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Why Owning A Dog Teaches You Absolutely Nothing About Raising Kids

The following was syndicated from Quora for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at

Can raising a dog teach me how to raise a child?

Honestly? Not even close. Had dogs, then had children. No similarities. In fact you could easily be led into a false sense of security thinking you are ready for children because you’re able to raise dogs, so worse off than a new parent who never had dogs.

Children require 24/7 supervision, don’t obey, and are completely your responsibility. Dogs are adults and apart from feeding, walking, and the odd trip to the vet, they don’t need you.

A dog adores you. It’s true that children may, sometimes, some days, show some affection, but a lot of the time it’s an on-going battle just to get them to do the essential things they need to do to live. Just getting them to eat or sleep or take medicine is a battle. Add things like get dressed and take a bath, put their toys away, etc … and you get no adoration for any of it.

You don’t need to know much to keep a dog. You need to know something about everything, to raise a child. Their questions are relentless and their needs are infinite.

Dogs cost almost nothing, about $10 a month in kibble and treats. Children cost a fortune in clothes, shoes, books, furniture, bedding, food, toys, medicines, haircuts, musical instruments, lessons, sports equipment, transport, etc. It’s shocking when you add it all up.

Had dogs, then had children. No similarities.

No one notices if your dog isn’t well trained. The world, rightly, holds you to account for how your child is developing, and you feel that scrutiny, and the pressure to conform to the standard, all day every day.

On the other hand, having children is excellent preparation for keeping dogs later on. You can really appreciate the joys of a dog after all that parenting.

Jenni Claire has a lot of adult offspring. Read more from Quora below: