Should You Be Considered a Pet Parent


by: Carol Bryant

Are you your dog’s owner, guardian, parent, caretaker, or something else? This is a hotly contested topic that seems to go round and round in news cycles.

"Shaping social media excellence, influence and education one amazing pet parent at a time:" This is the BlogPaws mantra, so you know where the collective we at BlogPaws stand. 

The topic of “what do I call myself if a pet shares my life” hits the news wires from time to time. Earlier this year, one particular animal group  declared that saying one is a pet’s owner demeans a pet and the concept needs to be eradicated. Pet owners often claim that their dogs are just like kids, right? So are we just like pet parents or are we pet parents?

In a press release  from the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance, Martha Armstrong , Humane Society of the US, says,  "We frequently refer, if not always refer to the person that has an animal in his home as the guardian, caretaker or caregiver of that animal rather than owner.”

In my own polling of followers, friends, and fellow folks who share their lives with a pet, replies ran the gamut. People, like you and I, who share our lives with pets had a vast array of opinions when it comes to labeling their “title.”

Some of the most popular responses included, “mommy,” “pet guardian,” “pet parent,” and “caretaker.” For me, dogs are like kids to me. I know they are not human, but I get the best of kids in a bundled up package of fur sans the temper tantrums, fits, changing diapers, or well, saving for college.  I call myself my dog’s mom or mommy.

Where does that put the person who shares a life with fish? Or birds? Or ferrets? Are we all pet parents in the end? 

In the same press release, the former counsel for the American Dog Owners Association, Marshall Tanick, cites the limitations placed on calling oneself a dog’s “owner.” Some of those limitations include law enforcement searches to private homes without warrants, adopting pets from shelters, curtailing participation in dog shows, and taking away animals from their owners.

A huge majority of people consider their dogs as members of the family. I know I certainly do. Sadly, dogs do not live as long as their human counterparts and I rejoice even more in each day I share with my dog as a result. The whole “life is short, live in the moment” mantra resides in my heart 24/7. I know that anyone with a pet and a loving heart can relate to and understand

I am not into labels and as someone once penned, labels are better suited for soup cans. But, as the party responsible for caring for our pets, society has to call us something. For you, is that something a parent? An owner? Mom or Dad?

Whether you blog, microblog, some of both, and/or a pet shares your life: Do you mind the label pet parent, prefer it, or what say you?



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