From Pet Owner to Pet Parent: The Evolution of Our Furry Relationships - Part 1

Our relationship with domesticated animals goes back to the hunting and gathering days, and several researchers believe the first animals we domesticated were dogs, dating 15,000 years ago.

Fast forward to today, and we now keep pets for companionship and protection. However, the relationship between pet owners and their furry companions has become deeper and more meaningful. Many modern-day pet owners call themselves “pet parents.”

This deeper emotional bond between pet owners and their pets can be seen in various aspects of our lives. From how we refer to them as our “fur babies” to the special diets, personalized clothing, and even birthday celebrations we plan for them.

The Language Shift: Owner to Parent

The shift from using the word “owner” to “parent” is no coincidence. This language shift reflects how pets are integrated into our families and homes, becoming more than mere possessions. While it may seem like a simple change in terminology, referring to ourselves as pet parents instead of owners profoundly impacts how we view and treat our furry companions.

Calling yourself a “pet parent” to your furry companion captures the emotional investment you have in your pets. As a pet parent, you’re responsible for their well-being and happiness, just like a parent is to their child. You provide them with love, care, and attention, and they become an integral part of your family.

Some people see “pet parenthood” as a trivialization of actual parenthood, but experts believe otherwise. In Sarah Hrdy’s book Mothers and Others, she mentioned that humans are cooperative breeders. This trait means that it’s in our DNA to care for offspring even if they’re not our own or, in this case, from a different species.

Understanding the Emotional Connection

Like parenting a human child, pet parents must empathize with their pets. Our furry buddies can’t communicate with words. As pet parents, we must learn to read and understand our pets’ emotions through their body language, behavior, and vocalizations.

Human’s commensal relationship with animals goes beyond mere domestication. We often turn to our pets for emotional support and companionship. Our furry friends provide unconditional love, comfort, security, and a sense of purpose. This two-way emotional connection between humans and animals solidifies the bond, making our pets more than just “pets.”

As pet parents, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our pets are physically and emotionally well-cared for. Understanding their emotional needs and responding to them appropriately is crucial in nurturing a healthy and happy relationship with your pet.

The Rise of Personalized Pet Care

Part of being a responsible pet parent is fulfilling your pet’s proper diet and nutritional requirements. Like humans, pets have different nutritional needs based on age, breed, and overall health. Pet parents often seek out specialized diets, such as grain-free or raw food diets, to ensure their pets receive nutritious meals.

Pet parents care deeply about the holistic wellness of their pets, like parents do for their children. Whether taking them for daily walks, providing puzzle toys to keep their minds sharp, or scheduling playdates with other furry friends, pet parents always look for ways to keep their pets happy and healthy.

Some fur parents even take personalized pet care to the next level by purchasing individualized healthcare plans for their pets. This healthcare plan covers everything from routine check-ups to unexpected medical needs, ensuring that pets receive the best care.

The Influence of Social Media

As the pet parenthood movement becomes more prominent in many societies worldwide, an online community of like-minded pet parents has also emerged. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok are filled with content created by pet parents showcasing their pets’ daily lives.

These platforms allow pet parents to share stories, seek advice, and build support networks with other pet parents and are where they can celebrate their pets’ milestones and connect with others who understand the joys and challenges of being a fur parent.

The influx of pet-related content on social media platforms has also led to the rise of pet influencers. Pet influencers could be actual pets or their owners. These pet influencers often share products and pet parenting tips and even promote causes related to pet parenting, shaping trends in this niche industry.


Throughout history, the evolution of pet parenting is evident. Our relationship with pets has become more profound, from domestication to modern-day pet ownership. Caring deeply for pets is ingrained in human nature.

As pet parents, we have a unique bond with our furry companions that goes beyond words. Our pets bring us unconditional love, joy, and comfort in ways that only they can. Adopting and caring for a pet means taking on the lifelong role of being a pet parent. Our next blog will explore the challenges of this role, the responsibilities, and joys that are part of the journey that strengthens our bond with our pets.

If you need help maintaining a clean and safe environment for your furry companion, our team at Scoop Soldiers will cover the frontlines for you. We offer professional pet waste removal services to keep your yard clean and germ-free. Contact us today for more information.