Here are nine things pet owners everywhere would love non-pet owners to stop doing immediately.
1. Saying it isn't right for pet parents to call their pets their "kids."
They might not be human babies, but that doesn't mean they aren't loved like a child.
2. Letting children run up and pet strangers’ animals without asking permission.
Even the gentlest of pets can be made anxious by a strange, tiny human rushing at them without warning.
3. Letting children “play” with other people’s pets too roughly.
It's not cute.
4. Feeding other people’s pets without permission.
Pet owners work hard to train their pets about what and when to eat and some pets have dietary restrictions you might not be aware of. It's bad form to offer someone's pet food without asking first.
5. Sharing Debbie-Downer animal facts—like how we only think our pets are smiling, but they really aren't.
Don't come up to a pet owner taking a picture of their "smiling" pooch and say that their pup's facial expression probably doesn't mean what they think it means because you read some article about it online. Let them take a cute picture of their dog in peace.
6. Complaining about pet owners who celebrate their pets.
Dog birthdays and weddings are adorable and fun. If you don't like them, you don't have to attend, but who is it hurting?
7. Calling someone’s pet “practice” for having a baby.
Sure, owning a pet does bring a lot of responsibility, but being a pet parent is a rewarding endeavor in its own right, not a stepping stone to something "better."
8. Teasing a pet for its weight/limp/other physical “imperfection.”
It's rude, whether you're talking about a human or an animal.
9. Demanding to see tricks and then acting disappointed if a pet doesn’t know the tricks you want to see.
All pets are different and all pet owners are different. Not everyone wants to teach their pet elaborate tricks and not all animals pick tricks easily.