JUST SAY NO! to treating your pets like children.

Today’s JUST SAY NO! is going to make some people ANGRY. Well then, GOOD. If what I have to say in the following paragraphs strikes a painful chord, then this is long overdue.

It has come to my attention that some of you are suffering from a delusional sickness called doggiemommyitis. Sufferers of this burgeoning disease find themselves incapable of grasping the important distinction between PET and HUMAN CHILD. For the sake of these pitiful souls, let me clarify. Human children look like miniature versions of us. They have (usually) one small person’s head, one trunk, two arms, two legs, ten each of fingers & toes, and they walk (once they learn to do so) upright. PETS on the other hand, do not look like us. They have fur, or feathers, or scales. They typically walk on four legs, or fly on two wings, or swim w/ fins. Some may slither, as in the case of snakes. Indeed, some may even talk – like my crazy ass bird who says “wuuuuuzzzzzzzuppppppp,” but that’s pretty much the extent of it. They DO NOT wear clothing and would NEVER EVER EVERRRRRRRRR want to. EVER.

Animals – as much as we all love them (except for those weirdos who don’t) – are animals. Not humans. AND MOST DEFINITELY NOT human children. On a recent trip to Petsmart, I was shocked and horrified to see this:

For those of you who have never seen one of these, it is a stroller. Yes, of course! Except this one isn’t for a child. No. It is called the Pet Gearâ„¢ Blue Happy Trails Pet Stroller. It costs $100 and is one of the “lower-end” pet stroller models. The Jeep Rubicon Jogging Stroller (for Pets) is a whopping $219.99. In the olden days, people used to take walks or run with their dogs. Now they push them like human infants. In a country where childhood obesity is reaching epic proportions, people are now PUSHING THEIR PETS AROUND LIKE KIDS.

A while back I had the misfortune of seeing something like this at a public park:

Only it was a grown MAN wearing his dog, and he looked even slightly more ridiculous. if that is possible. No offense to anyone who totes their dog around on their chest like a small human, but… well. actually I guess I do mean offense. B/c you need HELP. Pets were never intended to be carried around in Baby Bjorns, oversized pocketbooks & arm luggage covered in rhinestones. That’s why they have LEGS. You know, the four appendages dangling off their body that you’ve squeezed into a leotard and tutu? Yep. right there.

Behold this poor creature:

This dog is wearing a wig for pete’s sake. A WIG. If you are subjecting your pet to this, then you need to call your doctor IMMEDIATELY b/c your dosage is WAAAAAAAYYYY TOO HIGH. I know it is cute to see what Lil Poopsie looks like in a doll’s dress, once – maybe twice, but there are things that should never be done to a dog. EVER. Do you think they are doing this over in Africa where people are dying of starvation? Dressing up their pets? NO WAY. They would be eating them if they were lucky enough to have them. This is AMERICA PEOPLE. Where we have enough money to condone this sort of thing as acceptable behavior. Sort of like Botox injections. or Twitter.

Last year when we went on vacation, we boarded our dog. He stayed at a reaaaallllly nice place. At least it must be for what we paid. I was hoping he was getting above-average quality kibble, extra fun play time, that kind of thing. But when we went to pick him up, I was surprised by something they handed over to me, along w/ his leash and the bill. It was a stack of papers. Each one had a sweet doggie graphic and a space for writing. And each sheet was filled out – as if by MAX (our dog) – describing what he’d enjoyed most each day. Playing w/ the ball. Taking his nature walk. Playing tug. Cute, right? Well. Sort of, I suppose. Except that Max can’t write. And never will. And so, understandably, this got my attention. I thought about it a lot. You know I did.

When we pulled away from the boarding kennel I noticed their “Doggie Day Care Center.” And then I really truly understood. The windows of the Doggie Day Care were papered w/ fingerpaintings. Done by dogs. Little paw prints in all the colors of the rainbow. Outside the place stood a tot-sized easel listing the schedule of daily activities. And beside the building was a fenced-in play yard complete w/ Little Tykes playhouse and children’s playground equipment – stuff my daughters would go wild for – but it was FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH DOGS. And I thought to myself WOW. Doggie Day Care. PURE GENIUS. Can this population be exploited more thoroughly?? I THINK NOT.

And so, I beg you all – but especially YOU,

to JUST SAY NO! to treating your pets like children.

21 thoughts on “JUST SAY NO! to treating your pets like children.

  1. But it’s still okay to treat children like pets, right?

    Also, if you have a baby kangaroo as a pet, is it all right to use one of those pouch things?

  2. I saw the stroller one here where I live and felt like running the lady over with my car. I also gag everytime I walk past the doggie outfit end cap at Target.


  3. um…excuse me. this weekend i bought my pet squirrel ‘ferdie’ a leather biker jacket for the nippy autumn months. what exactly are you saying here, dishy? is something wrong with that?

  4. As long as we’re making confessions, I have to disclose the link to Catprin I’ve had on my site for quite some time. I agree that the idea is noxious for dogs, but cats, especially the Japanese ones on that site, just seem to enjoy being p.o.’d. It’s hard to explain.

    Incidentally, down there in Philadelphia do you have the phenomenon of people taking their little anklebiter dogs for a “walk” by carrying them along the sidewalk, setting them down to do their necessaries (cleaning up after them), then picking them back up and returning home?

  5. LMAO!!! I just saw that same stroller at Superpetz and I was standing there all perplexed b/c I thought Dogs were Supposed to WALK, I kept thinking why do they have baby strollers at the pet store…I’m slow doncha know! Those outfits are why dogs BITE people. Exercise is good. My cat is family but he is still and always will be a C*A*T

  6. “Pigs ain’t people…pigs is pigs” (little boy on Rigoletto to the pig farmer-if you haven’t seen Rigoletto, it is a wonderful movie!!! But I digress). I went to college with a young lady who was OUTRAGED that we had class the night of Halloween – she thought she was COMPLETELY justified in missing class because she had to take her puppy trick or treating! She’d gotten him the costume and she simply couldn’t disappoint him. She didn’t last long in college – so you’ll be glad to know she is not now a surgeon or an accountant or anything.

  7. Hayden, If you had seen the MAN carrying his dog, I think you would have probably dropped over. Almost as bad as when I saw a guy in Rittenhouse Square carrying his 2 chihuahuas dressed as Cheerleaders. Our pets are family too. But I do not dress them up and push them in strollers.

    Panny, OF COURSE! Esp. when they are my children, who act like wild beasts most of the time. PS: You get a kangaroo for a pet. you can do WHATEVER YOU LIKE.

    Jenefur, I am picturing you running down this person w/ your car. and I am Laughing. YES I AM AWFUL.

    Panny, I will have to check out your site – you are too funny & clever. I am afraid i do not know what Catprin is, it sounds like over-the-counter pet medicine. YES I have seen the poop walkers. Only in America..

    Connie, I hope your cat is now using the kitty door. Post some pix please!

    Tracie, I am thinking your former classmate is single??

  8. All I can say is RIGHT ON, RIGHT ON, RIGHT ON , AND THANKYOU A ZILLION TIMES. In my line of work, I go into many homes with pets. I am appauled at some of the sites. Yes the cats and dogs that sleep with their owners not to mension the awful sight of the cat getting out of the litter box and then jumping on stove top, counters, tables. Aren’t those places where the majority of us prepare and eat our food? In my house it is. My favorite client is the one who lets the dog potty all over the house and then says those kind of dogs are known to do that. Hmmmmm. Now the cat has scrathed every object in the house but she told me (my client) she thinks the cat does that to get her attention on purpose. Hense no stopping that cat. This wonderful cat even bites and scratches her. Now the pit bull, thats the one I am apprenhensive about. He is constantly on guard watching the 4 month old baby. Hmmmm. I have a dog, a cat, and 2 parakeets. Not of my doing. Left overs from people that didn’t want them. What I find amazing is, they don’t do any of that stuff. They just love the outdoors, except for the keets and none of them ever expressed to me how tired they were of walking or playing outdoors. How about this they are house trained to go out side to potty. Love your animals? Treat them as such. I love mine. Again thankyou, I have waited a long time to find a sight like this.

  9. I could not agree more. I’ve never actually owned a pet, other then fish, but my boyfriend and I have recently decided to adopt a kitten. It’s amazing the lengths people will go to describe what their kitten for sale ‘expects’ to have and the things you need to ensure that ‘the little angel’ never feels any stress. One site even called them ‘infant children’.

    I feel the woman should actually have an infant child and then see if a kitten is actually a good comparison.

    Your doggy day care center story was truly hinging on cute. Your comments about strollers and clothes were dead-on. These are ANIMALS. They should be treated as such.

  10. As Gondi once said, ” you can tell how evolved a country is by the way they treat their pets”.

    Having an open mind and heart is a big stretch for some but I’m praying for you.

  11. Sherri. You poor thing.

    To not only have misquoted Gandhi, but to have spelled his name incorrectly on a public forum – where you so obviously were attempting the moral highroad… Well. That’s pretty darn sad. Not quite as bad as a grown man carrying two dachshunds dressed as cheerleaders. But still..

    I think your prayers on my behalf must be working. My open heart & mind feel an immense amount of pity for you. Good luck.

  12. I Tweeted about this very subject today, as yesterday (Mother’s Day in the US) I saw about a million Tweets/Facebook updates wishing people who had pets a ‘Happy Mother’s Day’. I literally wanted to punch all of them over the internet, and I’m an animal-loving Buddhist.

    Pets are beloved members of the family, but you are not a ‘mommy’ if you own one, and they are not your child replacement. It is cruel to treat them as such and deny their nature, which is to be a dog or a cat, and be a happy one if they are in a loving home.


    Thanks for the awesome blog post! Summed up my feelings *exactly*.

  13. i just found this, and would like to give my take. i have both a stroller and a pack for my dog. why? his previous ‘owners’ beat him so badly, he is now paralyzed in his back legs. we could just kill him, but not being able to walk isnt reason to. so we have things to help him get around. he cant always use his doggy wheels, so we have those two items to help us out.
    not everyone who buys those is a complete idiot, sometimes there are very practical reasons for them.

    1. Kestrel, you are right. I have a dear friend w/ rescued bulldogs who’ve had mobility issues. I wrote this post at a point in time where “designer” dogs (a la Paris Hilton) were at an all-time peak. This was intended as backlash against human misdeeds. There are pets w physical needs that must be met via stroller, cart, and yes, bag. But there are also humans w needs that cannot be met by stuffing a dog into a dress and wig and toting him/her around in a purse. This post was written w the latter in mind. Animals deserve dignity in all forms, as do humans. And we all hopefully enjoy humor.

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