08/23/2010 04:42 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Pets vs. Kids: Are You Barking Up the Wrong Parenthood Tree?


For a proud pet owner, it's not unusual to compare the domesticated furballs to children. After all, you put a roof over their head, food in their bowls and teach them how to behave properly in exchange for love and respect. Exactly like childrearing, right? Wrong. When it comes to the battle between Team Pet and Team Kid, just 10 reasons should be more than enough to convince you to go for the former.

1. Luxury of choice. Looking for a tawny beagle with bottomless eyes and the can-do attitude of Lassie? No problem! With pets, you can get exactly what you're looking for without relying on the limitations of your gene pool.

2. No stretch marks. Adopting an animal has a minimal effect on a woman's waistline.

3. Uninterrupted social life. Go on, have fun. The dog can take care of himself tonight.

4. No talking. A stray bark or meow is music to the ears compared to the ramblings of an energetic toddler.

5. Modest budget. Dogs and cats won't ask for designer clothing or the new iPhone.

6. Remote control. They'll also never ask to watch Barney or a Justin Bieber video.

7. Limited education. No need to filter half your salary into a college fund.

8. Effective birth control. Teaching a hormonal teenager about safe sex is a precarious combination of wise words, a few condoms, and a prayer. Over on Team Pet, a couple of snips is enough to keep your pet safe and chaste.

9. Instant heat source. Who needs a significant other when you can just cuddle up to your buddy on a chilly night?

10. Loyalty. Bottom line, your pet will never question your authority, call you to bail him out of jail, or run off and get married. What more could you ask for?

For more animal insight, visit

Subscribe to the Lifestyle email.
Life hacks and juicy stories to get you through the week.