To all the mama’s of real kids out there, I’m sorry if this seems a bit silly or petty. But I created this blog with the intention of being honest and real, so here it goes. Dog mom guilt is something I feel when I leave Copper to go on a business trip or a vacation. Even though I trust that he is in good hands with my other half, a friend or family member, or the local vet. I still feel a little guilty.
I try to be super aware of my emotions and some of them I just take “as is”, but this is a feeling I’d like to dig a little bit deeper into.
Here are my theories for why I feel dog mom guilt and I hope that some of you dog parents can relate:
- We may have many friends, but our pups only have one. That’s me, for Copper, and I feel like a terrible friend when I leave him behind.
- The desire to make memories with my dog. I will always try to weasel my way into bringing Copper on any trip away from home. He is my best buddy and we have so much fun together. Bringing him along means an adventure is garunteed!
- Copper is a shelter dog. He was dumped at a shelter at six months old and I can imagine how confusing it must feel when I drop him off at the boarders. I never want him to think that I abandoned him.
So those are my theories for why I feel so much guilt as a dog mama, and here are my “solutions” to them. I hope that these answers will help bring you some relief as a dog parent, too.
- Since I am Copper’s main person, instead of feeling guilt over the time I’m away from him– I should focus on being present when I am with him. So often I am too busy on social media or texting on my phone, that I ignore how Copper is begging for my attention. Maybe if I cherished the time we had together, I wouldn’t feel so guilty when we are apart.
- It’s just as important to make memories with friends and family, as it is to make memories with Copper. He is a dog, after all, and he can be a distraction. He doesn’t allow me to be fully present with others while he is running around/begging/barking. I often stress out about making sure he doesn’t get out and runaway when we are on vacation together. All this distraction takes away from the quality time with my friends and family. It’s okay to leave him behind once in a while and make memories while bonding with the people I love.
- Copper was a shelter dog, but now he is an adopted dog in a loving home. He has been with me for years now and has been to the boarders multiple times. And each time, he gets picked up and goes back to his loving home again. The more I expose him to this cycle, the better off we will both be.
Have YOU ever experienced guilt as a dog parent?