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Why You Shouldn't Baby Your Dog

3 minutes
Why You Shouldn't Baby Your Dog
Last update: 22 January, 2018

A dog isn’t a child

It’s true that our furry friends are part of the family and we love them. However, thinking that they are humans like us is bad for them.  This doesn’t mean that we should stop loving them and giving them what they need.  It just means we should avoid babying a dog or treating it like a human.

We might think that we’re treating our dog well by calling it “our baby.” Maybe we celebrate his birthday or take him to eat a “pet friendly” restaurant.  But, most people who have this habit are actually trying to fill a gap in their own lives. For instance, maybe they don’t have thier own children.

A dog does not need a party, a raincoat or social media profiles.  This isn’t for the well-being of the dog.  It’s excessive!  Your pet’s needs are much simpler: food, shelter, love and, above all, rules.

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One of the biggest problems with treating your dog like a baby is that the “owner/parents” do not set boundaries.  They don’t punish their dogs when they behave badly nor teach them accordingly.  In addition, psychologists say that people become agitated expressing so much love for their pets, which isn’t good for the human or the animal.

There is no doubt that animals have an important place in our lives.  But we should try to figure out why we feel the need to tell them we love them all the time, with gifts or surprises that an animal could never understand.

Why can’t you treat your dog like a baby?

First of all, it’s important to understand that leaving this habit behind does not mean you love your dog any less.  You just have to realize that your treatment of your pet can do more harm than good to your dog.  Treating a dog like a baby is bad because:

Needs discipline

That little “poor me” face an animal has when they do something wrong is an almost infallible technique to make you not punish them.  When a dog has training and clear rules from the time they are a puppy, they won’t jump up on the couch, for example, or beg for food at the table.  However, this training will also prevent your dog from “transforming” into a four-legged human.  These limits and rules are essential to having a happy and healthy furry friend.

They need to smell everything

While people can use their sense of smell to identify certain things, this is fundamental for a dog.  To allow them to do this, it’s necessary to take your dog to the park, let them interact with other animals, let it smell garbage cans and not put perfume on it as if it were human.

Obeying their instincts

Though we may insist on believing our dog is a baby and “all that’s missing is it can’t talk,” the truth is, no matter if we put it in a dress and shoes… a dog will end up following their natural instincts: hunting, sexual, protection, etc.  That’s why we need to let him be a dog, with everything that comes with!

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You’ll make them manipulative

Our furry friends have a “capacity” to seem like they’re in trouble, sad or needy in order to get a treat, sleep in our bed or get food (even as we’re already feeding them).  It is important to not give into every impulse and to not let ourselves feel guilty every time we see that little “please” face.

They can’t fill a void

Many people consider their pets their baby because they don’t have children of their own or they have grown children who have moved out.  Adopting a dog is a great idea for those who live alone, but it cannot replace contact with other human beings.  Some childless couples call their dog their baby and treat them as such.  It is important to know that a pet cannot replace a social life.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.