Top 5 Annoying Things That Pet Owners Do

No, and I don't want to know. Ever.

No, and I don’t want to know. Ever.

Given that I’ve been traveling recently, I have not been witness to the antics of my own pets. So now I’m forced to write about other people’s pets.

Writing about other people’s pets is like writing about other people’s children. It can be done, but it is not nearly as fascinating.

Let’s face it: No one is as interesting as your own pets or children. Yet most people don’t seem to understand this basic truth. Talking about your own pet or child is like talking about yourself — it is interesting only to others who have a large emotional investment.

Of course there are quite a few other annoying things that pet owners do. I’ve compiled a short list:

1. Use their pet’s picture as their Facebook profile picture.

Seriously? This is right up there with using your kid’s picture. Get. Your. Own. Identity.

2. Justify their pet’s annoying habits with pop psychology.

Your dog does not whine at the door because he was taken from his mother too early or he was the runt of the litter and thus has an inferiority complex. Your dog whines at the door because you haven’t trained him properly.

Your cat does not claw up your furniture in an act of passive aggression because she doesn’t like your new boyfriend/girlfriend. Your cat claws up your furniture because that is what cats do for fun.

3. Brag about the breed.

So you spent $5,000 on a pet. All that shows is what a doofus you are for making your pet a status symbol and not going to the local animal shelter to save a homeless animal. If you got a purebred pet so you could join that animal’s own special society, meet with other owners of the same breed and socialize with people who “understand” that breed, please see the last four words of #1.

4. Talk for their animal.

Although this is hours of fun for people who are emotionally involved with your pet, it is astoundingly boring for most people. I am not interested in your turtle’s musings about Hume. I’m not even interested in your musings about Hume. Telling me through your turtle doesn’t make it edgy and interesting.

5. Talk about their pet’s bowel movements.

It doesn’t matter if this is over dinner or not. I would rather not hear about your ferret’s litter box habits, how your cat drinks out of the toilet even though you’ve put out fresh water, or how your dog’s poop got all over the sidewalk because it was so runny. It is always gross. Always.

book-cover-smallest1Do any of these things annoy you? Did I annoy you? Let me have it in the comments section below. If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love Pets Adviser’s email newsletter. It’s free to sign up, and you’ll be among the first to get alerts about major pet food recalls. New subscribers also get instant access to our 40-page ebook — which has “secrets every cat and dog lover should know.” Learn more here.

From Around the Web

  • Seb

    May I add the annoying habit some people have of allowing their pets (cat or dog) to sit on a chair at the dining table. Fine when you are on your own, but not with guests.
    People who think it’s cute when their doberman tries to tear your leg off when you are out for a run.

    These same people always assure you that their dog doesn’t bite, until of course it does. Then you get “he’s never done that before, it must be your fault.” I’m sure we can all add more and more to this list.

  • Sarah Blakemore, RQE

    Hi Seb.

    Totally agree about the letting pets sit at the dining table. I love my dog, but jeez, at the table? Ewwww.

  • tenorboy

    So far I seem to have avoided the 5 + 1 annoying habits, but there are a few more:

    1. Owners who let their pets lick them. Gross.
    2. Owners who constantly talk about how lovely their pet is (I admit to this one; mine are special).
    3. Owners who let their pets up on kitchen benches or near the dinner table. Disgusting.
    4. Owners who think that letting their dog run the show is a good idea and kind to the pet. It’s not. Doggies are perfectly happy having their owner be the boss.

  • http://www.petsadviser.com/ Pets Adviser

    Tenorboy, people who let their dog lick their face would do well to remember this photo.

  • https://plus.google.com/104988258836273451724#104988258836273451724/about Eric Graham

    I really think this one is the most annoying (the funniest thing people do too) of all: using their pet’s picture as their Facebook profile picture. I’ve got a bunch of people on my list who do the same.

  • http://www.cool-small-pets.com Brankica

    It annoys me when I see all the purple ribbons, nail polish and fancy clothes on animals.
    I mean, buying a dog a hundred something dollar brand name jacket? Come on! If my dog needed a jacket I would probably get it in Walmart, cheap but still warm! It is not a baby no matter how much we love him.
    Anyway, just wanted to say that this post made me laugh, really good one.
    Although I have never done it before, since the puppy we are getting in two weeks was born I have had her pic on my FB profile :)

  • Flora

    I had fun reading your list. I mean, all of those happen every day, especially with most of my friends. They’re very guilty of #1 and #3. I also agree with Ms. Brankica about those posh and fancy get-ups of their pets. It’s so unbecoming. Do these cats or dogs even like the way they look?

  • Cuccioli Animali

    I’ve always let my cat eat from my dinner plate. He wants to taste everything I eat, even when it is something he usually dislikes. I find it nice and it is not harmful, so why not?

  • Seb

    A great idea, where has your cat’s mouth been, I wonder? A friend of mine used to do that until his cat came in with a rather rotten dead mouse. Cats do similar things to the dog in the photo posted by Pets Adviser; it’s just that they tend to lick themselves.

  • Anton

    I could go on and on about my ferrets’ (lack of) litter tray habbits; in fact… I’ll spare you! ;)

    LOL @ #4: These sorts would be talking about it anyway; just trying to shirk responsibility by having a pet as their muse!

  • Sarah Blakemore, RQE

    Thank you for sparing me the litter box habits. And thanks for the contributions for other annoying habits of pet owners – and I really like the self aware honesty from those who admit to doing some of the annoying things. There will be an updated list coming soon.

    One thing: Letting your cat eat off the same plate is gross. Please make some friends.

  • Cuccioli Animali

    I really don’t understand the connection between letting your cat eat off the dinner plate and having friends….
    Anyway my cat cannot leave the house so I’m quite sure he has never eat a rotten mouse! :-)

  • Mike Williams

    I have a dog and a cat but I never let them lick my face or even sit at the dinner table with us. I think that’s gross. I love my pets but there are other ways to show them that other than overly doing it. :-)

  • Anonymouse

    You strike me as the type of person who loves yammering on just to hear themselves talk. Especially with that uncalled for insult about how letting your pet eat off your plate equates to not having any friends. To me, that attitude was far more disgusting than knowing where kitty’s mouth has been. Case in point, an old mate of mine used to play wrestle with my cat when she was little when he visited. If there were food out and she got to it, we just joked about it and moved on. Something you should learn to do. Seriously.

  • http://enhance-your-memory.com/ How to improve your memory

    And what about when pet owners put their pets in these silly clothes? Thanks for sharing this fun-to-read post Sarah! I think it’s fun. I’ll check out your blog more often.

    Cheers!

    Chelsea