Are you a Pet Parent or a Pet Owner? What's the difference?

     Am I your Child or your Pet?

    Am I your Child or your Pet?

    While waiting to pick up my furry friend from doggie camp, I asked the other human also waiting which one is yours?  She answered "I'm the proud owner of the Bichon Frise".  We chatted a bit and then she left.  I decided to ask the next person the same question and she responded " I'm the happiest parent in the world, that's my Labrador in the corner, he is the best child ever". 

    The same question netted me two different answers.  It got me thinking, are you a pet parent or a pet owner?

     They both clearly loved their furry friend.  They both had love and excitement while speaking of their furry friend, but was one correct and the other not.

    After picking up my furry friend, I went home and started to do some research.  Apparently this is a passionate debate amongst humans.

    Do you view yourself as a pet parent? Do you treat your pet like a child? Do you dress your furry friend and take her everywhere? Is she spoiled with doggie grooming every week? Do any of these mean you are a parent or an owner?

    People who view themselves as pet parents truly love their furry friends.  Pet parents feel that the time and attention they dedicate to their furry friend is as if it was their child.  No matter what age their furry friend turns, pet parents claim their furry friend will not be able to get a glass of water or make themselves dinner, therefore they are my child. Pet parents state that their furry friend will never become self sufficient. It is our job to ensure a well balanced diet, provide them with a happy safe environment. Pet parents feed them, play with them, nurture them, train them, dress them and provide medical attention if needed.  In fact, some even say that they don't have children and their cats and dogs are treated as such. They also admit they are under no delusion that their pet is remotely like a human child, but they say they do provide them with everything you would a child. 

    Pet owners also love their furry friends.  They also do all the things that pet parents do but draw the line at calling themselves a parent or their furry friend a child.  They feel that they are an owner or  guardian, but not a parent.  You see, they argue that if I was a parent I could not leave my child alone for hours on end with no supervision or in a cage. They say that they would be in jail if they let the child defecate outside or if they walked it on a lease.  Another pet owner states "If my dog gets rabies or sick, I have to  put it down, I would not go into bankruptcy for a pet". Pet owners treat and take care of their pets the same as a pet parent but argue that they are property or something they own.  

    After speaking to many and researching the topic, I find the difference between a pet parent and a pet owner is how they view these two terms. They both say the same thing but one thinks as a pet owner and the other thinks as a pet parent. What one sees as negative about either term is often what decides them on using the positives associated with the opposite term.

    In the end, I found both pet parents and pet owners both love their furry friends immensely and enjoy having them as part of their home.

    Paws up, and enjoy your furry friend