Kids and dogs. Dogs and kids. While caring for one isn't always the same as caring for another, the similarities between parenting a dog and parenting a child sure are obvious. Take, for example, the act of potty training. I swear, as a mom of two and an avid animal lover, potty training a dog and potty training a kid is essentially the same damn thing.
Of course, I'm not saying that these two experiences are exactly the same. Hell, potty training two children can feel like two completely different experiences. For example, my daughter took it easy on me. She listened to the instructions, decided she was ready to use the "big kid" potty, and simply used the toilet with relative ease. My son, on the other hand, was much more challenging. I still have to remind him to at least try going to the bathroom, because he's more than happy to hold it until he has an accident.
But I have to admit that when I was potty training my kids, more often than not I thought about what it was like to potty train my dogs. You guys, the similarities were very real. And thinking about potty training a puppy, to be honest, made the entire trying-to-teach-a-toddler-how-to-use-a-toilet thing a little less stressful. Laughter helps, my friends. So with that in mind, here are a few similarities between potty training kids and potty training puppies:
They Both "Go" Whenever & Wherever They Want
Let's face it — puppies pee wherever they deem acceptable and, well, so does a toddler. My son is almost 7, he's completely potty trained, and he still, sometimes, has an accident and tries to hide the evidence. It's frustrating and gross but, well, it just comes with the parenting package... whether you're a dog mom or a mom to two kids.
They Both Respond To Bribes
I don't know about you, dear reader, but I am not above bribing my children, or my pets, if it means they actually listen to me. My potty training methods relied on a lot of bribery, usually in the form of treats. So whether I was promising my dog a snack or my child a small bag of candy, if they managed to pee where they were supposed to I was one happy camper.
They Both Need Diapers
Puppy pads. Puppy diapers. Human diapers. Pull-ups. They're essentially all the same thing made for a very specific purpose: to minimize the number of times you have to clean pee or poop from your newly vacuumed carpet.
They Both Require A Lot Of Money
Potty training a child or a pet is rarely a cheap endeavor. Buying pull-ups, multiple pairs of underwear, a special toilet seat, a portable kid potty... I mean, it all adds up. The same can be said for your pet, especially if you bite the bullet and enlist the help of a trainer. Parenthood is expensive no matter how you slice it, my friends.
They Both Require Patience
A toddler isn't going to automatically understand the concept of potty training, and neither will a puppy. If you're going to successfully teach either to use the bathroom properly, you're going to have to dig deep and rely on a lot of patience.
They Both Are Cute Enough To Get Away With Anything
Make no mistake, you will become incredibly frustrated, probably multiple times, when you're potty training either a dog or a child. You know it's not their fault — that they're learning and trying their best to wrap their minds around this new concept — but after the seventh living room poop you begin to break.
Thankfully, puppies and toddlers are adorable as hell, and their cute faces often remind you that patience is a virtue, they need you to be understanding, and this, too, shall pass.
They Both Require Consistency
Regardless of the potty training method you choose for your child, consistency is key. Children thrive on a set schedule, and that is never more true than when you're trying to potty train a little one. The same can be said for a pet, and providing your dog with a schedule so they become accustomed to "potty time" will help train them to use the bathroom outside when they need to.
Stay consistent, and before you know it diapers and puppy pads will be a thing of the past.