When I was a new mother, I had several people make comments to me comparing their new puppy to my newborn human, person. This never made me angry, as it does some people, but it certainly made me a little “eye-rolly.” While I have never owned any dogs, at the time I had been around them enough to know that comparing a brand new baby with a canine seemed a little ridiculous.
As my first-born child grew over the next year, however, I began to see some similarities that I just couldn’t ignore. Were dog owners right? Was raising a child eerily close to raising a puppy? As the years passed, I realized that maybe it wasn’t just confined to babies! The commonalities between the two seemed to be spilling into the toddler years as well!
So, I sat down and made a list to see if I had been a little too quick to roll my eyes at dog owners. Here’s what I found:
BABIES VS. DOGS
- They both drool. A LOT.
- You have to clean up and discard of their excrement.
- They are both easily distracted, especially by shiny things.
- Giving them a bath is often very challenging, and results in an obscene amount of water all over the bathroom floor.
- They both like to play with toys that squeak when squeezed.
- They both chew on everything.
- They make loud noises to get you to pay attention to them.
- They wake you up in the middle of the night.
- They go to the bathroom wherever and whenever they please.
- You have to take them for walks, although for very different reasons.
TODDLERS VS. DOGS
- They both like to dig for no apparent reason.
- You can play fetch with both of them.
- They both eat off the floor.
- They both respond in much the same way to the phrase, “Do you want a treat?!”
- They both thoroughly enjoy chasing birds.
- They have both been known to get into the garbage.
- They will whine in an attempt to get what they want.
- They both pout when they don’t get what they want.
- They tear up the mail if they get their little “paws” on it.
And as my children grew into “big kids,” I realized that many of the similarities continued. The whining and pouting, the digging and chasing birds, the look of pure excitement when offered a treat, getting water all over the bathroom floor, getting into the garbage (of course that’s usually after they’ve caught on to the fact that you’ve been tossing their prized art work), and occasionally eating food off the floor.
So even though having a puppy or dog and having a child isn’t exactly the same, I kind of get where dog owners are coming from. Of course the one glaring difference is that when your dog is acting up, or if you need to leave the house for a few hours, you can tie him up outside, or put him in a crate. While the temptation might be there for parents*, this is generally frowned upon for humans.
*Please don’t tie your children up or put them in crates. This PSA brought to you by The Mom TruthBomb.