Although children and pets are similar in some ways (both are small and should be leashed in public), we can all agree that pets have their advantages in certain areas. The following is a list of the 10 ways pets beat kids, hands-down:

1. Pets save you $9,000 per year


Using the USDA calculator for raising a child, I estimated that 2 adults living in Little Rock raising one toddler will spend about $10,000 in one year on their child. In contrast, Petfinder’s chart for annual pet expenses shows that the first year of a pet’s life will cost the owner anywhere from $640 for a cat to $1,500 for a large dog.

2. Same dish of kibble every day, and no complaints. And they’ll gladly sample anything you’re having as well!

Check out this video of 3 dogs going nuts over cauliflower:

Admittedly, some dogs and cats are picky eaters, but I have seen very few of those in my life. If you made two lines, one with picky dogs and one with picky kids, I think we all know which one would be longer!

3. Pets can entertain themselves while you go out for the night.

Their first time out of the house since the kids were born

Couples with kids go through a lengthy process just to leave the the house for a few hours. Forget spontaneity! If you want to see a 90-minute movie, you’d better start planning a week in advance and pray the babysitter doesn’t bail at the last minute.

On the other hand, pets who are asleep on the sofa when you leave will likely be in the same spot when you return from your night out, which brings us to number 4…

4. Pets LOVE naps!

Cats sleep an average of 13-18 hours per day. Dogs snooze at the same rate. That’s 13-18 hours they don’t need your attention. Think of all you could get done!

Now, try to entice a 2-year old into taking a nap when you need a rest. Go ahead, try.

How’s that working for you?

5.Guaranteed not to come home pierced, tattooed, drunk, stoned, or impregnated (as long as you spay/neuter!).

Mom's gonna FREAK when she sees my new tattoo!

Pets are simple creatures. They don’t do stupid things to fit in with their peers and they could care less what the hottest celebs are wearing/smoking/drinking.

Living with pets isn’t always easy, but at least you never have to say, “Young lady, you are NOT leaving the house wearing THAT!”

6. Won’t Blab Your Family Secrets

Children, having not grasped the concept of appropriate conversation, will share all kinds of information about you. The placement of your tattoos, your age, your natural hair color, what kind of underwear you walk around the house in…you get the picture.

With the exception of certain birds, pets cannot talk, and they are guaranteed not to write a tell-all memoir about your less-than-perfect parenting moments.

7. Happy to be the Passenger

Catching Some Big Aire
Few things in this world are more frightening than being in traffic with a teenage driver who is asking you “Which one is the brake again?” My hunch is, Valium was invented for this very situation.

Pet parents never experience this living nightmare because animals  lack the opposing thumbs necessary for driving. Plus, pets would much rather feel the wind in their faces from the passenger seat!

8. It’s okay to guesstimate your pet’s age

Dog Happy Birthday Cake #2
Have you ever heard a dog owner say “My dog is 26 months old”? No, you haven’t, because pet parents know that no one begins a casual conversation hoping for the chance to divide by 12.

With animals, it’s simple. After your pet reaches one year of age, you can either round up, round down, or just throw out a guess. After all, a 5-year-old cat looks about the same as a 2-year-old cat.

9. Cats Land on Their Feet. Kids Land in the ER

Aerodynamics? Pish!

One can’t help but be in awe of the grace cats possess. How they naturally twist mid-air and land on their hind legs. How they gingerly step around objects in their way, never tripping or stumbling. How they test the durability of a surface before leaping on to it.

Any ER nurse can tell you that kids are not quite so graceful, though they have courage and energy in spades. Boys especially are prone to accidents due to jumping   from high places and attempting gymnastic stunts. If you don’t believe me, watch an episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos and pay close attention to the clips featuring trampolines.

10.Pets Don’t Beg For Expensive Crap

Note the lack of holiday cheer in the cat’s expression

Have you ever seen a Christmas angel tree for pets? NO! You know why? Because pets don’t ask for $300 electronic toys for Christmas! They’re not going to look up at you with teary eyes and trembling lips when you tell them there’s no extra money for gifts this year because animals don’t grasp the concept of holidays!

Every day with you is a holiday for them! Every belly rub, neighborhood walk, and game of fetch is like unwrapping this year’s must-have gift! In fact, I think that while we’re in a recession, couples should put off having kids and adopt pets instead.

Disclaimer: I do not hate children.

I think my niece and nephew are the most adorable, perfect combinations of nature and nurture there ever was. Once a week, I enjoy going to my sister’s house to play with them all afternoon. But let’s be honest, kids aren’t for everybody.

Some people are happier taking care of dogs, cats, or rabbits than parenting anything on two legs. Plus, these days, couples are waiting until later to have children, which means most couples will have a pet before they have a child.

If you still want to have a baby after reading my top ten list, fine, but you’ve been warned! If you’re inspired to adopt a pet instead, go to and type in your zip code to see animals ready to go home with you today!


6 responses »

  1. R. says:

    This reminds me of the lists “why dogs are better than women and “why dogs are better than men”

    Comedy has to be based on truth. You take the truth and you put a little curlicue at the end. ~Sid Caesar

  2. Penny says:

    You open up a possibility for a future piece about couples adopting pets before having kids…. I’ve noticed that several couples and families simply discard their pets when they begin having children; I find it deplorable. *cough*cough* can i write an article on why pets are forever? *cough*cough*

    • Pam Cameron says:

      A few weeks ago, I was reading the classifieds and someone listed that they were giving away a dog. The reason: “New baby. No time for dog.” I was so sad.

      How about we make it a joint article? You write about why pets are forever and I’ll interview a couple who has brought a new baby home without getting rid of the pets. We’ll combine the “why” and the “how.”

      What do you say?

  3. This is so true. Having both, I can tell you this is not exaggerated and it made me laugh. Thanks.

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