I'll be honest, I've experienced more than my fair share of infuriating moments when, well, my dog feels even more frustrating than my toddler. Sure, I didn't house the dog in my body for months on end and, no, I didn't birth the dog into existence, but I swear that dog can be just as temperamental and just as adorable (well, close, but definitely not as adorable) as my kid. However, now that I’ve been a pet owner for 15+ years of my life, and a mom for 2+ years, I feel qualified enough to say that having a pet is not the same as having a kid. Sure, there are some similarities (depending on the pet) and, yes, people love their pets and I'm not one to say that love isn't legitimate. However, I’d be remiss if I led anyone to believe that a kid and a pet are interchangeable.
The pets I've owned in my lifetime include a dog, rabbits, and a fish. I also had a roommate in college who briefly brought in a cat (which turned me into a hot allergic mess, so you'll understand why I don't and can't identify as a cat person). All of those pets required time and effort and patience and love, but not in the way my son does. Did I love those pets? Of course, but not in the way I love my son. I know that pet ownership is important and there are pets that become family members, but no matter where you fall on the wide spectrum of pet ownership or how you compare your pet to other loved ones you may or may not have, you have to admit that there are some pretty huge differences that make having a kid and having a pet, well, not necessarily comparable.
I have a ridiculous amount of love for all the pet moms and dads out there, and never want to downplay how you feel about your pet but, well, here are a few reasons why it's nothing like having a kid: