Pets are part of our families, and they need lots of guidance, love, and care—just like our children. And maybe a good scratching behind the ears from time to time too!
And like moms and dads of kiddos, parents of four-legged fur babies have all sorts of pet parenting styles. Some are strict but loving, while others are more laid back and carefree. Still, others enjoy catering to their pet’s every whim, showering them with gifts (if your pet is wearing a collar with a lot of bling, this could be you).
Your pet parenting style has a lot to do with your personality, your pet’s breed and demeanor, what you both like to do, and where you live. So what kind of pet parent are you? Take the pet quiz now!
The Results: What Exactly Do They Mean?
Now that you’ve taken our quiz, you know what kind of parent you are, but what else should you do with these results? Learn more about how you can make the most of your pet parenting style.
If You Are…The Buddy
This pet-parenting style is less authoritative—you and your pet are pals. You may often allow your pet to bend the household rules or even make their own. If they take things too far, you forgive them quickly. You also believe that what’s yours is theirs, whether that be your bed, the couch, or some food.
Just like you would recognize any of your friend’s birthdays, of course, you will also want to celebrate your pet’s and what’s a party without a cake? Check out some of these lip-smacking birthday desserts for your four-legged pal.
If You Are…The Proud Parent
This pet-parenting style means that you treat your pet like your child. You love dressing them up so everyone can coo at their cuteness, and you can’t wait to share with everyone the last clever or adorable thing they did. Do you also find yourself jumping at the opportunity to show your friends and family your camera roll full of pet photos? Check out these tips and tricks for photographing your pets.
If You Are…The Trainer
Although you and your pet may enjoy cuddling on the couch, you would never describe yourselves as couch potatoes. With this parenting style, you prefer to keep your pal physically active and mentally stimulated, whether that’s through hiking, running, jogging, swimming, or learning new tricks.
As an active pet parent, chances are you are always on the lookout for your and your pet’s next adventure. Before traveling, read more about our pet-traveling tips, what to expect, and how to be best prepared.
Being a Good Pet Parent: What You Need to Know
As a pet parent, there’s probably been a time or two when you’ve asked yourself, “Do pets think of us as parents?” Followed up by, “Am I a good pet parent?” In order to answer these questions, particularly the latter, it’s beneficial to dive a little deeper into what exactly it takes to be a responsible pet parent.
All pets are a long-term financial commitment, so it is essential to consider your budget before impulsively adopting a pet. For example, if you are a renter, chances are you will have to pay monthly pet rent in addition to a pet deposit, which isn’t always refundable. Plus, it’s important to keep in mind that unless you purchase a home within your pet’s lifetime, then you could be paying monthly pet rent for at least 10 years.
Upon adopting a pet, there will be considerable initial expenses, which could include spaying or neutering, microchipping, veterinary visits, shots, and essentials such as food, beds, toys, and collars. Not to mention, depending on where you adopt your pal, you will also need to consider adoption fees.
After their initial expenses, costs will level off and become more predictable, so you can better manage your monthly budget. That said, your pet will still have ongoing expenses such as food, treats, poop bags, litter, toys, and yearly veterinary check-ups.
It’s also recommended that you keep an emergency fund for your pet. This fund can be used in case of emergency or unexpected events. Although pet parents try their best to keep their pets safe and healthy, accidents can still happen.
The financial responsibility of being a pet parent may at first seem intimidating. Still, by being aware of the hidden costs of pet parenting, you can ensure that you are a financially responsible pet parent.
It can be immensely beneficial to research the type and breed of pet you are thinking of adopting. You may be surprised to find out how much care can vary just from breed to breed.
Perspective: Consider Your Pet’s Point of View
Our approach to work and social lives has altered over the years, and it’s not surprising that our pets have also been affected by this shift in schedules and normalcy.
Just like people, pets typically don’t appreciate a sudden change in routine, so it’s helpful to acclimate your pet slowly to their new schedule. For instance, if you have been working remotely but will soon be returning to office life, it will be helpful to start leaving your pet home alone for longer increments of time and to start following the same schedule you will have during your workweek.
It will additionally be essential to keep an eye out for signs of anxiety in your pet. Many cats and dogs naturally get anxious when their parent leaves, but there are many options to help your pet cope. These can include exercising your pet or scheduling a meal right before you leave, both of which can make your pet more tired and likely to take a nap. Other pet parents have found that leaving their pet with some food or a special toy also helps ease their anxiety.
If you feel that your pal’s anxiety is still not under control even after trying multiple techniques, it can be beneficial to schedule an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian.
Research, Research, Research
Adopting a pet is a huge commitment, but it can be one of the most rewarding decisions as well. When it comes to pet parenting, one of the best ways to be a good parent is to be a prepared parent—research will become your greatest tool.
It is first vital that you are honest with yourself about the type of pet you want and whether they are a good fit for your lifestyle. Some pets are independent and do well if they are by themselves, while others prefer constant company.
Another item to include in your research list is the cost of pets. Some pets are low maintenance, while others require special products and frequent trips to a groomer. Plus, some breeds are more susceptible to various health problems, which is something else to consider.
Besides researching specific pets and their products, you can also learn helpful tips and tricks for being a responsible and fun pet parent. This can include anything from what to know about adopting a “problem pet” to holiday pet safety tips.
From deciding what type of pet to adopt to which kind of brush is best for your pet’s coat, research can help you every step of the way on your pet-parenting journey.
Taking Care of Business…From Head to Toe
A key part of being a pet parent is advocating for your pet’s health and daily needs. Whether you’re an ultra-active pet parent or if you and your pet prefer to live an easy-going, relaxed lifestyle, there are some responsibilities that all pet parents must face.
First and foremost is your pet’s inner and outer health. Just like humans, animals of all species require a healthy and nutritious diet. Especially with canines, it’s essential to keep an eye on their waistline from season to season. Some dogs are much more active in the summer than in the winter, so their portion size may need to be adjusted every few months. Plus, your pal’s food requirements will change as they get older. Part of keeping any animal healthy is to give them plenty of opportunities to play and exercise. And don’t forget to always take your pet to their veterinarian for their yearly checkups—even if they seem perfectly healthy.
Grooming requirements can vary drastically from one pet to another, so it’s essential that you are aware of your pet’s needs. This can include baths, teeth brushings, nail clippings, haircuts, ear cleanings, and coat brushings, among other items.
Pet Parenting Your Way
So, do pets view humans as parents? To a certain extent, yes, many pets look to their parents for reassurance and safety. Not to mention, they rely on their parents for their everyday needs. And it’s safe to say that many pet parents view their pets as their children.
At the end of the day, your pet parenting style will ultimately reflect your lifestyle and your pet’s personality. And don’t forget that it’s okay to change your parenting style if you’re looking for a change. Maybe you want to partake in more activities with your pet, or you want to start making homemade pet treats—there’s never a better time to start than now.
The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.
title: QUIZ: What Kind of Pet Parent Are You?
author: Heather M.