Loving pet parents make decisions each and every day about what to feed, teach, and do with your pets. Did you know that these little decisions make up your overall pet parenting style?
Just like how parents to human kids have different parenting styles which dictate the way they make decisions. The same applies to furkid parents.
So what’s your pet parenting style, and what does it say about you? Read on to find out!
Pet Parenting Style #1: The Easy Game
You love your furball, and there’s no doubting it. Unfortunately, your pets are so sure of your love that they might take advantage. So you get woken up for all kinds of reasons in the middle of the night, regularly have food stolen off your plate, and often find paw prints on the kitchen counter.
Oh, and let’s not forget that you’re not sure who walks who for your afternoon jaunts. (If you’re being dragged along a little too often, here’s how to teach your puppy to walk on a lead.) And the beloved furbabies know exactly which buttons to press and which furniture to claw to get your attention. (If it’s your cat causing the issue here, read our tips on how to stop a kitten scratching furniture.)
Even though you come across as the champion of chill, you’re probably crying on the inside when you find yet another victim of your pet; whether it’s the carpet, a shoe, or the roast chicken you planned for dinner.
Your pet is lucky to have such a cool, relaxed parent. But make sure you don’t become a total pushover. We don’t want to accuse pets (ahem, cats) of being evil masterminds. But over time, your pets do learn how to get exactly what they want from you. If you let them.
Practice lovingly put your foot down to get things a little bit more under control.
Pet Parenting Style #2: The Helicopter
You’ve heard of helicopter parents, right? Probably not in the context of pups and kitties though. More like the parent of that one kid in the school who’s on every committee and bakes homemade gluten-free, sugar-free treats for lunch for their angel. The one who still watches their child like a hawk every second, even if they’re safely playing in a fully-fenced, bouncy-floored, low-level playground.
But yep, one of the pet parenting styles is the helicopter too.
If your furry family member has premium pet insurance, their own Instagram account, doggy/moggy daycare in the morning then a nice nap on the (human) bed followed by organic food at lunch, before an appointment with their favourite groomer in the afternoon, you just might be a helicopter pet parent.
Know no shame – Berkeley says helicopter parenting is better for pets than kids, so you’ve got that going for you. The study also revealed people who show the highest level of dependence on their pets also tend to express the greatest affection for them. We’d say that’s a win/win for your pet.
There’s nothing wrong with spoiling your nearest and dearest. It just means that you really love and rely on your pet.
Just remember, helicopter pet parenting isn’t strictly necessary for your furkid to love you. All they really need is food and water, a loving and secure home, regular check-ups (for your pet, but with a positive effect on vet mental health), and obviously – plenty of cuddles and attention.
Don’t feel like you have to do the things the “cool kids” do. While pets love a good pampering, they really won’t even notice if you bath them at home and feed them occasional chicken scraps instead of wagyu steak. All they want is your love.
Pet Parenting Style #3: The Boss
You rule the roost, and your pet knows it. You watch over your home carefully, and your pet has a strict routine. This includes specific mealtimes, a treat ration, and by-the-book training. And the only one who has full run of the house and garden is you. “The bed is for humans, not pets,” you say to anyone who protests.
Pssst – if you ever wondered if sharing bedtime with your pet is a good idea or not, these articles will tell you: Sleeping With Your Cat in the Bed and Sleeping With Your Dog in the Bed.
Pet parents with this style are often very responsible pet owners. Your feeding, grooming, exercise, and vet visits are all logical and well-tracked and it’s likely your pet is a polite and well-trained pleasure to be around.
Pets like having rules around the home. They like consistency, but they also know that following the rules pleases their parents. Like kids, there’s nothing wrong with putting clear boundaries in place. Notwithstanding this, consider relaxing the rules every now and then for some stress-relieving playtime and spontaneous snuggle sessions.
Pet insurance is for every pet parent
Over to you
Which of these three is your pet parenting style? Or do you think you have something totally different? Share your parenting habits in the comments.