Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Should Pets Be Considered Family?

Ignore the floor damage. I DID NOT have anything to do with
it. Focus on the abundance of food........

I was reading about South Korea the other day (no, not the place with Kim Jong Un) and the growing numbers of people there who consider their pets as part of the family. This is quite a change for a country that sells dog meat at the deli. BUT GET THIS - even the sale of dog meat is falling now that more people consider their pets as part of their family.

I want to make it clear here that I am not talking about pets as surrogate children. That is another debate. I guess what I mostly want to discuss is the PROS and CONS of pets being part of the family. I can think of a lot of PROS - the foremost being

  1. Pets who are considered part of the family are NOT considered expendable. Many pets end up in local shelters when the owners change homes, family situation, or preference. A beloved part of the family is not likely to be so casually dumped.
  2. Pets who are considered part of the family eat better quality food and get better medical care.
  3. Pets who are considered part of the family are also exercised more and given a lot more attention from the family.
  4. Pets who are considered part of the family have more toys, clothes, accessories, and so on making for a whole new industry begging to fill their needs. Economics 101 in action! Find a need and fill it!
  5. Pets who are considered family are better trained and socialized. This makes for happier living all around.

Those are some pretty good reasons for treating your pet as part of your family, huh?

And I am not saying it is necessary to dress up your pet (although I do like an occasional dress-up) nor treat it like a baby. Pets are animals and should be respected as such. Animals have a certain way of behaving which is quite natural for them and quite NOT human. That is okay. What is most important is that you and your pet learn to live harmoniously.

I honestly cannot think of a negative for making and considering a pet as a treasured family member. I CAN, however, think of LOTS of negatives for considering a pet as an animal first. Can you?

If you are reading this blog, chances are you are already treating your pets as part of your family. If you just happened by and read this blog because it looked interesting? Well welcome and I hope you found something to think about and maybe put into action in your own life.

The solutions to pet overpopulation and abandonment are not found in kill shelters. But maybe, just maybe, they can be solved with a little rethinking of the whole pet/owner dynamic.

Some of my sources:


Adi R. said...

I agree with you. I never liked calling them pets, but rather fur babies or furiends because I don't like to feel as if they are my property.


Julie said...

Loads of positives from here as well - if they aren't part of the family you aren't doing it right!
Loves and licky kisses
From a very definite member of the family
Princess Leah xxx

Two French Bulldogs said...

We are 110% family
Lily & Edward

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

WE are just like Lily and Edward...only we are 187% Family...

Casey said...

Of course I'm Momma's family! What ELSE would I be?? She adopted me -- that means we're family of CHOICE!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding people that Dogs are Dogs and not people, even though we sometimes get to dress up and we get talked to like we understand everything. The difference is important!

Daisy and Scooter Pugman

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

I am definitely an animal lover, but yes I know my dog is dog. Very good points.

Hilary said...

Pets are so family
Alex was my son
Lucy is my daughter
both of them hold a huge place in my heart...

stellaroselong said...

This was a wonderful post noodles and we so enjoyed the picture of you at the very end. We are family .....as the song goes....stella rose

PugSlope.com said...

Of course we are members of the family - it's a win-win for everybody! Although I want to know when I get to dress my dad up in various outfits like he does to me.


Angel Payton, Donald, and Daisy's Gampy said...

I think no one has a better take on these wonderful family members than Tom Ryan of "Following Atticus" fame. I can't encourage folks enough to check out the book and follow him!!

Love, Gampy