your person at all times. She has to go out every 30 minutes (praise when she potties). If she has an accident in the house, we provided negative reinforcement — shake a can with coins in it, etc. to startle her. This way you can catch her in the act. It took about 48 hours, but she got it.

If you give her one little inch, though, she takes it. She also forgets her potty training every winter, when itís too cold or wet to bother using the great outdoors.

We have gates everywhere to block her from potty locales.

Currently, her favorite place to potty is my closet. Itís the only place in the house with any carpet left that isnít gated. Weíre putting springs on the doors so that they close themselves.

Iím not sure why weíre bothering, sheíll just find some other place to go.

But we love her, so we keep trying to stay one step ahead of her “accidents.”

So thatís confession #1; my poor potty training ability.

My second confession I came up with right off the bat, when my tech mentioned the subject: I have a tendency to tell my dogs I love them more often than I tell my family.

How ’bout you?

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What is Your Most Embarrassing Pet Secret? originally appeared on petMD.com


Glenda Bell
Glenda Bell4 years ago

my pet secret..I brought up 4 unwanted puppies in a suitcase on top of a bed until they outgrew it. It was mid winter and too cold to toilet train them to go outside. So I placed heaps of newspapers down my narrow hallway for them to do their business on. There were a lot of misses, down on my knee's carpet cleaning and the occasional accidental human shoe or foot landing on a poop. Three years on, and the puppies are spoilt and loved by me. They still use newspaper but only at one end of the hallway. It is difficult to "want" to bring visitors to my home, but being reclusive, its not my problem, my puppies needs come first. I already had 4 other dogs before the puppies. Eight or nine is my limit:)

Fi T.
Past Member 4 years ago

But that's why our pets are lovable

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

daww. my confession? I love animals. All of them. I can't say no. So I have to avoid places where animals for sale or for free might be. Because I will end up with another animal if I see one. I stop for any stray, and if an animal is injured or hit, I stop too. We have two outdoor dogs and one indoor cat (the kitten is a new addition.. a product of going to the mall and swearing i wouldnt get anything from the pet store if my bf let me look). (In my defense, she was free to a good home and absolutely precious. 3 days in and we are inseparable). Anyways, I have a sof spot for strays, abandoned dogs, hurt or sick animals ect

Abbe A.
Azaima A5 years ago


Dale Overall

One Siamese had a taste for corn so he went next door to our neighbour's garden which had far more corn than we did and would help himself daily to a cob of corn. He would trek home to enjoy it and ripped the leaves off dining with pleasure. Our neighbour's were not annoyed as they knew about it but had tons of corn. Another Siamese would leap onto the counter when smelling a cantaloupe and if we forgot to hide it he would eat through the rind and have a treat.

My brother brought home a crow whose mother had died back in the 1960s and the crow became part of the family. At that time the bird rescue centre did not exist where skilled staff now care for and the release birds either injured or young ones suddenly without a mother. One Siamese had a chronic cough and the crow would wait, grab the cat's tail with his beak and pull as hard as he could. Then he would fly onto the roof of the shed when the cat turned around. They got along fine, the cats never harmed the crow.

Another dear Siamese was a jewel thief, he would stash watches and jewellery underneath a thick shag rug.

Presently the 16 year old blind cat that owns me does not meow for meal time. She Bellows loudly. Her vet says simply that "she is spoiled." Recently she has extended the Bellow to demand her back rubs or if she goes into another room and wants me there. Needless to say, I am well trained to her specifications.

AnimalWhisperer Rosi

It warms and gladdens my heart to see such increasing numbers of true animal advocates. You are all awesome. Animal Whisperer Rosi Caswell

Cutter Two Wheels

when people ask me what i do, i say i work at a daycare. the record was 5 minutes of the conversation continuing before i realize they think i meant HUMAN kids. i work at a doggy daycare.

i'm also guilty of telling people i have 3 kids thinking they would automatically know i meant the 4-legged kind. i mean, they're not my BIOLOGICAL kids, but hey, there are some people out there that adopt humans, too...

i also have a bad habit of saying "i'm sorry to hear that" when someone says they prefer cats to dogs, that they are 'cat people', or that they have cats. oops.

Vaiva G.
Vaiva G5 years ago

This article is great and all the comments are awesome too!
My confession is that we adopted a kitten from a meth-house that was in our over wise suburban neighborhood. We socialized from his first days, with cat lovers coming by and seeing him daily. He was my husband's and my first pet together, his first pet period. So we doted on him endlessly... but he turned out crazy. For the first two years of his life, I never saw him sleep! Ever! He was always on alert to run away or bite...He hates everyone except us, especially the vets! (one of whom had the nerve to suggest we euthanize him). Now he occassionaly bites and scratches but then lays down on your chest and falls asleep purring! One day we were at the grocery store and saw a box of kittens, one of them clearly cast a spell on my husband. The first month was rough, our first-born Cucumber lived upstairs for the full month with only ocassionally coming down to hiss. Now he loves Cauliflower and they're the best friends cats could be, from cuddling and cleaning each other to rampaging through the house in a spastic game of tag. In fact, Cucumber now has even been choosing a few guests to not hiss and bite at!

Les Murphy
Les M5 years ago

when we adopted our 2nd cat, he was very afraid. for some reason he decided our shower stall was the safest place in the house. so every night i took my pillow and slept in the stall with him. on top of that, i'd have to get up from my "bed" very early because my husband had to shower before work. thankfully i now get to sleep on a mattress.

Snow Katze
Teri Graham5 years ago

I'd have to say my most embarassing pet parent moment happened in the Rally Obedience show ring. The judge asked if we were ready to start and as I was about to reply, my then 3 year old Rottie let out a very audible, very smelly fart. The poor judge had to back off about 10 feet while waving her clipboard in front of her face. I had a very difficult time trying to keep a straight face, but we did score well on our run.