Pet Parent Guilt Is Real: What Is It & How to Fix It?

Being a pet parent is both joyful and a blessing in itself, plus it’s a thrilling experience, but let’s face it, it’s not always easy and fun. Becoming a pet parent also comes with immense responsibility and a sense of duty to ensure our pets are happy and healthy! We have all experienced the feeling of guilt. Maybe it could be from believing that we’re not doing enough for our furry family members, or that there is always room to improve their welfare, somehow. Believe it or not, over 88% of pet owners have experienced it, so it’s very normal. Feeling guilty means you really love and care about them, so of course, you’d want the best for them! Today MyFriend will share what exactly is pet parent guilt, and how to have the power to cope, handle, and conquer this feeling!

What is pet parent guilt?

Pet parent guilt is like a hidden paw print in our hearts that makes us wonder if we’re doing everything right for our fur babies’ happiness. It deepens into a worry of not doing enough or spending enough time with them. Since we have committed ourselves to our companionship with our furry family members, we have our expectations and aspirations to become the best pawrents for them. But when reality hits and the normal life responsibility comes crashing down, we might have to leave the house more often, we might feel a sense of dread and sadness. We bend down and give them little pats, promising them that we will be getting back soon because at that moment, it’s all we can really do. Then during our commute, we can’t help but think of what they’re doing – how they’re holding up, and if they miss us at all. 

Reasons that pawrents usually feel guilty 

Pets are our family, so we have a sense of obligation to provide them with anything we’re capable of! The best possible love, care, and all the attention in the world if that’s even possible. But despite our best efforts, there are moments when we fall short. After all, we’re human and it’s natural to not be perfect all the time. Here are a few reasons why you might feel or sense Pet Parent Guilt. 

▶️ Leaving our fur baby alone at home for extended periods of time

▶️ Not spending time with them due to work and other responsibilities

▶️ Worrying about not giving enough love and affection

▶️ When they act bored, sad, or indifferent 

▶️ Accidentally stepping on them

▶️ Bringing another pet home

▶️ Not being able to provide a spacious environment and outdoor activities

▶️ Not being able to get them the best toys and accessories 

▶️ Not providing the highest quality foods and treats

▶️ Not detecting or addressing health issues early enough

▶️ Not providing adequate training for their behavioral issues

▶️ Second guessing decisions related to their health 

▶️ Getting impatient and angry

▶️ Fear of making mistakes or not living up to the unspoken standards 

How to overcome guilt?

Guilt is a natural but strong emotion. Despite all emotions serving a purpose and it being useful, sometimes as pet parents, we can be too hard on ourselves. It can be helpful, but anything in excess is harmful! If you find yourself experiencing immense Pet Parent Guilt, there are several ways you can cope with the guilt. Here are some of MyFriend recommendations for you! 🔽

✔️ Recognize your own effort

Acknowledge that you are doing your best as fur-parents. Despite the fact that guilt is a common emotion, you shouldn’t let it dictate how you view yourself as a caregiver. You’re trying your best, and you should take time to give credit to yourself! You’ve already started the first step which is acknowledging your guilt, now you have to calibrate and recognize your own efforts. Instead of feeling guilty, think about spending time with them when you have spare time.

✔️ Investigate and follow the advice

Discover your pet’s specific requirements, traits, and medical requirements. We’re pretty sure you’re doing this already, considering the fact that you’re reading this article! But if you want to give it the extra mile, speak with veterinarians, trainers, or other trusted sources to acquire reliable information and guidance. If you are informed, you’ll feel more qualified to make choices and give care.

✔️ Make quality time a priority

Make time available for interactions and activities with your little buddies and make quality time a top priority. Take walks, play with interactive toys, and give cuddles and kisses to strengthen your bond (but read your furry friend’s body language too). You should cherish the time you have together. Quality over quantity!

✔️ Ensure a safe and enriching environment

Make sure your pet has a stimulating physical and mental environment. Provide toys, a cozy home, and chances for play and discovery. The knowledge that you are actively enhancing their general happiness by participating in enrichment activities! Spending this time together and fully feeling connected can help you deal with the guilt. 

✔️ Install a camera 

Using a CCTV camera is a terrific method to help you feel less guilty if you’re out and about and feel bad that your paw buddy is home alone. Knowing that your buddy is possibly secure, content, and most likely just sleeping can help you feel better. They’re probably looking forward to it whenever you come back home! But remember, you have other life responsibilities as well, and we’re sure your pet knows that. 

✔️ Celebrate the joys

Celebrate the joys and enjoyment your pets bring to your life rather than just dwelling on your guilt. Spend some time appreciating the companionship and unconditional love they offer, since these satisfying moments can help offset any remaining guilt.

Pet parent guilt is a common feeling among pet lovers but doesn’t let this emotion overpower your joys of being a pawrents. Understanding the causes of your guilt, cultivating a positive outlook, prioritizing quality time, getting support, taking care of yourself, and accepting your flaws will help you put it behind you and completely appreciate the amazing journey that is pet parenthood. Embrace your affection for your pet, and go on this adventure together! 😻

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