Pets as Babies: Is he the One?

December 7th, 20109:19 pm

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Pets as Babies: Is he the One?

More and more couples these days are moving in together before they are actually married, and a lot of these same couples are also choosing to adopt or own pets together to see how one another deals with responsibility.  Both are secretly judging the other, seeing if they could see the other as being a fit “parent” to a human child. But is this a fair trial?

The first and most obvious thing to bring up here is that a dog or a cat is not the same as a human baby.  Our “fur babies” have a different set of requirements than a human baby, which means that using a dog or a cat or even a rat as a sort of “test” is not the best way to gage whether or not someone would be able to handle a child.  Dogs need several walks a day, food, water, and pats.  Human children require diaper changes, late night sessions in front of the TV, many days off work due to illness, money, and oh yes, a lot of education from you until the day you die (it doesn’t end when they turn 18!).

It’s also important that both you and your spouse-to-be enter into purchasing and caring for a pet for a good reason: you want to offer it the best life possible.  It’s not fair to buy a pet simply to throw it on the other partner and to test their responsibility constantly. This will only build up a whole lot of resentment and anger in the relationship, something that both of you can certainly do without.

Here’s another important consideration: having a child is having a human being who is made up of your genetic make-up.  You certainly cannot say the same about a furry friend.  Humans naturally have a lot more vested interest in a baby than a dog given that a dog is here to sleep, eat, and be loyal.  A baby is here to grow up to be someone, someone important and who will make a difference.  A baby also can live 10 times longer than the average dog.

But taking on a pet as a responsibility for you both isn’t a bad idea, either.  If it is a well though tout decision and you both have assessed your caring abilities and have chosen the appropriate pet for you, then this fur baby can be a fantastic addition to your family.  Pets have the ability to calm and nurture their owners, and have a load of health-related benefits.  Pets are also a good introduction to responsibility, even though taking care of a child is far more difficult than a cat (litter boxes may be changed once a day, but diapers may need to be changed up to 10 times a day!).

If you do choose to care for a pet with your partner, it is important to have a discussion on who does what for the pet, and that if you both should unfortunately part ways, who will be responsible for the care of that pet.

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Categories: Budget and Basics