As dog parents ourselves, we know how much of a rollercoaster raising a pup can be. We talked with some other pup parents about their personal experiences as doggy caretakers, as well as what they enjoy most and what is most challenging about raising a fur baby!
“Things I love the most about being a dog parent to my Golden, Cali. [Pictured above]
I love how goofy and playful she is. She makes me laugh and smile every day. I love petting her and seeing her friendly face. I love that she’s my little sidekick no matter where we are. When I am working at the computer, she is curled up warming my feet, and when we are hiking, she is a fun, adventurous partner.
I love that she was my first (fur) baby, but after having a real (human) baby I find it most challenging to give her the bundles of affection and attention that she is accustomed to and deserves. I try hard every day and will continue to do so for the rest of her life, because she brings our family so much happiness every day.”
– Ashley McLean
“I love everything about being a dog parent. Even the challenging parts; house training, crate training, excessive barking, selective listening… the list can go on. But, at the end of the day, I know I have the best little dude to come home to.
I love that he’s always happy to see me, I love his energy and his big, expressive eyes that tell me he loves me too (although I annoy him beyond belief). He is family, and I’m thankful for him every morning when I see his cute little face, and subtle overbite!
The only negative about being a dog parent, is other people degrading the title of ‘parent’. I buy him food and toys, take him to the vet when he’s sick, buy him medication, give him love, take him to the bathroom, entertain him; along with countless other things that come with the title. Why am I any less of a parent? Even if our kids aren’t human, we still have a responsibility to them- we’re all they have! Dogs are amazing and I am happy for every human and doggy who have found their best friend!
Finley is currently recovering from surgery after an accident where both legs were broken. This has been easily the most stressful time in my life, and we are so thankful that he is close to walking again!”
– Camille Craig
You can donate to Finley’s recovery on GoFundMe.
“A family that I worked with had mentioned to me that they were considering giving up their little dog. I had met him a few times and offered to look after him. I was just in the beginning stages of my long and painful journey of infertility and getting diagnosed with an awful reproductive disease. Diesel would lean on my stomach when I was in pain and comforted me through all the tears.
The unconditional love that I felt from him is incomparable. Having him to cherish is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. When I had to return to work, I decided to rescue a friend for him. Stewie was terrified of almost everything at first, as he had been abused in the past. Seeing him turn into an outgoing, hilarious, fun little guy is very incredible to witness and be a part of. It fills my heart to the brim to be able to see that my dogs feel how much they are loved.
On the other hand, the most challenging part of being a dog owner is training an older rescue! He is half chihuahua and some habits are hard to break. With that being said, I would not change him for the world.
My family feels complete thanks to these two.”
– Heather Elizabeth
“I love that our dogs are an extension of our family and I think contact with dogs has wonderful benefits for growing children. Our dogs are companions, bodyguards, counsellors, teachers and best friends, all rolled into one, for our kids and the entire family.
The flip side of this coin is always having to say goodbye to them, when the time comes. It is devastating that their lifespan is so much shorter than ours, and I think that is in my opinion, the only negative aspect of owning a dog, or rather, a dog owning us.”
– Aanchal White
“My favorite thing about being a puppy parent is the reward of working so hard with them and when they prove that your hard work is paying off. I love showing off my pup’s obedience, when she chooses to listen, which is also the most challenging part for me.
I’m a first time dog owner. So, I’ve been learning as she does. On top of that, we kept two puppies from the same litter. So, it’s double the trouble. Breaking the pack mentality is the hardest part for sure. But at the end of the day, when she looks at me with her big eyes and a goofy smile on her silly little face, it’s all worth it.
The unconditional love just melts my heart!”
– Riley Russell
“What I love about Tuppence and Panache is their capacity to love people. They provide excellent companionship and a reason to get out of the house and explore. Terriers can be difficult to walk sometimes though as they must smell everything.
They do present unique challenges, due to their size, such as limited areas to walk them without the fear of attack by other dogs. This holds true especially for Tuppence as she is only 3.5 pounds. They also can’t be let out into the yard without being monitored as eagles and owls have the ability to perceive them as food and carry them off.
These little ones do take more time and care for sure, but they are incredibly worth it!”
– Lesley Machan
“I love having a reason to come home everyday. I love that they give unconditional love.
Since being a dog parent, we have explored the island more by taking our dogs out on new beach adventures and hikes all the time.
What I find challenging is traveling dog free with the lack of dog friendly accommodations and the lack of kennels that will work with a timid dog. But we make it work! We do a lot of camping.”
– Stephanie Iwaskow
“Being a dog owner (or a dog parent), as well as a dog trainer (my partner and I run K9Goodlife) has really been challenging for me for a few different reasons. Over the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to meet dog owners and dog lovers of all walks of life. My experiences with each dog and each person have always been different, and I have taken something away from every encounter.
There is so much pressure from our dog loving community to feed a certain brand of food, or to train a certain way, or to adopt a pet instead of buying from a breeder. This is where I find the difficulty. I have my opinions, but am always open to learning and sharing with others. I don’t believe there is only one way! Every dog, human, and family is different and it’s time we start accepting that.
My partner and I currently own six dogs. We will start with youngest and move to oldest. Our youngest is Kingston, a 1 year and 9 month old Belgian Tervuren, who is one of the most handsome, well tempered guys around. Then there is our other 1 year and 9 month old Blue Merle Miniature Australian Shepherd, Ullar. The best way I can describe him is the energizer bunny with an unlimited battery supply. This boy can go and will go on land or water all day. The next is Mufasa, our 3 year old Belgian Tervuren. This guy is one of our strongest working dogs with the goofy personality. He is a very intense dog who is always growing and evolving. He likes to impress us! Then there is his mother, Teahla. She is our 7 year old Belgian Tervuren. This girl is a princess. She loves attention and is amazing with humans of all walks of life, especially kids. Next, we have our 6.5 year old Rottweiler/border collie. He is head of our pack. He likes to control the energy and make sure everyone is staying calm and in line. Lastly is our 15 year old Belgian Tervuren, CC. She is the dog who I have the closest spiritual connection with. I think of something and she does it. She is my shadow in life.”
“Every one of our dogs teaches me something new everyday. They push me to be a better person, to stay active, to stay focused, motivated, and happy. Like every parent experiences, they are also a lot of work and dedication. I cannot sleep past 10 am without someone making me get out of bed, and if it’s not the dogs, I get up because I feel so guilty! I have to go to work and have a job, so I can pay for food, toys, treats, training equipment, beds, bones, brushes, vet bills, and medication. A lot of which I compare to looking after a human child, which yes, makes me a pet parent.
There have been times where I have let myself eat oatmeal so my dogs could eat raw, human grade meat, or Origin kibble. That stuff is not cheap! But it is worth it. It gives me a sense of purpose and leaves me feeling like, “I am giving my dogs the best I possibly can,” which is always a parent’s goal.
Our latest journey has been with a Victoria K9 search and rescue team, SARDAV. Three of our dogs are in training right now, Kingston, Mufasa, and Ullar. This is what I hope for more dog owners to start doing with their dogs. Give them a job, give them a sense of purpose in your pack or family. An active dog with and active and working mind is a much healthier dog than one who does the same things everyday. Dogs need mental and physical exercise. Just like humans, they need balance to be happy healthy members of society. It’s time for us humans to start doing this for our pets. I believe we can all be better pet parents.”
– Sara Scott
Thank you to everyone who participated in our article! We love sharing your stories.
What’s your favorite part of pet parenting? Leave a comment below!