While writing the recent PoC article about the veterinarian on the west coast who called Animal Control on a woman who raw feeds her cats, I discovered in the source article comments that cat lovers will argue about the craziest things.
Case in point: Do you consider yourself a “pet parent” or a “pet owner?” Sounds simple enough, right? One commenter went into a tailspin in all capital letters “STOP ANTHROPOMORPHIZING ANIMALS. THEY ARE NOT HUMAN NEVER WILL BE HUMAN.” Apparently, this is a pet owner and not a pet parent, although I disagree with the term pet owner.
I prefer pet parent because I don’t own my pets. There’s a greater chance my pets own me. Pet parent is much more realistic to those of us who truly love our pets. Pet parents treat our pets like family. They go on vacation with us or we pay a petsitter (babysitter) to stay at home while we vacation without them. We groom them, we provide love, we care for them when they’re sick and yes, we even talk to them in ‘baby talk’ at times.
In return, our pets show love, fear, jealousy (yes they do!), mischief and many other “human” emotions. So to consider our pets as our children come naturally to many of us. Especially those without children or whose children have moved on and have their own lives.
I’m not alone in my beliefs. A survey by the dog sitter search site Rover.com found that 76 percent of dog owners preferred to be called “dog parents” or “pet parents.” Companies involved in the sale of pet products are also pushing the term.
There’s even a Pet Parent’s Day founded in 2008 by Veterinary Pet Insurance, which is owned by Nationwide. The festivities take place on the last Sunday of April.
Dog blogger Christie Keith wrote in 2010
“Pet parent” is the language of the marketer, of the ad campaign designed to sell you pet food and drugs and services by implying that doing “less” for your pets than your children means you don’t really love them.”
Please sound off in the comments as to whether you’re a pet owner or a pet parent and why. I still find it difficult to believe people are arguing like kindergartners over this.
Pet Parent Elisa