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Sorry, Your Fur Baby Is Nothing Like Raising a Real Child

Photograph by Twenty20

Yes, I know. Dogs are adorable, especially yours. You love your precious fur baby beyond words. But please, don’t compare raising your dog to raising a child. It’s not even remotely the same thing.

Here’s why:

1. Dogs are cheaper

Of course you want little Fido to have the best of everything. You’re selfless that way. But even if you spring for hand-painted food bowls, small-batch kibble, hypoallergenic bedding, an organic teddy bear, an Official NFL Team Dog Jersey, a high-end stroller, premium puppy pads and doggie daycare, let’s get real: It’s not like you’re saving for college.

2. Dogs don’t have boundaries

You dog people love to go on about how your beloved pooches have better manners than human children. Sometimes that’s true. But the bottom line is, I’ve got three kids, and none of them has EVER run up to a stranger and started sniffing. They’ve never licked anybody either. My kids haven’t bitten anyone since preschool.

RELATED: 10 Things They Forget to Mention About Newborns

3. Dogs don’t care about parties and holidays

Throwing a birthday party for Princess might be fun, but you can also choose to ignore her birthday year after year, and she’ll still love you and never need therapy. And, by the way, Princess doesn’t care if you dress her up for Halloween. Sure, she made a super cute Nicki Minaj in the Bark-or-Treat parade last year, and she loved all the goodies, but if you decide to attend an humans-only Halloween bash this year, she won’t cry or throw a tantrum, because—newsflash!—she’s a dog.

4. Dogs are more disgusting

Granted, kids and dogs both tend to throw up a lot, but kids don’t try to eat their own vomit afterwards. Sure, some dog owners consider eating vomit a win, since it means less clean up? But again, a dog thing not a universal trait for dependent creatures.

Chances are, nobody is calling Child Protective Services if you let Lassie ride in the back of the pick up.

5. Dogs are more aggressive

They can’t help it. Dogs are instinctual protectors who love to bark. They’re also predators that love to chase cats, squirrels, pigeons, seagulls and—wait, never mind. My kids like to chase small animals too. Let’s call that one even, shall we?

6. Your dog farts with abandon

Except my kids do that, too. But your dog never makes armpit farts while you’re driving either. Damn. Am I losing this argument?

7. Dogs can be given away

Of course, you would never do that, but if you decide to move to Fiji and pursue your lifelong dream of becoming a professional beach bum, you have the option of finding Benji a new home. Parents are stuck with their kids for at least 18 years.

Sadly, pets sometimes escape and get lost, which is heartbreaking, but let’s get real. You’re not actively preparing for the day Rags leaves home for good.

8. Dogs can be locked in a crate or tied to a post

Want to let Tiger ride in your Porsche without a seatbelt, his head sticking out of the sunroof? Knock yourself out. Chances are, nobody is calling Child Protective Services if you let Lassie ride in the back of the pick up.

9. You never have to explain sex to your dog

You get to avoid all those embarrassing conversations parents are forced have with their kids—and dog owners can make an executive decision to just nip things in the bud before they get too complicated.

10. You will never have to teach your dog to drive

Your dog will never ask you to buy her a car either, though once Tesla works out the kinks in those self-driving vehicles, you can lease one to take Miss Thing to her weekly grooming appointments during work hours. Hey, you’ve got to spend your money on something!

RELATED: I Can't Believe My Kids Just Suckered Me Into Getting a Dog

11. Your dog will never grow up and leave you

Sadly, pets sometimes escape and get lost, which is heartbreaking, but let’s get real. You’re not actively preparing for the day Rags leaves home for good. You’re not trying to teach Bear-Bear to cook or do his own laundry. You never have to worry that poodle your dog is chasing might be a jerk. You won’t ever lie awake at night wondering when your dog will find a job and start paying off student loans. Your dog will never beg you to pay for a wedding, and you’ll never beg your dog for grandchildren. Although you love your dog and you sacrifice for your dog and you will miss your dog like crazy when she finally goes to doggie heaven, your dog will never break your heart.

At least not on purpose.

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Sharon Van Epps is a Seattle writer who enjoys both dogs and children. Her humor has appeared at McSweeney's, Scary Mommy, espnW and other publications. You can find her on twitter and Facebook.