I Treat My Dog Like My Human Child and There's Absolutely Nothing Wrong With That
After growing up surrounded by dogs my entire life, I was over the moon when my husband, Chris, and I finally found an apartment together that allowed big dogs. And I'm not referring to the 40-pound-variety canine: I'm talking about our 100-pound behemoth of a black lab named Yogi. Although I didn't get to lay eyes on him when he was just a puppy — Chris got him after college, before I entered the picture — I was eager to officially start living with the gentle giant I had grown to love over two years.
As the proud owner of five cats I fondly refer to as" Big Momma and company," I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little apprehensive about moving five felines and Yogi into our 800-square-foot apartment. After all, that's a pretty tight squeeze for eight living creatures, and the jury was still out on whether or not all the pets would hit it off.
But lo and behold, the cats and Yogi soon became fast friends, and before I knew it, I was treating the dog just like my child. We did everything together: took walks, went on camping trips, watched our fair share of The Real Housewives of New Jersey episodes, and even snuggled into bed together at night.
While there's been some debate about whether or not it's OK to compare your pets to human children, I for one believe there's nothing wrong with treating your doggo like a child. Do I have human babies yet? No. But even if I do, I'll still treat my pup just the same. Scroll through to see why.
I basically plan our vacations around the dog.
Agreeing to take care of a pet for the rest of their foreseeable life is a humongous responsibility no matter how you slice it. All of a sudden, taking a vacation becomes a big commitment. Not only do you have to plan your own trip, but you also have to make arrangements for your furry friends — whether you're looking into the best pet sitter in the area or researching dog-friendly hotels. But rather than shelling it out for pricey hotels, we usually just crash at our aunt and uncle's house, where Yogi is more than welcome as long as he snoozes in his crate.
He generally always gets the prime spot on the bed.
Given the fact that Chris is a sports reporter, he's on business trips pretty much all the time. But rather than hitting the clubs, more often than not I just want to curl up and read or watch a movie after I wrap up at the gym, and that means Yogi gets the full treatment — including the prime spot on the bed.
Once I get home, we usually go on a long walk and cook dinner together (while I'm singing to him or talking in a baby voice, no doubt) before queuing up a movie and drifting off to sleep. And yes, he's definitely grown accustomed to the VIP treatment — head on the pillow and tucked in, just like the big baby he is.
I want him to try the newest doggy products.
There's a fine line between spoiling your dog to the point where they misbehave or become vastly overweight and showing your pupper you love them by giving them a few extra treats (or toys!) here or there. As an enthusiastic pet owner, I do go a little overboard in the aisles of Petco sometimes. I've also been known to jump at any toys or new dog food samples at work because obviously he needs to try the latest doggy treat or tug-of-war toy! You really can't show a loyal pet you love him or her too much, so I admit I can be a bit of a pet-supply hoarder at times.
He's been on a bunch of adventures.
What's the point of getting a dog if you plan on keeping him or her in the house all day? While it's definitely true that some dogs have anxiety or prefer to stay indoors, some of my favorite memories with Yogi involve some sort of trip.
This past weekend, he slept over in my parents-in-law's RV during an out-of-state camping trip and was essentially in lab heaven. Who knew camping grounds were so accommodating for large breeds? He swam in the bay, had his fair share of cheese slices — one of his favorites that also makes him gassy — and made a few friends of the brown and yellow variety. He truly had the time of his life!
He will be a good big brother when we actually do start a family.
Although I'm not officially a mom yet, I can say with utmost certainty that I will still love my dog just as much as soon as I have a kid of my own. You truly can't erase years upon years of wonderful memories with a pet — and just because I bring a little human into the world won't change how much I love him. I'm also just as confident Yogi will thoroughly enjoy his big brother duties. Frankly, I'm not sure who would be a more appropriate companion for late-night feeds once a baby arrives! At the end of the day, I'm willing to bet there will be enough love to go around and am planning on treating my dog just like a child until further notice.