Dogs, Pet Care, Pet Wellness, Pets, Worldwide

Questions Answered: Does your Pet need a Parent or an Owner?

pets and their parents

Questioned answered- Pet Parent or Owner?

The choice between “pet parent” and “pet owner” can reflect different perspectives on the nature of the relationship between humans and their animal companions. Some argue that “pet parent” better captures the emotional and caregiving dimensions of the bond, suggesting a more reciprocal and familial connection. On the other hand, “pet owner” is a more straightforward and legal term that emphasizes the human’s legal responsibility for the animal’s care and well-being.

The terminology used to refer to the person responsible for a pet can vary and is often a matter of personal preference. Some people use the term “pet parent” to emphasize the nurturing and familial aspects of the relationship, while others use “pet owner” as a more traditional and legal term.

Ultimately, the choice of terminology may not have a significant impact on the actual care and love provided to the pet. It’s more about personal preference and how individuals conceptualize their relationship with their animal companions.

Who is a “Pet Parent”?

A “pet parent” is a term that people use to describe themselves. Usually in the role of caring for and nurturing a pet. This term emphasizes the idea that the relationship between a human and their pet is akin to that of a parent and child. It highlights the emotional and familial aspects of the bond.

Those who identify as pet parents often see their pets as more than just animals; they view them as members of the family. This perspective recognizes the responsibilities of providing love, care, and attention to meet the needs of the pet. It can also reflect a commitment to the well-being and happiness of the animal.

Using the term “pet parent” is a way to convey a deeper and more emotional connection with a pet, moving beyond the legal and transactional aspects of ownership. It has gained popularity as people increasingly recognize and appreciate the complex and meaningful relationships they have with their animal companions.

Is the term Pet Parent crossing a line?

The use of the term “pet parent” doesn’t typically imply a crossing of a psychological line. Instead, it reflects a shift in societal attitudes towards pets and their roles in people’s lives. Many individuals consider their pets as more than possessions or animals; they see them as valued members of the family. Using the term “pet parent” is a linguistic choice that reflects this perspective and emphasizes the emotional and caregiving aspects of the relationship.

This terminology doesn’t necessarily suggest that people equate their relationships with pets to those with human children; rather, it underscores the affectionate and familial nature of the connection. It’s important to recognize that the language people use to describe their relationships with pets is subjective and varies widely. Some may prefer more traditional terms like “pet owner,” while others feel that “pet parent” better captures the nature of their bond.

Ultimately, the choice of terminology is a personal one, and people use language that resonates with their own feelings and experiences with their pets. As long as the well-being of the pet is a priority, the specific terminology used is often a matter of personal preference and cultural shifts in how we view our relationships with animals.

Who is a Pet Owner and what are their responsibilities ?

A pet owner is an individual who has taken on the responsibility of caring for and providing for a domesticated animal, commonly referred to as a pet. The term “pet owner” is often associated with the legal and practical aspects of having a pet. Pet ownership comes with various responsibilities, including:

pet parents infographic

“Old school pet care” Explained

“Old school pet care” refers to traditional and time-tested methods of taking care of pets. It reflects practices and approaches commonly followed in the past. Often before the advent of modern pet care advancements and technology. Here are some characteristics connected with “old school pet care”:

Basic Nutrition:

Old school pet care typically involves feeding pets with simple and natural food. This may include homemade meals, raw diets, or locally sourced ingredients. The emphasis is on providing balanced nutrition without relying heavily on commercial pet food. In some instances it may mean commercial pet food is never a part of the diet.

Outdoor Exercise:

Pets were often allowed more outdoor freedom and exercise. Dogs, for example, might have had more off-leash time in open spaces. Outdoor activities were considered essential for a pet’s physical and mental well-being.

Natural Remedies:

Before the widespread availability of commercial pet medications, old school pet care often involved using natural remedies for common ailments. This could include herbal treatments, homeopathic remedies, or other traditional approaches to address health issues.

DIY Grooming:

Instead of relying on professional grooming services, pet owners would often groom their pets at home. This might include regular brushing, bathing, and other grooming activities to keep the pet clean and healthy.

Limited Veterinary Interventions:

Regular veterinary care is essential, but in the past, pet owners might not have sought professional help for every minor issue. Some relied on home observation and home remedies for less severe health concerns.

Training Methods:

Training methods in old school pet care often involved basic obedience commands reinforced through consistent and repetitive training. Positive reinforcement, such as praise and treats, was common. Unfortunately harsher training methods were also more prevalent. They are rarely used. They were shunned by the majority even when they were used by a small percentage of people.

Connection and Companionship:

Old school pet care emphasizes the emotional bond and companionship between the pet and its owner. Pets were and are regarded as integral members of the family, sharing living spaces and daily activities with their human counterparts. There was however a clear line between species. Pets are family, but not ‘kids’. Anthropomorphism was rare, which is now common place.

Societal attitudes and labelling

It’s important to note that while “old school pet care” has its merits, modern pet care practices have evolved for a reason. Advances in veterinary medicine, nutrition science, and behavioral research have provided new insights into optimal pet well-being. A balanced approach that incorporates the best of both traditional and modern practices is often ideal for ensuring the health, happiness, and longevity of our animal companions.

It’s crucial for pet owners to be aware of and committed to these responsibilities to ensure the well-being of their pets. Responsible pet ownership contributes to the health, happiness, and positive behavior of the animal. This fosters a fulfilling relationship between the pet and its family.

There is no right and wrong!

Ultimately it does not matter if you call yourself a pet parent or owner. What matters is your pets or any animal in your care is treated with love and respect. As the ‘controlling’ species in the relationship humans have an irrevocable responsibility. That is to provide life long shelter, food and medical care for animals in our charge.


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