Taking care of a living being can be tough yet extremely rewarding work. For many people, their children come to mind when they think about the difficulties of raising someone and taking care of another being. For some, they think about their pets, and sometimes even refer to them as their fur babies. While there are some basic similarities between raising kids and taking care of pets, there are some major differences that parents want to make sure are noticed.

Making sure your human baby or your fur baby has food, shelter, and proper love and attention are some of the basic essentials needed to help them grow and flourish. While parents and pet owners share these ideas in common, some parents have noted just how much harder it is to be a parent and the added responsibilities they have to take on.

Some people compare having pets to having children due to both being huge responsibilities and costing plenty of money and time, but more often than not, parents have made sure to explain that having a fur baby is nowhere near as challenging as having a human baby. The differences start early on when it comes to rescuing a pet or having a child, and they seem to only heighten as life progresses.

From making sure they’re attentively watched to paying for proper care, there are some clear distinctions in the difficulty level in raising a pet and child. Dog owner and mother Elizabeth Broadbent explained just how different having a child and having a pet really is, and compared and contrasted the two important roles.

Writing for Your Tango, Broadbent urged pet owners to stop referring to their pets as “furkids” or “furbabies.” “Your puppy is not your child, so stop saying that he is,” she wrote. “I have three children now, and I know this for certain — kids and dogs are not the same.” When it comes to getting a pet, most people rescue it from their local shelter or adopt it from a local breeder. Having children can be more complicated, as mothers either endure a nine-month pregnancy, adopt or use a surrogate, all of which are much more time-consuming and cost more.

Parents and pet owners both worry about making their homes safe places. While not puppy-proofing a home can lead to some damaged furniture or chewed-up cables, not properly baby-proofing a home can be detrimental. The writer went on to talk about how both are big responsibilities. “Pet ownership is a serious commitment that should only be taken up by those who really mean to care for an animal for the rest of its natural life,” she explained. However, if you want to leave your dog at home alone, you probably can. The same cannot be said for kids.

Broadbent added, “If my kids are awake, I need to know what they’re doing, where they’re doing it, and what they’re doing it with.” There are some benefits to having kids compared to pets, though, as Broadbent explained that children can draw sweet pictures for you and verbally say how much they love you. Ultimately, she wanted pet owners to understand that caring for a pet is not the same as caring for a child. “Call yourself a dog person,” she wrote. “But don’t call your dog a baby. Don’t call him your ‘furkid’ or ‘furbaby.’”

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