We all have friends who take their dog love to the next level. If you know someone on this list, you’ll know what we’re talking about. If you know you’re doing some of these things, maybe consider stopping. We all love our furry friends, but we don’t need to take it to this place. Thank you in advance.
Dressing Them Up in Human Clothes
We understand that for Christmas you want to put your dog in a sweater and take a photo. Cute. If it’s actually cold out then, sure, stick that dog in a sweater. But you have to draw the line at anything else.
The videos of dogs trying to walk in slippers or boots are hilarious but at what cost? They look uncomfortable, to the point of misery. Then you see dogs with hats, sunglasses, and even jewelry—you have to admit that that’s going too far. It’s a dog. Not a baby.
And while we love our pets on the same playing field as our own kin, we need to stop dressing them up to look like awkward quasi-human children. If you really think it’s a great idea, at least get your kitten mittens from Charlie on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Now that we think about it, Halloween is also an exception, but that’s it! So, Halloween and Christmas. And maybe on their birthday. But just, like, a hat.
Giving Them Odd Names
Have you ever seen a dog that was just about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, so you ask the owner its name and they say something like Sam, or Erin, or Joe? Or even worse, something super pretentious like Voltaire or Hemingway, and you just have to roll your eyes.
We can understand if you name it a human name that isn’t as common and there is a touch of irony to it but just remember it is going to sound kind of weird going to the dog park and yelling, “Peter! Come on, buddy, time to go home!”
As for the pretentious ones, if you have to explain it to anyone, then you shouldn’t do it. People don’t like feeling dumb, especially when the cause of it is your dog’s name.
It is a wonderful thing to adopt a pet, so please don’t screw it up by naming it something you’ll regret in five years, while everyone else will regret it instantly.
Feeding Them From The Table
Has this ever happened to you? You’re sitting at the table eating lunch, and you don’t want the rest of your turkey sandwich. Instead of throwing it away, you just toss it to the dog, right? Wrong. Watch the video below to find out why you should have your dog stick to their own food.
Getting a Pet to “Practice” for a Child
It sounds like the smart thing to do, to prepare before you bring a real human life into the world, but there are some major issues with this.
One being the fact that if and when you are ready to have a child, you will still have a dog, which means now you will have both a child and a dog. Great move, genius. Have fun dealing with both of their toilet-related accidents.
There are also some major obvious differences between having a dog and having an actual child—you can go and hang with your friends for a brunch and have some fun and then all you have to do is get home to let the pup out. You can’t be so loose when having a child. You’ll get arrested for things like that.
There are also things to consider for your relationship and how it could put an added strain on it. You are now involving a third party, even if that party is an animal. This pet shouldn’t be used to solve any romantic problems or to add a lost spark or connection. If the relationship ends up failing, you now have to split up the dog’s parents, and no dog should have to deal with that heartbreak. Be sure you’ve got the right reasons for adopting a dog.
Throwing Birthday Parties for Your Animal
You know how it is annoying when you ask someone how old their baby is and they say something like “36 months!” and you think to yourself, “so your baby is just 3”? Well in that same realm of annoyance are the invitations to your dog’s third birthday party.
We can allow one birthday party because keeping an animal alive for a full year is pretty exciting—so choose wisely, like when playing golf and you get that one mulligan.
What you should do is get your pup a treat and have a great day. Don’t worry about celebrating with other people because a) even if they love your dog, they don’t really care, and b) your dog isn’t going to know it’s his birthday anyway.
Besides it’s kind of ridiculous. All you really want is that one good Instagram picture anyway, so just put the birthday hat on your furbaby, put the animal-friendly cupcake in front of his face, and snap the photo. Then, please, remove the hat and let your dog be a dog.
Stop Talking to Your Dog Like an Infant
No one likes when adults talk to babies in that baby voice (and if you do, why?).
Everyone should have a limited number of words they can say in their baby voice before having to switch to any other voice that doesn’t make us cringe. This rule very much applies to dogs as well.
Remember, you want the dog to know your normal voice for training purposes so you’re only confusing it when you speak in a high-pitched tone of awfulness. That sweet voice should be reserved for the utmost of praise.
You have to know it annoys your friends too, even if they are too polite to say anything. Talk to your dog as if it is just a normal buddy hanging out on the couch, and get in the habit of it. Because we’ll tell you what’s even worse than talking in that baby voice to your dog around friends: when you introduce your dog to strangers in that voice and they have to quietly back away, all while judging you.
Stop Breeding Dogs That Biologically Shouldn’t Exist
There is a trend in the dog show world where people are mixing breeds of dogs to gain a superhero-like fusion of dog traits. Problem is, they are not superhero dogs.
Many of the concerns involve mixing dogs like the French Bulldog and Shar Pei. Sure, their progeny may result in a beautiful dog, but their puppies will surely have both of those breeds’ problems. That means major breathing issues and a high chance of infection in their facial wrinkles. That’s just one example, but mixing the wrong breeds for generations leads to known problems time and time again. Is having an adorable pup that experiences a life full of health problems worth it?
If you are ever curious about these types of people, please go watch the movie Best In Show and then promise us that you will never ever be one of them. Truly, we don’t see much difference between those dogs in the mixed-breed dog shows and trained elephants at the circus or whales at SeaWorld. Animals shouldn’t be used for humans’ entertainment.
One addition to this message also goes for people who buy dogs meant for different environments, as in buying a husky when you live in Phoenix or a Chihuahua living in Denver. Dogs just want to live—try to give them a good life.
Stop Buying Exotic Pets
This one isn’t necessarily just for dog owners but for anyone looking to get a new, exciting pet. We know, we know—you want to stand out. But adopting an animal that’s better left to the professionals (or in the wild) isn’t the way to do it.
We all think sloths are cool, but that doesn’t mean you should go online and buy one. Those sugargliders are actually pretty miserable when they’re kept in small captivity. And think about the guy who loved koala bears so much that he went out and bought one, then immediately regretted it. The best thing he got out of this new pet was a viral Craigslist ad. Not exactly fair to one of Australia’s finest animals. And that’s just one case where someone got in over their head.
Plenty of people get absurd new pets daily, so don’t add your name to the list. Stick to the pets that you don’t need a special license for—you know, like one of the characters in the film Homeward Bound.
Just remember one thing if you do find yourself searching for an exotic animal: no animal wants to live its entire life in a cage. Be careful.