7 Ways In Which My Child Is Different From Your Dog (So Please Stop Comparing Them!)

7 Ways In Which My Child Is Different From Your Dog (So Please Stop Comparing Them!)

Mom Jeanine
July 12, 2011


Good Question, hot topic, Jeanine Edwards

  • Link

I will say this upfront, I am not an animal person. Don’t get me wrong–it’s not like I hate them or wish them any harm, but I’ve never had any pets nor do I have any desire to have pets. That being said, the only people more annoying than people with kids are people with pets. Why? Parents are constantly offering unsolicited parenting advice to other parents, but people with pets? They offer parenting advice based on their experience with an animal!

Let me rewind. Last week I was having a perfectly pleasant conversation with my daughter on the bus when this woman decided to interrupt and go on and on about how cute my daughter was… and how much she reminded her of her dog as a puppy. Say what? Sadly, this is not the first time this has happened to me. People in NYC love–like love–their dogs and they’re constantly comparing them to children.

In a way, I sort of get the comparison, but I still find it beyond annoying. Yes, your dog depends on you the same way my child depends on me, but that’s about where the similarities stop.

So for all you pet-owners out there, here’s a little insight into what most moms are thinking when you go on and on about how similar babies and dogs are. Okay, so maybe not all moms, but definitely me. Here are just 7 of the many, many ways in which my child is NOT like your dog–so please, once and for all, stop comparing them!

1. After sharing my body with my child for 9 months, I spent a very painful 14 hours bringing her into this world. I know you love your dog, but I’m sorry, it’s nothing like I love my daughter.

2. When my child wakes me up at 6 a.m every morning, she is not satisfied with a quick walk around the block. There are teeth to be brushed, potties to be filled, breakfast to be made, clothes to be ironed… shall I go on?

3. And speaking of clothes, can we discuss laundry for a minute? My toilet-trained 2-year-old still manages to go through at least 2 outfits a day. When she was an infant, at least 3 onesies on a daily basis. You know what that adds up to? A whole lot more laundry than those cute doggy sweaters.

4. Your dog can’t say “Why.” Every day, without fail, I have to answer at least 25 whys from my inquisitive 2-year-old. “Why is it hot,” “why am I 2,” “why is that green,”… AAAHHH!

5. Dog food is expensive–I will grant you that. But that, a few collars, a bowl and some toys are really all you have to buy your dog. A kid? I read somewhere that parents spend an average of $7000 on their child before his/her first birthday. The kicker? Most that cash is spent before the baby is even born. I’ll skip over all the expensive years in between and leave you with one word: college.

6. Should dinner plans arise or a friend pop in from out of town unexpectedly, I cannot just drop some food and water in a bowl and let my daughter fend for herself for the night. And babysitters, for the record, are very expensive these days.

7. Last, but certainly not least, my child is a human and your dog is an animal. Yes, my child may sometimes behave like something from the wild, but the incontestable fact is that my child will eventually grow up to be a rational, reasoning human being just like you and me. Therefore she should not, under any circumstances, be treated, referred to or compared to a dog.

Your turn: am I being overly sensitive or does it bug you when people compare dogs to children? Weigh in in the comments.

Sign up for our newsletter to get even more finds delivered right to your inbox.

Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

Next Post: »


  • Sandra
    July 12, 2011

  • I agree there are differences (obviously) to being a mom and being a dog/pet owner, but there are a lot of similarities too. My dog, with whom I “grew up,” was a member of our family from the time I was 10, and I truly loved her. I often have similar feelings of affection for my daughter as I had for my dog. My mother, whose attitude towards dogs/pet owners was similar to this author’s, quickly became a dog lover too. The feelings you have for a pet is probably hard to understand unless you’ve had and loved one. The 7 differences the author lists aren’t very convincing either. Yes, it costs more to raise a child and labor and child rearing are a lot of work, but love isn’t necessarily measured by those things. My good friend adopted her son (hence, no 9 months and no 14 hours of labo) and has very little money but her love for her son is deeper than anything I’ve seen.
    Having said that, it is rude to compare another person’s child to your dog (or to anything else for that matter). For example, if the lady on the bus had what you thought was a very unattractive child, and she said, “oh, your daughter looks just like mine,” it seems the author would’ve felt the same way, i.e., “no, she doesn’t! how rude!”

  • Melinda Subia Halbreich
    July 12, 2011

  • Being the owner of a wonderful black lab and the mom to 2 of the world’s most awesome little girls, I have to say that I COMPLETELY agree with you. My dog is nothing like my girls: he doesn’t bicker, doesn’t whine, doesn’t need constant entertainment and doesn’t want his ears pierced. My dog is soooo much easier to care for than my daughters. Here’s the thing, he’s a dog, not a human being. It drives me nuts when people with pets (pets, people! PETS!), think their “fur babies” make them parents. I too love my sweet dog but he’s not my child.

  • Laurel
    July 12, 2011

  • What happened to reason #3?

  • Storm
    July 12, 2011

  • You are being overly sensitive. The way you put #1, you make it sound like anyone who adopts can’t love their child then, either.

    The person offering the parenting advice is just trying to connect with you. There are some similarities to them (potty training, teaching a puppy to sleep in it’s own bed, etc)

  • cherri
    July 12, 2011

  • I also think you are being a bit overly sensitive. It also seems apparent that you probably have never had a dog. If you had, then you might understand how someone really could love an animal. I have a child and I have a dog and I love both of them. If I had to choose between my son and my dog, obviously I’d choose my son, but I do love my dog as a member of our family. I had a dog growing up from age 4 to age 18. She was a part of our family and we were devastated when she died. My husband and I got a dog together just before we got married and he played a huge role in our early years together and in helping us to make new friends out in the community. When he died two years ago, we mourned his loss. We now have a young and energetic yellow lab, who wakes up every morning happy for a new day. She plays a big role in helping to keep us optimistic and forward thinking even when times are tough. So I do feel a little bad for you that you don’t have that kind of love in your life that a dog can bring. Maybe you should get one and your child will have a wonderful opportunity to have a constant loving companion and playmate.

  • Name (required)
    July 12, 2011

  • So, let me get this straight….you’re OFFENDED that someone called your child cute? No matter if she made a comparison to her dog as a puppy, she gave you a COMPLIMENT out of the blue, a perfect stranger. What’s wrong with that?

    I found your entire rant truly showed your ignorance and your need to feel superior to other people, mostly people who, unlike you, do not hate animals and I feel sorry for you having never experienced the love, kindness and richness a n animal can bring to your life. I just suffered a loss of my pet two weeks ago and I will grieve for him just as much as I grieved for the other animals I was priveliged to share my life with. I gave them a home, love, warmth, comfort, a life free of fear from being homeless, medical care, food, everything they needed and they enriched my life more than anything I can ever describe. I consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to have them be a member of our family. I chose to adopt them just as you CHOSE to “share your body” and endure 14 hours of pain bringing your child into the world (I’m sure you have that story ready for everyone you meet), yet, what I get from reading your little tirade is that being a mother to your daughter is nothing but costly, annoying and a total inconvenience to YOU (with whom the sun rises and sets on, apprently). You poor little thing!!

    I’m sure she’d love to hear how much of a burdon she is to you but she probably already knows that every time she hears you bitch and moan about doing her laundry and answering (i.e. taking the time to TALK to your own child) her constant “Why’s”.

    What was the point of this “article”? You’re not a writer, at least you don’t have any talent as one and your a bitter angry person so go and rant to your family (or have they had it with you by now?)

    You don’t like people who say “fur-kids” while I don’t like whiny mothers, which is what you are, to an extreme. You’re probably the kind of “mother” who lets her kid scream it’s cute little head off in airplanes, restaurants and theaters.

    You’re right that no one should be compared to a dog – Case in point, I could NEVER compare you to a dog because I’d choose the company of a dog over you in an INSTANT. Dogs are loving, kind, caring, trustworthy, giving, and loyal. The only word that you could possibly share with a dog is “Bitch.” Only, the meaning is much different in your case, obviously.

    Do you really think that having a pet only requires some food, a bowl, some toys and a leash? Have you ever heard of a veterinarian and the bills that go along with keeping your pets healthy? Or do you not think of healthcare with regard to your child?

    No one is interested in your made up problems. If you hate animals, you can’t be worth much to begin with and your little story just proves the point beyond anything else I could possibly say.

    I’ll give you my list of the 7 ways that my pets aren’t like your kids:

    1. I never have to change a smelly diaper.

    2. They don’t scream their lungs out all day and all night long.

    3. I don’t have to buy strollers, cribs and every other thing a newborn needs (which, as you have so brilliantly pointed out, can cost quite a pretty penny!)

    4. No teething in this house!

    5. No terrible twos and threes and fours…..

    6. No horrid extra laundry that is ruining your life! Oh my!!

    7. I’m not insipid as you are to compare ANYONE’S love for any other living thing. People who are capable of sharing love can (and do) love animals just as much as you say you love your child, that’s a fact.

  • Lisa
    July 12, 2011

  • Yes, you are being too sensitive. I am both – a parent to 2 young boys and a gorgeous, 4-legged girl. Frankly, there are days when my dog is my favourite child. And there are lots of similarities and differences, just as there are between my 2 boys. And I think your equating labour and delivery with the reason why you love your child more than we love our dogs is just plain mean-spirited — what about all of those adoptive parents out there? People fall in love with their children, both natural and adoptive and 4-legged, for the simple reason that they are dependant on us and we take care of them. The acts of service and nurturing our dependants creates a bond of love that you cannot compare between. It’s not for you to say that your love is greater for your daughter than someone elses towards their dependant, regardless of what species or breed it happens to be. Love is love and caring for another creature is one of the great gifts of being a mature being.

  • Linda
    July 12, 2011

  • I think you’re not only being overly sensitive but down right rude. In your view adoptive mothers (of children and/or animals) don’t love their child or pet as much as you say you love your daughter because they didn’t carry them or spend 14 hours in labor? What of mothers who have a quick labor or a ct section or have a labor lasting longer than yours did? Do they love their child more or less than you do? Is 14 hours the cut off point?

    Your article also states 8 reasons yet the title of your story says 7 and you list 7. Is there another reason your child is better than my pet that I have not yet been made aware of? If so, please enlighten! ;)

  • June
    July 12, 2011

  • As a mother of an adopted child I am incredibly offended by your views that loving a child only comes with pregnancy and the experience of child birth.

    I have had pets all my life and my life is the richer for it in every single way imaginable. I’ve always been wary of anyone who dislikes animals.

    Comparing why anyone loves anyone, what’s the point. The point is to give and receive love be it with children, parents, a spouse or a partner, a friend and, yes, even an animal, hard as that is for you to believe.

    I honestly feel sorry for your daughter.

  • Katie
    July 12, 2011

  • Why are you so surprised that “People in NYC love–like love–their dogs” so much? I know it’s like that with all pets, dogs, cats, fish, birds, rabbits, hamsters, even snakes, in every city in the USA and across the world, there are people who LOVE their pets.

    Taking someone’s innocent compliment to you in such a way is really just plain weird in my opinion.

    You don’t sound to me like someone who likes being a mother very much.

    I can think of many reasons why pets are more preferable to be around than children so here’s one….Pets don’t scream in public places and get in strangers faces or business while their parents allow this behavior to happen and do nothing about it.

    It’s not the pets in this world who need to be trained, it’s the parents of these out of control brats who need lessons in how to stop this bad behavior.

  • Peach Kay
    July 25, 2011

  • To those who adopted, she didn’t say it was the act of birth that caused the love. It was merely a contrast to how pets are obtained. I find it funny…the rants here. I have a daughter and a cat. I adore both. :) But my daughter is my life. I have a childless friend who has two dogs that are her kids. I understand the space they fill, but it borders on cuckoo with the Facebook page they each have…and that they wish her a happy birthday (even though we know who typed the message.) Not to mention the Halloween parades, birthday parties and playdates.

  • Nia
    August 1, 2011

  • I totally agree! I get so baffled by this too. It’s definitely borderline insulting. I can’t put my child outside if she’s annoying or I just need me time… at least not without some serious repurcussions. I also find it interesting that many people will come out in bunches to defend an animal but are nowhere to be found when children are harmed as they are every day in the world. Animals and people are not one in the same for a reason in my opinion. Pets are hard work but there’s nothing that compare to a child.

  • Anna
    August 1, 2011

  • Nia, if you find your child so “annoying” and need your “me time” and find your child such “hard work” then why have children? Just so you can bitch and moan about them, obviously. You’re all the same. Putting down people with pets because you can’t handle raising the child you decided to have. Typical and sickening.

  • Patrice
    August 1, 2011

  • Wow, the amount of pet hating downright WHINY mothers on this board is really something!

  • Opal
    August 1, 2011

  • It sounds like y’all should get some animals instead of having your kids since all y’all moms complain about yo’ure babies.

  • Ask Me
    August 1, 2011

  • Reading this article I see a lot of jealousy towards those who do not have have children whether by choice or circumstance.

    Jeanine, why did you feel the need to write about such an insignificant incident? Could it be that you are envious of those of us who choose to have pets in our life and not have children because you see how hard it really is to raise a child and you are having second thoughts on becoming a mom?

    It reads that way to me.

  • Kaitlin
    May 22, 2013

  • Who cares if someone says their dog is their baby? How does that at all affect you?

    Oh I see, it upsets you that some people are not worshipping the ground you walk on just because you have reproduced. Boo hoo.