My kid has fur, paws and a happy tail!
It's a growing trend and yet controversial topic - should we call and treat our pets as 'Fur kids'? Are people replacing kids with pets? Should our pets be treated as a child or to be an animal? Can you compare raising a dog to raising a child?
While we know we can't compare raising a child and a pup in the same breath (for one, the dog continues to listen to you well into his old age!), we realise the love for one's pet is comparably strong for many people.
As three dog mums we often ponder on this topic and with Mother's Day around the corner, here's our take on deciding if you are a full-on Fur Mum (or Dad!):
You feel protective and a strong sense of RESPONSIBILITY :
They say a mother will do anything for her offspring, including risking her life and going out of her way to protect her child. By treating your dog, cat or any other pet like your Fur kid, we hope it helps you feel that strong bond of responsibility and loyalty. Keeping your pet safe, healthy and happy then becomes a natural extension and it will stay as a lifelong commitment. Because with great love comes greater responsibility.
You make your travel plans only AFTER you have made safe and comfortable arrangements for your fur kid:
We unfortunately don't yet live in a world where our pets can travel easily with us and as avid travellers, we would never ask someone to let go the wanderlust just to stay at home and doggy-sit. Thankfully, with growing boarding options, it is becoming easier to find a comfortable place for your pet while you travel. In terms of comfort, we'd rank our preferences:
Home, sweet home: In a best case scenario, you have a helper at home, or find someone who will come by and doggy sit. Your pet is most comfortable in his or her home environment and this is an ideal scenario.
Home-based dog sitters: There are some places, like www.k9kampong.com or www.dogsonboardsg.com that provide a comfortable homely environment for your dog to stay while you are away. If you plan to board your dog at such a place, do a homestay test first to make sure your furry one is comfortable with the new surroundings.
Pet hotels and kennels: There are many reputable and reliable kennels and pet hotels. The key to selecting one is to ensure you find the right fit in terms of how much exercise, bonding time, individual attention and interaction your pet gets and if it is close to what your dog is used to at home.
Your pet is FAMILY:
Moving houses, cities, countries ... naturally you'd take your young child along with you and likewise you'd take your pet! Animals are family too. They become such a big part of our lives they change our lifestyle and you wouldn't have it any other way. And if you don't like fur on your clothes then stay off the sofa.
You SHOP with your dog always in mind:
Always on the look out for the next best thing for your fur kid ... that will keep them healthy, comfortable and also looking good? Hello ultimate #dogmom ! From finding the right balance of taste and nutrition to the best dog accessories, you are always researching what's best for your fur kid and won't compromise on health & safety ... and of course a little fashionable attitude doesn't hurt either!
You respect an animal's inherent natural instinct:
A dogs natural instinct stems from pre-domesticated times so there are some normal behaviour patterns that need to be understood and respected. Some common ones: spinning around and around before laying down, licking your face, burying their toys, rolling in gross things, sniffing each others butts and wagging their tails (which doesn't just mean they are happy - learn to read the wag!).
All such intuitive behaviour are related to getting comfortable, communicating and general survival instincts. While those are some common traits, each furry one has it's own unique personality and traits - which also need to be understood and respected.
As much as your pet is part of your family, it is necessary to respect the fact that he or she is another species - true joy and charm lies in allowing them to be true to their inherent animal nature.