Maybe it’s because I’m at the ripe age of 23, but lately it seems the common goal among my peers is having kids. Don’t get me wrong; I haven’t completely turned away from wanting kids, however I’ve been trying to determine if the things I thought I wanted in my life are what I actually want or what society tells me I want. Kids are on that list. I have always wanted to be a mom and often saw my future as having three to four kids and an adoring husband, but as time as gone on, finding a desirable man that I like enough to want to be with has proved to be a challenge. I can’t help but think that maybe that’s not a path I want anymore, and instead see myself with a boatload of dogs. The more I think on this, the more I like what that future looks like and the more I see reasons why getting dogs are better than having kids.
- For starters, there is far less physical pain and suffering with getting a dog. Having kids (the conventional way at least) involves nine long months of pregnancy, during which your entire body changes. And when these long, hard months finally come to a close, there’s an intense pain like none other just to get the thing out of your body. You then spend weeks waiting for your body to figure out how to go back to normal. On top of that, there are tons and tons of things that could go wrong. I don’t think there is a woman alive that would call child birth fun, but do you know what is fun? Picking out a dog. There is far less stress and pain and nothing is growing inside of you. You just get to go out, hang out with one or more dogs, fork over some cash, and go home with your new fur baby!
- Speaking of picking out a dog, you get to PICK OUT a dog. If you have a kid, you are, to put it lightly, stuck with what you get. With a dog, you get to literally pick and choose exactly what you are looking for. Gender, age, color, size- the list goes on and on. You can look in a variety of places at a variety of times until you find the perfect dog. Don’t want to do the work of potty training? Pick an older doggo that already knows this trick. Landlord says it has to be under 30 pounds? You can choose a smaller breed. Because you aren’t time limited, you can take your time and be carefully selective. If you don’t care about such things, you can keep it short and just get the first one you like. Either way, the choice is yours.
- If you do pick out one that you have to train, it’s 100 times easier than training a child. It’s years before a child is properly potty trained, whereas a dog takes a few months tops. It’s also easier to train a dog to sit down, stay put, and be quiet- all things you often see parents struggling with. 8 out of 10 times a dog will do anything you ask it to if you’re holding a treat. Plus, no one judges you for using food as a main motivator with your dog.
- Getting a dog is WAY cheaper than having a child. The average cost for having a baby in the U.S. ranges anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000. This huge gap is due to vaginal births versus a C-section birth, amount of time spent in the hospital, and the care required by mom and baby. You can easily find a dog for $1,000. Yes, some purebred dogs are a few grand, the dog will still most likely be cheaper. If you don’t care about breed as much, you can get a dog for a couple hundred or less, maybe even free! This doesn’t even include all the fees that come later, like clothes, food, activities, hospital bills, etc. While some dogs can rack up some bills, however the total cost will be way less than the total you will spend on a kid.
- Speaking of money spent, dogs are way lower maintenance than kids. Dogs don’t require schooling, unless you choose to send them (and even then, it’s only a few walks). Dogs aren’t involved in 15,000 sports and activities that parents need to pay for and feel the need to attend. Dogs will usually eat whatever you put in front of them and won’t spend a half hour complaining about it. They don’t fight you tooth and nail on bedtime, and when they don’t want to get in the tub, it’s perfectly acceptable to pick them up and dump them in. Dogs don’t need new clothes and shoes and don’t scream and wail when they don’t get the toy they wanted. They also don’t need your constant, undivided attention for every hour of every day. You can leave a dog home alone for a few hours or they are often perfectly with laying down and napping in another room.
- When they are misbehaving, you can put a dog in a (size-appropriate please) cage. When your dog chews up something he wasn’t supposed to or is driving you insane, it’s not illegal to lock him in a kennel for a few hours. If you do this with a kid, someone will (hopefully) call the authorities. It’s not cruel or inhumane to put a dog in a kennel, however you just can’t do that to a screaming child. This is way easier than putting a child in a time out that he constantly tries to sneak out of or putting a kid in his room while she screams bloody murder the whole way down the hall. You put a dog in his kennel, close the door, and forget about him for a while.
- If you happen to need daycare for whatever the reason may be, doggy daycare is so much cheaper. Child care is usually a huge financial burden on parents, but you can leave a dog home alone during the day, and no one calls CPS. In the off chance you do need dog care, it’s probably going to be a less money. I can send my dog to daycare for 8-10 hours for $20; that’s less than you’d pay a babysitter for five. You can also usually find someone to watch your dog for free, but finding the same for kids is next to impossible.
- Dogs are quiet, whereas kids are very seldom quiet. Children yell and scream and cry and shriek and never seem to stop talking. Dogs, on the other hand, cannot speak and are therefore much quieter. While some dogs have a barking problem, most of them can be trained out of this. If you are a person who values quiet time, a kid is probably not for you. A dog, however, is a great match. Even when they do make noise, it’s usually so cute that you can’t even mad about it. Kids NEVER stop making noise, but dogs, on the other hand, are happy to stay silent.
- Dogs are more fun than kids. With most kids, you have to be so gentle, careful, and age appropriate that you can only have fun with them for like 10 minutes before you’re bored. Dogs can entertain you for hours. You can say what you want around them and no one seems to care and you can play rough with them while they have a blast. Dogs can provide endless amounts of fun and entertainment, while the fun side of kids is short lived. Either they end up throwing a fit, crying, or yelling, but dogs don’t do any of things. With dogs, you can also stop whenever you want to.
- Dogs will love you blindly in a way kids will not. Dogs appreciate everything you do for them and try to show you how much you love them, whereas kids often take you for granted and will probably rebel against you. Dogs don’t have teenage rebellion phases, they don’t scream that they hate you, and they don’t get mad because you got the wrong brand of cereal at the store. Dogs will love you more than they love themselves and will spend the better part of your life trying to show this to you. A dog will love you no matter the flaws you have or the mistakes you make. A dog will never point out your failures or make you feel guilty for the choices you make. A dog will show you more love than you deserve; you are their world, and they will love you blindly.
I know a lot of people in the world love kids, have kids that they adore, and want kids more than anything, but this life path may not be for everyone for a variety of reasons. I always thought I was destined to be a mom, and I always pictured human children for this. But lately I’ve been thinking I’ve had it all wrong. Maybe, I was destined to be a damn good dog mom. Maybe some people love kids more than anything, but I for one, definitely see the benefits having a dog has over having a child. Even if you disagree, you can’t deny the “scientific” evidence I’ve just given. I think at this point, it’ll take a whole lot to change my mind. Maybe I need to have a kid to know for sure, but for right now, I’m perfectly happy just being a dog mom.