The Great Dog Mom Backlash [Why Dog Moms Deserve A Break…And More Respect]

As if the world doesn’t have enough to be preoccupied with — skyrocketing inflation, unchecked bigotry, racism, and of course your run of the mill plague pestilence and disease — apparently the latest group to be unfairly targeted and criticized are women dog owners.

Well “dog moms” to be more specific. Need proof?  Just peruse your social media feed and compare the number of “you’re not a parent!” or “stop taking that dog everywhere” comments directed at female dog owners verses their male counterparts.

You are far more likely to find more ooo’s and aaah’s posted on a man’s pup loving page than criticisms.

Meanwhile, your average dog mom on social media has more “you’re so [selfish, pathetic, empty],” “that dog is not your child”, “you’re not a mom”, etc comments and DMs than she knows what do it with.

So what gives?

Common Misconceptions About Dog Moms

I seriously had no idea there was such a miserably toxic backlash of a movement against dog moms when I adopted Coco over 15 years ago.  And I still wasn’t aware of it when I first started blogging. But over the last 18 months or soI’ve seen more than my fill of negative comments on my fellow dog mom social media feeds. And the general sentiment seems to be centered around anger at the actual title of dog mom.

It’s like people think all women who call themselves dog moms are delusional, cold and honestly a little bit dim — taking their love for their pet to unreasonably unhealthy extremes.

Why do people dislike when women call themselves dog moms? Image Description: A large black dog looks confusingly at the camera while laying on a bed while his female owner sits next to him with a laptop.

Is it possible some dog lovers are a bit fanatical?  Sure. But people also go a little nuts over their cats or their plant collections.  Others can’t get enough of traveling or weightlifting or their shoe closet.  That doesn’t mean they’re bad people. It just means they’re passionate about something.

Even more disturbingly, there’s this weird misconception that if a woman calls herself a dog mom she hates children or automatically never wants to have any kids of her own.  Ummm no. So let’s set the record straight.

No dog mom anywhere believes she pushed out that puppy, okay?  We all know where puppies come from.

Yes, I love my dogs. No, I don’t think raising dogs is the same as raising an actual human.  I’m not responsible for turning my dog into a morally responsible, trustworthy, contributing member of society.  

I, like many self proclaimed dog moms, use the title more as an amusingly affectionate term of endearment to express how much I adore the furry members of my family.  And let’s be frank, since when is it wrong to love another living thing?

Why Some Women Opt For Dogs Instead Of Children

The better question is why does anyone, male or female,  adopt a dog?  Why do we have this enhanced focus when it comes to women, dogs and motherhood?  

Because truth be told the reasons are endless.  Maybe they just love animals. Maybe they just love dogs? Maybe they’ve opted for companionship in the form of a dog as they haven’t yet settled into a stable career, relationship or living situation. It’s pretty easy to apartment hop with a pug — kinda harder to uproot an entire family.

Not to mention the fact that you are just as likely to find moms to real live humans who call themselves dog moms as well.

Just because a woman calls herself a dog mom doesn’t mean she hates kids or doesn’t want children of her own. Image Description: An expecting mother sits on the floor with her dog while holding his paw.

The Most Important Question About Dog Moms

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, since when is a woman’s life decisions anyone else’s business anyway?  When did a woman’s value become intrinsically tied to her motherhood status?

What about women who physically cannot have children?  Or those who aren’t ready for children yet?  Are they any less because they are navigating through life’s current challenges as best as they can?

How about instead of lashing out we all decide to treat each other with a little more grace and a little less malice?

Or better yet, why don’t we heed the words of the late comedic treasure, Betty White who said,  “I don’t know how people get so anti-something. Mind your own business. Take care of your own affairs, and don’t worry about other people so much.”