People who care about animals are angered by a mother of three kids who claims that calling dogs “fur babies” is “an insult to moms.”
“Fur babies,” according to the Cambridge Dictionary, is “a pet, especially one that someone treats with a lot of love and kindness as if it were a baby.” It’s a term of endearment used by pet parents who regard their four-legged children to be a part of their family.
The woman, who acknowledges that she may come out as a “self-righteous parent,” overlooked the fact that “fur babies” is a term used in the English language and, as a result, her pontificating condemnation of pet owners sparked a barrage of responses from the internet community.
People who view their dogs as babies and others who view them as mere animals are increasingly at odds with one another. Approximately 76% of cat owners and 85% of dog owners, respectively, consider their pets to be members of the family, according to Forbes. Additionally, American spending on pets increased from $123.6 billion in 2021 to $136.8 billion in 2022.
According to a second study of 2,000 cat and dog owners, 81% of respondents say they treat their pets the same way they do people, and 71% frequently put the needs of their animals before their own.
According to a poll conducted on behalf of Chewy, 47% of respondents refer to their pets as “babies,” and 31% identify as the “mom or dad” of their furry child. According to Elizabeth Broadbent, “that is an insult to moms.”
In the summer of 2022, Broadbent published a piece for an online magazine in which she urged pet owners to avoid referring to their animals as “fur babies.”
Having two dogs and three children, the mother of three claims that “kids and dogs are not the same.”
“…But never did we call those beloved canines “furkids” or “furbabies”. Because the last I checked, dogs ain’t people.” She continues, “Your puppy is not your child, so stop saying that he is. I have three children now, and I know this for certain–kids and dogs are not the same.”
The Facebook post incited outrage among internet users, who criticised her intrusive comments.
“She has too much time on her hands…I’m pretty sure everyone is well aware of the differences. I have 2 children and I love my fur baby,” writes one, while a second adds, “she is absolutely right, they are not the same, which is why dogs are furbabies, children are skinpuppies and kids are baby goats.”
A third shares, “Dogs who we love are like babies with fur they are the most loyal of all beings if treated with love…this lady knows nothing to make this sad request to others …it’s a free world.”
Broadbent goes on to explain how she babyproofed her home, that included removing “strangulation hazards,” hiding “cleaning fluids” and placing “safety locks on all the cabinets.”
For puppy-proofing, she said “you removed all things chewable, took up poisonous plants, and provided appropriate chew toys.”
According to The American Kennel Club, she missed a few crucial pet-proofing points, like:
Remove/hide all chewing hazards (cords, plants, food, medication)
Place cleaning supplies in a safe place
Secure cupboards with childproof latches
Raise blinds to avoid strangulation
Broadbent does however agree that “pet ownership is a serious commitment that should only be taken up by those who really mean to care for an animal for the rest of its natural life.”
Suggesting that “you can most ignore your dog,” she continues, “You’re stuck with your dog…except you’re not because you can leave. Before my husband and I had kids, we traveled all the time–dropped the pups by the doggie spa, paid extra for playground time, and hopped the plane guilt-free.”
Broadbent is one of the 60% of people who don’t take their dogs into account when planning a trip.
More over half (62%) said they wished they could take their pets with them when they travel, either “all the time” or “most of the time,” despite the fact that just 40% of respondents stated their pets affect the trips they take.
“Pets have become our whole world, so it’s no surprise to see them claim their rightful place of prominence in the household,” says Dr. Katy Nelson, senior veterinarian at Chewy. “This reflects the larger trend of ‘pet prioritization,’ or placing our pets’ needs above our own when considering major life decisions or planning our social calendars and daily behaviors.”
Online users in the “fur baby” camp are not pleased with Broadbent’s opinions.
One user writes, “So, I have two daughters and a fur baby. My daughters call the fur baby their little brother. My husband and I call him our son. He knows each of us by name. If my husband tells him to go to Mommy, he’s immediately at my feet. Some people cannot accept that these ‘fur babies’ are a part of our family.”
The post continues, “They are loved, and they love us back fiercely and unconditionally. I personally feel sorry for people who never experienced the unconditional love of a dog. Maybe then, they would understand ‘fur babies.’”
Another says, “She’s absolutely right, they are not the same. Animals are generally more polite and nicer to be around than some kids these days.”
Only a few of the over 16,000 comments support Broadbent’s viewpoint.
“I agree with her… they are pets…animals…not darling children,” says one in a comment that triggered hundreds of replies.
One fires back, “Why can’t they all be darling? I treat my fur baby as I would want to be treated. I show my son that same love and respect. I have enough love to go around!”
And another says, “Totally agree with you! My fur babies are more behaved than some “darling” children as well!!”
A fur baby lover writes, “My dogs, cats and whatever else I have as a family can be my “babies” whether they have fur, feathers, skin or scales. Each of them have a special place in my heart and life that gives them a loving title of my choosing. So don’t offend me with your tiny little closed mind, and crawl back under your rock.”
We adore animals and think it’s amazing how well people care for their four-legged children! Animals are such adorable, helpless little beings who need all the toppings that their human parents can provide in terms of unconditional love.
Please share this story and let’s see what others have to say about this mother’s opinion on fur babies!