The term ‘dog mom’ and ‘dog dad’ are thrown around a lot these days. The term is mostly used by younger generations, Millennials and younger. It is a term of endearment to say “I am this dogs parent” – Mom or dad. The term is kind, generous and offers loving support for one’s best friend. But the phrase has become quite popular and has quite literally began replacing actual parenting as ‘motherhood’ and ‘fatherhood’ but let’s dissect it a bit deeper.
There Are 3 Reasons Someone Refers To Themselves as a ‘Dog Mom’ or ‘Dog Dad’
1. An individual believes that a dog is a viable substitute for a baby. Therefore ‘dog mom’ or ‘dog dad’ is what they label themselves.
2. An individual who cannot have children and because of this is, sadly but more understandably, displacing their maternal instincts onto a dog.
3. A person who is actually going to have children but is using the dog as a warm-up.
‘Dog Mom’ vs. Actual Mom
It’s clear that dogs are not kids, and kids are not dogs. With that in mind it can also be correctly understood that parenting a child and tending to a pet are completely different tasks that require a different level of attention and care. Let’s take a look at the actual parenting of a child.
Parenting Children as a Mom or Dad Requires..
- Diaper changing
- Feeding multiple times a day
- Taking to school, picking up from school
- Waking up in the morning and putting to sleep
- Paperwork, homework, papers papers papers!
- Visits to the dentist, doctor, extra curricular activities. You name it.
- Plus much, much, much more. Affection and love and beyond
Now, let’s look at ‘Dog Parenting’ By Comparison
- Feed the puppy
- Walk the puppy and clean up it’s poo
- Ugh, that’s pretty much it.
Sure, you’re going to pet your dog and give it affection and love. But your child not only needs those hugs too, but also wants a bedtime story, and to be tucked in. Even menial tasks such as going somewhere with your whole family (children and dogs alike) you can open the car door and the dog jumps right in. You have to put your child into a booster seat, buckle them in and make sure they have something to do on the ride, a toy to play with or God forbid a screen to get dopamine hits and create that addiction at a young age.
The menial task of going somewhere takes a LOT more time with one child than it does with one dog. Even if you had 3 dogs and 3 children and you took a measurement of time that it took to get the three children ready and leave and then compared that to “C’mon rocko, peanut butter cup and chocolate swiss cake” (metaphorical dog names) the amount of time to actually parent children as compared to dogs is EASILY double, if not triple the amount of time.
Dog’s Are A Man’s Best Friend
The reason the phrase is ‘Dogs are a mans best friend’ is because it’s true. Hey, I love dogs. Every time I’m around dogs I feel happier. I love petting them, playing with them and enjoying their company. I realize that they are just a pet however, that they are ‘friends’ of ours and that they are not human. I realize that the amount of time and energy it takes to raise a child, having been in that seat is quite absurd to compare it to ‘mom’ or ‘dad’ or parenting in any way.
If you were to birth a child with the love of your life and see that birthing process and to see that child go from a baby, to crawling, to speaking their first words, to walking. To have spent many many hours and sleepless nights to see this little human baby adapt, evolve and overcome challenges you’d see the value in parenting.
Dog Culture in The USA vs. Other Countries
Another layer of added complexity is the dog culture here in the US, Canada, Australia or the UK as compared to other countries in the world. If you go to Africa, South America, Central America, India or Asia you will find a MUCH different dog culture than the dog culture we have here.
We have human beings that put their dogs in strollers and stroll them down the street like little babies. We have humans that buy toys, coats, hats, jackets, dog shoes, expensive foods and treats and services. The list goes on and on and on. We treat our dogs like ROYALTY in the west. In many other parts of the world however a dog is just a street animal.
Dogs are an animal that roam the streets looking for scrap food. People feed them the extra food they have but they fend for themselves. They are seen as a sub-wild companion, nothing more, nothing less.
It’s a very different mindset. A good 80% of the dog culture on earth is completely the opposite of this ‘ownership’ and ‘parenting’ mentality that we have here in the west. A culture that buys strollers for their dogs, jewelry for their pets, takes them to dog spas and so much more. It’s gone quite far to say the least.
I understand if you cannot have children and you have a dog as a companion, that’s great. It’s good to have a friendly dog to love and that loves you back.
I also understand that having a dog as a pet to take care of and as a sort of stepping stone for real, actual parenting is a great idea. It teaches you some of the basics. Feeding, the poo and walks. You name it.
What I cannot understand is the logic behind ‘I’m a dog mom’ because I own a dog. That dog has an actual mother, a canine mother. That dog has an actual father, a canine father.
What we must keep in mind is that the amount of work, energy, love, compassion and care that goes into real human parenting is far greater than the ownership of any pet. What we must understand is that as a culture and society we are selling ourselves short and disrespecting actual mothers and fathers including our own for all the time, love, energy and affection that they put into our lives.
If we take something such as ‘dog parenting’ and compare it to real, actual human parenting as a similar comparison we are not doing real parenting justice and we are not being fair to the lineage of our ancestors. My mother birthed four children and had two miscarriages and she knows what parenting is. To refer to yourself as a ‘parent’ when you’ve never actually parented a child is incorrect by definition. If you look up parenting in the dictionary it’s ‘To Parent a child’ not parent a pet.
Whenever I hear someone say ‘dog mom’ or ‘dog dad’ I do my best to stay in neutral and hope that one day, they have real human children of their own so that their analogy gets redefined and actually grounded in reality.
Cheers to the actual parents of the world. You’re the real MVP’s! And if you have a dog on top of that, great, take great care of that dog so it can be a compliment to the life of your entire family. A pup that you can all enjoy and create memories with!
Watch This Video, Now Imagine Your Mother Being One Of Them…
Have the term ‘dog mom’ and ‘dog dad’ gone too far? Yeah, I think so.