Kids vs Dogs; The Big Differences

We’ve pretty seamlessly fallen into the routines of dog ownership again. The Baroness has quickly become the ideal companion for me as I read in bed, the perfect pal for Edie to romp with through the yard and the snuggliest pillow for Teddy to lay his head… not that that lasts for very long.

It’s easy to see why dogs, and pets in general, can become another member of the family. However, I don’t foresee myself ever calling Ginger “my baby”. I still cringe when childless people compare pet ownership to parenthood. Yes, dogs love unconditionally and can be the best of companions, but they are not children. If kids and dogs were on equal footing, my life would look completely different.

1. Crates. Seriously, you can leave a dog for an extended period of time in a crate and it’s okay. Overnight? Fine. During work? Fine. Quiet dinner out with the hubs? Fine. Did the dog just destroy someone’s toy or otherwise misbehave? CRATE. Responsible owners use a crate to train their dogs. Crating your children? Totally discouraged and frowned upon, even if you change the newspaper and blankets daily. Apparently you can’t consider it another form of time out.

2. No diapers. Granted, you have to walk your dog outside in all-weather. But how much easier would it be if you could just send your children outside to go to the bathroom? Consider all the money a family will spend on wipes and diapers, cloth or disposable, through the years. Plus, the landfills. Sure, you’d have some explaining to do if you ever hosted a picnic but it seems the logical next step from elimination communication.

3. No clothes. If my children could be nude all the time you cannot imagine all the time and money we’d save in the laundry and wardrobe department.I suppose it would necessitate a move to a warmer climate, however, I’ve been thinking about that for years anyway. But in reality, if I sent my naked children outside to use the bathroom, I don’t think anyone would consider me frugal or environmentally minded.

4. No more picky eaters. Ginger happily eats the same dry dog food everyday, with the occasional crumbs that fall from the table. Why doesn’t the grocery store give me the option to buy “Kid Food” in bulk in either beef, chicken, or vegetarian? The time spent on grocery trips would be cut in half and there’d be no more dinner time power struggles. That’d be a menu planner you could post on Pinterest; just a big calendar with Kid Food written in every square.

5. I wish I could motivate and reward my kids with just tiny snacks I kept in my pocket, and the occasional tummy rub. Ginger acts like she’s won the lottery every time she gets either. My kids tend to get testy if I offer a snack smaller than an entire box of something and even come close to touching their stomachs while screeching “Who’s such a good boy/girl?! Yes you are! Let mommy give you some love!” Kids will carry these memories with them all the way to therapy.

Dog and kids. Both great. Both require different love and attention. Thankfully, I’ve got it pretty well figured out. Kids and trampolines: good. Dogs and trampolines: funny but bad. Let me know if you need me to clear up any grey areas for you.


  1. Our church is doing a new parish directory, and I have to sign up to get my picture taken. That’s bad enough as it is, but my kids are grown and my husband is dead, so it’s kind of weird for me. A friend said, “Well, some people bring their dogs to portrait sessions.” Um, no. I love my dogs, but they are *not* my family. I’ve had dead dogs, and I’ve had a dead kid, and it is NOT the same thing, ya know?

  2. You could go the other way with this too. How ridiculous would it be to catechize your dog? Teach it to drive? Argue with it about having a sleepover with its friends? Give it piano lessons? Pray for its vocation?

    I thought about this often when I was childless for the first 4 years of my marriage and people tried to call my pets my kids. No. I did not give birth to a cat or rabbits. When I adopted them, it was never with the understanding to “raise them as my own.” Animals are lovely, entertaining, and they have “personalities,” but they are not people.

  3. Ah, yes, it would be very easy to get Purina kid chow. Actually, I think I have seen that: Goldfish crackers in the bulk bins at Winco. 😉

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