Embracing Adventure “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~~Hellen Keller

A Dozen Reasons Having Dogs > Having Kids (For Me)

Gir on her first day home in April 2009 and Apollo on the day we got him in June 2011.

Occasionally people think that people with pets and without children are choosing pets over kids or that pets are a good precursor to kids. I don’t fit either scenario. Even if I wanted kids, I’d still have dogs. But even if I didn’t have dogs, I still wouldn’t want kids. And while I’ll give you that there are ways pets are similar to children (they cost money; I’m responsible for them for several years; I have to clean up their waste) such that I guess one might consider it a good test whether they can handle a kid or not, that didn’t enter my mind in deciding to get a dog. I got a dog because I like dogs, I met an adorable corgi, and she still needed a home a couple weeks later. Also I told her when she was playing with my shoe laces that if she could untie them I’d take her home, and she did. I got a second dog because, the day after my husband and I got married, we came across a cute min pin, my husband wanted to take him home, and I couldn’t say no.

That said, I do think dogs are a better fit for my life than kids. Or to put it another way: having dogs > having kids (for me). When I say that, the last two words are the operative words. I don’t mean this is or should be the case for everyone. Some would flip the greater than sign to a less than sign, and that’s fine for them. Having said that, here is my list of twelve reasons I find having dogs to be a better situation than having kids (for me).

Apollo chewing on an N-bone Super Antioxidant Dental Chew Stick, one of his favorite BarkBox treats so far.

1. Dogs Aren’t Picky Eaters

At least mine aren’t. There are some kids who only eat about three different things and pitch a fit if given something different. My dogs will eat whatever I put in front of them and even hope to eat what I don’t plan to give them. The closest they come to a tantrum is when I give them a Milkbone treat instead of something meaty. They’ll look at me for a second like “is this all?” but then they’ll eat it. Apollo will do so looking reminiscent of Cookie Monster, bits of treat flying. And it’s cute, because he’s a dog. And he cleans up after himself instead of leaving crumbs on my floor.

2. Dogs Are Cheaper To Take Care Of

Add up the cost of a month’s supply of dog food, puppy pads, treats, and medication to protect against heartworms and fleas. With two dogs, it costs us about $75 a month for that stuff plus a few dollars here and there for a toy or new jacket. (I always thought I’d never be one of those people who put jackets on their dogs, but Apollo is small and needs one in the winter, and Gir got jealous of him having one, so we got her one too. She also likes her “I’m The Monster Under Your Bed” shirt.) We even splurge for a Bark Box ($19 a month), and that still puts us barely over $100 a month. [If you follow that link you can get $5 off your first BarkBox and my dogs get a free one.] Children aren’t that cheap to take care of at any stage of development, and will cost more as they get older.

Case in point, I made this “toy” with a fabric scrap and stuffing Gir had pulled out of another toy, and she carried it around for a week.

3. Dogs Are Grateful

Dogs are grateful for even simple toys like a rope, a bone, or a stuffed animal. Heck, my dogs are known to ignore all of these so they can run off with plastic bottle caps or the bottles themselves. (I still have not figured out the fascination with bottles and their caps, but both of my dogs have it). No matter how old they get, they are never going to demand more than simple fun. By contrast, while some kids are happy to play with a box or are grateful for whatever they have been given, many aren’t, especially teenagers. I’ve seen teens complain their parents didn’t get them the right computer, the right cell phone, the right car, etc. all the while not seeming to even realize that their parents provided those things for them and did not have to. In fact, that reminds me of a video. I will never have to deal with that crap from my dog.

4. Dogs Bark, But They Stop

When I have been up all night, and the only thing I want to do is sleep but people do rude things that cause my dogs to bark, it really tests my patience. There is no way I want to trade dogs barking for a baby crying. A dog will shut up fairly quickly and go back to sleep. A crying baby, not so much. And even once they’re not babies anymore, kids still cry for a lot of ridiculous reasons. (That site, by the way, is excellent birth control. There are a few more sites with a similar effect on me. Someday I’ll have to do a post on those too).

Apollo standing guard (quietly) in the window, while he was able to. We moved the couch away from the window so he couldn’t get up there.

5. When Dogs Are Loud, It’s For A Reason

While both dogs are obnoxious on occasion, it’s usually out of drive to protect us more than anything and we can avoid it by eventually moving somewhere where they don’t have to deal with annoying people slamming doors, stomping, or screaming any more than we do. Win win. Kids, on the other hand, seem to like to scream A LOT for no apparent reason. There’s a playground near our apartment, and if I put a penny away for every time a kid screamed and a quarter for every time I heard a kid having a pleasant conversation, I’d have more money in pennies.

6. Dogs Are Affectionate For Longer

My dogs like to cuddle (Apollo more than Gir). And they’ll likely always like to do so. Some children don’t like affection, and there comes a point where even those who do stop wanting to cuddle. But my dogs will probably be my cuddle buddies for the rest of their lives.

You can’t see it in this picture, but Gir is all smiles wearing her “I’m The Monster Under Your Bed” shirt.

7. Dogs Can’t Talk Back

While Gir makes noises in response to us sometimes that are akin to talking, makes sounds like laughing when we rub her belly, and howls along with my husband, she doesn’t actually talk, which means, unlike a kid, she can never talk back.

8. Dogs Can Stay Home Alone

I can leave my dogs home alone when I want to go somewhere for a little while or the day. I’d have to have a babysitter or daycare for kids. If I want to go on vacation without the dogs, I can have someone come over to give them food and water, clean up their puppy pads, and take them for walks. Or I can board them. With a kid, I’d have to find a babysitter willing to take them that long.

9. Dogs Are Happy to See You

When I come home, whether it’s after 10 minutes or 10 hours, my dogs will jump around, and smile, and generally seem happy to see me. Sometimes Gir even turns in circles the way she does when she knows she’s about to get a treat. Kids can be indifferent and, as they get older, they may not want their parents around much at all.

10. Dogs Unconditionally Love You

I’ve heard people say that you don’t know unconditional love until you have a kid. Maybe as a parent you unconditionally love, but I’ve seen parents that don’t fit that either, and I’ve seen a lot of kids who claim to hate their parents, or at least act like they do. But a dog will unconditionally love you for life…at least that’s been my experience.

I suspect these two like each other more than they let on when we’re around.

11. Dogs Don’t Date

I know many parents worry when their children start dating. If I had kids I’d just have to hope they listened about using protection and birth control to avoid having a child before they were ready, especially while they were still children themselves. Of course everyone’s free to make their own choices and I know there are teen mothers who handle everything on their own, but I also know some who had a baby before they were ready and left it up to their own mom and dad to take care of the child. I don’t ever have to worry where my dogs are at night or if they’re making good decisions. And I know I won’t be saddled with raising their unplanned offspring because I can prevent them from having them. Apollo is fixed, and I keep Gir away from intact male dogs when she’s in heat.

12. Dogs are Lower Maintenance

Dogs just don’t take as much energy to care for as children. I have to feed my dogs, take them on walks, clean up their puppy pads (and maybe a couple other places if they decide to be brats), and give them some pets, treats, and play time. Kids require a lot more care and attention. Granted, unlike a child, I’m never going to get to stop cleaning up their waste. However, unlike a child, they aren’t wearing it on themselves. I pick it up off the grass or their dog potty (Yes they have a dog potty. I’m not walking down and up four flights of stairs every time they get the whim to go, especially in the rain and snow), throw it in the trash or toilet, and go on about my day. I’ve worked in a daycare. I know wiping children down for the first 2+ years of their lives is a MUCH bigger ordeal.

I could probably find more reasons dogs are better than kids (for me), but I think a dozen is a good place to stop. If you also have dogs and do not want children, do any of these reasons resonate with you, or do you have some I haven’t listed here that you’d like to share?

Related Posts:

6 Thoughts on “A Dozen Reasons Having Dogs > Having Kids (For Me)

  1. Your dogs are so adorable! I love the monster under the bed shirt! 🙂 I really want to adopt a dog at some point too!
    Thanks for adding my button! :))

    • Thanks. 🙂 I think I found that shirt on ebay…I got it as kind of a joke (because she sleeps under the bed a lot of the time) but she actually seems to like wearing it lol. You’re welcome. Thanks for adding mine also.

  2. Omg. This list is almost the same as mine. Except I have 2 picky eaters, and one that will eat anything. And my dogs occasionally talk back, it’s the most hilarious thing. When they do it, it usually lasts only 5 or so minutes before they give in. If you’ve never seen a rottie throw a temper tantrum, you’re missing out on life.

    My husband and I have decided not to have any kids, and instead have 3 dogs. If a human kid happens, we’ll be ok with it, but we aren’t going to try to have one.

    Love your blog!

    • Haha. I don’t know what I’d do with a picky dog. There are some things they like better than others. I’ve seen them kind of turn up their noses at Milkbones, but they’ll still eat them. But mostly they eat/want to eat everything. They’ll sit there begging when all I have is a salad. Haha no I haven’t seen a rottie do that. You should put up a video 😉

      I’m good with two dogs. Some days even that’s a handful. My husband has talked about getting a third dog at some point but I don’t think it’s a good idea. My corgi is jealous enough that she’s not the only fur baby since we got the min pin. I can’t even imagine adding a human kid to the mix.

      Thanks! 🙂

  3. I enjoyed this post. I too have a min-pin, same color as yours. They are definitely an interesting breed to watch.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: