Has anyone ever told you that pet parents are not moms or dads? We could not disagree more! A fur parent or a pet parent is defined as a human owning a pet. It’s as simple as that. Although pet parents are not the biological parents, there’s no reason for us not to embrace our inner pet parent.

Qualities of a good pet owner are not any different from being a good human parent because responsible pet ownership entails having deep connections with our pets, as well as providing proper care, guidance and nutrition throughout our pet’s life.

pet parenting tips bow and wow

source: @lokiandlassie

If you’re wondering how to be a responsible pet parent, especially if you’re a new pet parent, here’s a list of don’ts of being a pet parent:

  1. Don’t Leave Your Pet Alone for too Long

Cats and dogs are just like us; they crave for human interaction and companionship too! Pets need our attention and help to do certain things. If they are left alone for too long, they could get separation anxiety, which could lead to more serious behavioral issues (e.g. destroying furniture, running away, etc.).

Here’s a guide to help you know how long is too long:

Age of Dog

Maximum period that a dog 
should be left for during the day

Mature dogs
over 18 months of age

Up to 4 hours at a time during the day

Adolescent dogs 
5 – 18 months

Gradually build up to 4 hours at a time during the day

Young puppies 
up to 5 months of age

Should not be left alone for long periods during the day

  1. Don’t Hurt Your Pet

Accidents are inevitable when you have pets around the house, because pets will always have a natural instinct to run, bite and chew and do other things that will make you shake your head. When this happens, always remember that positive reinforcement is key to teaching your pet. Yelling won’t get you anywhere, and the worst thing you could do as a pet parent is to instill fear and pain through physical punishment. It won’t help! 

If the crime was already committed, there’s no point reprimanding your pet. It will only cause confusion to your pet and frustration on your end, because pets don’t connect events like we do.

Addressing such issues will require you to watch carefully for the next time it happens and act only while the action is being done. Another option is to revert your pet’s attention to something else and reward him after with either affection or a small treat.

It would be advisable to find out why your pet behaves in such manner and find a proper way to address the issue.

  1. Don’t Let Your Pet Walk YOU

This is most applicable to dog parents. Dogs get over-excited when going outside, so when you take your furbaby out for a stroll, ensure that your dog is not exerting dominance over you by pulling you anywhere and everywhere he pleases. Instead, let him walk or run alongside you. This show that he is submissive to you, his pet parent. 

  1. Don’t Give Human Medicine

Some pet parents diagnose and give their pets the same medicines they take. Just like in anything, always consult your veterinarian first before giving your pet human medicine. You wouldn’t want to risk giving your pet something that might upset his condition any further.

  1. Don’t Forget to Socialize Your Pet

It’s very important to socialize your pet while he’s young; ideally, 3-12 weeks for dogs and 2-8 weeks for cats. This is just as important as providing proper nutrition and regular checkups. Lack of proper socialization poses an injury risk to others and could lead to behavioral problems.

  1. Don’t Assume Your Pet Doesn’t Need a Leash

Many pet parents love to detach their pet’s leash in public thinking that their pet won’t stray away. However, remember that you’re not alone. There are several other people passing by or simply hanging out in the same place, but don’t share the same love for pets like you do. If the park you’re in isn’t a designated pet area, best to keep your pet on a leash to avoid distressing others around you.



Qualities of a good pet owner or pet parent aren’t hardwired in us, making it more difficult to become a truly responsible pet parent. Knowing the don’ts of pet parenting will help you raise a well-mannered and healthy pet. Remember that takes a lot of time and effort to truly become true fur parents.

Gone are the days you ask everyone how to be a good pet parent or how to be a good pet owner. Being a responsible pet parent will never be an easy job, but it’s something that should be aimed. Qualities of a good pet owner requires a lot of hard work, patience and a whole lot of unconditional love to develop even further.