Chihuahua in a teacup

5 Reasons Why Pet Ownership Will Prepare You For Parenthood

“Hey, wake up.”


“It’s your turn to take Mr. Kermit outside.”

“Oh, right. Just five more minutes.”

Two minutes later: BARK BARK BARK.

“Alright, alright.”

I’ve heard plenty of stories over the years of people who’ve used pet ownership as a test run for baby ownership. Is ‘ownership’ the right word? Maybe not, but the best pet owners treat their dogs with the same level of care they would a newborn baby.

Well, almost. But the truth remains that a dog can teach you and your significant other a lot about how you’d fare as parents.

1. Babies and Dogs Get Hungry

When a baby is hungry, he or she will let you know about it. Dogs operate on more of a schedule, but they need to be fed just like new tiny humans. The good news is that instinct will allow dogs to eat on their own, so it’s an easy warmup compared with the demands of a hungry infant who just wants to throw their food all over the kitchen.

2. Natural Business

Scooping up dog waste on the sidewalk might not seem like a lot of fun at first (or ever, really), but it pales in comparison to the experience of changing a baby after the deed has been done. Coping with a dog’s natural habits will break down any previously held discomfort for the act, so when the time comes to deal with a child, it won’t be so bad. Hopefully.

3. The Art of Teaching

Raising a dog and raising a child isn’t so different in the early years. Teaching both to behave in a certain way is based off a simple system of rewards. Want to teach your dog to sit? Use treats. Want to teach your child to clap? Perform the action yourself and then smother them with praise and affection when they’re successful. Children will grow out of this stage, but by this time you’ll have an understanding of how they learn and how you can communicate best with them. Pets? Just keep using treats.

4. The Art of Discipline

No one is saying that kids and pets react the same way to different types of discipline. Heck, different kids react differently – wait, the same child can react completely differently one minute to the next. Since kids lack the same logic centres as their adult counterparts, it’s tricky to teach them to respond to reason. What pets can teach you about discipline, however, has more to do with how you react to something bad, rather than how your pet or your eventual child will react.

5. Learning More About Your Parenting Style

Finally, the real benefit of pet ownership before owning a child is analyzing what type of parent you’ll be. Will you be patient? Supportive? Rigid? Creative? These are all attributes you might not be aware you possessed before taking pet ownership for a spin. And in the case of both dog rearing and people rearing, ‘a spin’ in each case is a life-long commitment to providing the care and attention required by your human offspring or your furry canine child.

Pet ownership teaches you what parenting is like when you don’t feel like being a parent. It’s in these instances we learn the most about how we’re truly going to react to the challenges of parenthood.

Owning a pet teaches us responsibility, compassion and leadership. Not to the extent required by actual children, but it gives us a headstart.

Just remember, once a child does come along, you’ve still got a responsibility to keep your dog happy. And by that point, chances are you’ll be well prepared for the job.

Dog Collar

The Benefits of Reused Pet Products

In the world of pet ownership, pet grooming and pet veterinary care, there’s just as much room for rescued animals as there is for animals bought from a breeder.

Why? Because they all have teeth and they all have needs. Different types of dogs are suitable for different types of owners, but no matter where you found your dog, he or she doesn’t care where they came from, just as long as they’re smothered with love and care.

Another thing dogs don’t care about? Where their leashes come from. Or where their doggy beds were made. 

People spend obscene amounts of money on pet products like bejewelled cat doors and mink fur coats for their pets. Or a crystal cat house for $32,000! Seriously, cats, you’re giving pets a bad name! Wait, there’s a dog tiara on that list for 4.2 MILLION dollars.

Seriously check that link above, those items are real.

Got $3,000 to spend on a gold-thread pet mattress? No? Then head to Upcycled Canine and buy a durable, comfortable dog bed made with natural, reused pet products.

Wait, you do have $3,000 to spend on your dog?

Here’s a better idea: donate it to a dog shelter.

Supporting Local Goods & Services

Let’s stop talking about money, I’m getting dizzy. Another key benefit to buying reused pet products is the relationship you can build with local companies, like our pals at Upcycled. Independently owned pet shops have a vested interest in helping animals because it has a distinct effect on their bottom line. These companies go the extra mile to please their customers because they deal with them face to face. The organic human interaction is priceless.

That’s not to say you can’t be friends with the clerk at the chain pet store downtown, but you’re not going to get the same quality of care with someone who’s going to make a sale whether you show up or not.

With local independent retailers, you can ask about the origins of the materials and you can see exactly who’s making the products.

When it comes to the chain store, who knows where those collars were made? Scarier still, who knows the age of their makers?

The Environmental Impact

Climate change is a reality we’re all faced with whether we like it or not, but it can be tough to make a significant difference to the future of our planet. After all, it’s a big place.

We can, however, make a significant difference to our own small corner of the world. We recycle containers and packaging, we compost our food waste and we pack our groceries in re-usable bags – so why stop there? Buying reused pet products is just another way to shrink our carbon footprint. Even if you’re not keen on buying something used by another dog, buying products made of recycled materials is still a good way to minimize your impact on the environment.

Dogs Don’t Care About Money

People care about money.

I know, sorry to belabour the point, but there are better ways to spend your money than superficial pet products. Buy them organic food or buy yourself a vacation home with a huge yard instead. Your pet will appreciate that more than a diamond-studded leash.

Your pet only wants to be loved and cared for. If you buy them a leash, bed or collar created with recycled materials, they won’t know it’s been recycled.

But you will, and so will your planet.

Puppy With His Toy

5 Steps to Take 2 Weeks Before the New Pup Arrives

The day is here! The new puppy arrives! Getting a new dog to join your family is an important event in both your life and the dog’s life, an exciting time for both man and beast!

Hopefully you’ve taken the time to consider the best breed for your lifestyle or the size of your home, particularly if you live in an apartment. It’s handy when your personalities match as well. Most of the time, anyways.

After all, puppies come with growing pains. The good news is you can avoid a lot of problems by following a few simple guidelines.

1. Puppy-Proof Your Home

Not only do you want to avoid the destruction of a pair of expensive shoes, more importantly, you don’t want your new pup to get his teeth on something that could harm him. Dogs chew for plenty of reasons, one of them being the simple desire to explore, just like a baby. Some breeds like to chew more than others, but all puppies will get their teeth into something they shouldn’t at some point. Get your pup a variety of toys and encourage chewing of ‘his’ things, not yours.

2. Respect the Neighbours

Your dog will bark. It’s going to happen. If you live in an old apartment with thin walls then it’s probably a good idea to look for a breed that doesn’t bark at his own shadow. Either way, it’s a good idea to slide a note under your neighbour’s door to let them know of the impending arrival. They’ll be a lot more likely to cut you some slack when the barking starts.

3. Set Up a Private Base

Everyone needs a quiet place to which they can retreat when they get tired or overwhelmed. A crate or a bed your dog can call his own will give them somewhere to nap or relax. The natural denning instinct in dogs is different than humans – we don’t like being confined, but dogs need their own space where they can feel safe and secure. If you have young children, it will also help them learn to respect their new roommate’s space.

4. Mental Prep

Before the new pup arrives, and even before you give strong consideration to adopting a new member of the family, it’s crucial to ask yourself the tough questions.

      • Can our home handle it?
      • How will we react when he chews up the remote control?
      • Will we be able to give him all the comfort and attention he needs?

Welcoming a new member of the family is always accompanied by good moments and difficult ones. There’s no need to hide from the those tough moments like barking, chewing, slobbering or bathroom accidents, but it’s just important to be aware of them and prepared for them.

5. Set Up A Support Network

This one is easy – people love puppies – and crucial. Finding a neighbour or a cousin or a co-worker to puppy-sit or take your pup for walks shouldn’t be too hard. Just make sure you prepare them for potential issues, like barking at other dogs or running wild off-leash. It’s ok to seek assistance with a new dog because we all need breaks sometimes. Plus, being busy with life and work shouldn’t make dog ownership impossible.

We need to make sure we’re prepared when a new pup arrives so we can spend time enjoying the new addition. Following these simple steps will alleviate stress for everyone.

Now, do you feel prepared? Yes? Then there’s only one thing left to do!