Are You Team 'Fur Babies' Or Team 'It's-Just-A-Dog'?

by Holly Garcia
Originally Published: 
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If you’ve ever owned a pup, you know the feeling. The feeling of “I can’t imagine living life without you.” Owners of fur babies totally get it. You are mine, and I am yours, and yes, you mean the world to me, pooch of my heart.

Half of you roll your eyes at this statement, while the other half totally feel it — deep down in your doggy-loving soul. When it comes to fur-babies or comparing your four-legged kids to your human kids, the crowd is split. Some say yes! My fur-babies are life. And everyone else, well, they raise an eyebrow and remind us that our beloved pooches are, in fact, just animals.

Whether you agree or not, it’s hard to argue against the facts. Dogs and small human people have a lot in common. And no, we aren’t talking about their adorableness or their ability to inspire insatiable snuggle time. Both learn the same way and are relatively intelligent at the same age. So, are owners justified in calling their pups “fur babies”?

Fur Babies and Human Babies Are Very Similar

Of course, it depends on the breed. But canines, in general, are pretty clever creatures. They can be taught to sit, stay, fetch their toy, and many other tricks. Just like babies, non-verbal communication is essential. And even though they can’t speak (no, barking does not count), they still can express emotions.

When they’re antsy, they pace back and forth and paw at you to get your attention. When they’re feeling excited or worried? Their tail will tell the tale (see what I did there)? Believe it or not, your dog can read your emotional cues and body language. So really, is it wrong to call them fur babies?

Newborns and pups communicate similarly. When babies are infants, they signal for their parents’ attention in non-verbal ways. They cry, smile, or coo in a way that causes you to sit and stare at them all day long. Let’s be honest, we do the same thing with our dogs. I don’t know about you, but I have just as many pictures of my dog on my phone as I do of my littles.

There don’t seem to be many people who are in the middle of the road when it comes to team Fur Babies versus team honey, it’s just a dog. But, if you’re on the latter team, hear us out. Pets are family — does it really matter if pups owners give them this nickname?

So What if Owners Give Them This Nickname?

Of course, while you love your fur babies just as much as you do the babies you birthed (or adopted), there always will be a difference. But for some who aren’t able to have two-legged children of their own (or just choose not to), the love and adoration they feel for their fur babies is just as strong.

Emotionally speaking, support and therapy dogs can be invaluable for people living with mental illness and mental health struggles. In fact, according to Alvarado Parkway Institute (API), “People struggling (with their mental health) find having an emotional support animal decreases anxiety, and helps fight feelings of loneliness.” And you don’t just have to take their word for it.

On occasion, doctors even prescribe emotional support animals to aid in mental health and comfort their owner. API goes on to explain, “Even though animals can’t talk, they still provide beneficial companionship. Many owners enjoy talking to their emotional support animals because they know their animals cannot judge or offer advice.”

Honestly, we treat our doggo like a human. Because at the end of the day, he is absolutely 100% part of our family. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t neglect my kid’s needs to take care of my pup, but I totally get why some people call them fur babies. I mean, have you ever gotten those big, sweet, adorable puppy eyes from a pooch?

Personally, I don’t refer to him as a fur baby because it’s just not my jam. But do I call him my daughter’s brother? Why yes, yes I do. When it comes down to it, let people call their pets what they want to. Owners calling their pets fur babies doesn’t hurt anyone, so let them be.

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