I am not talking about spoiling your pet, I am sure we are all guilty of that at one time or another, I am referring to treating your pet like a human child with expectations of that pet acting very much like a human. One of the most common "tricks" that some owners like to do is teach their dog or cat to "speak."
"I love you," is the most common phrase that is captured on video and put on YouTube and AFV, that dogs whine out. Dogs are not alone, cats can utter sounds that to us could be a phrase or word.
Speaking is just one step towards the pet being treated like a human child, some pet owners even go as far as acquiring a small primate and dressing it up, buying personalized baby gifts for their "child" and even throwing elaborate birthday parties.
The problem with all of this is that pets will not react as human children do. Pets will react as their instincts tell them to. To treat an animal with the same expectations as we expect of a human child would be a disservice to that animal.
So why do people treat animals like children? There are a few explanations. One would be that they want a substitute for the human child they never had or to replace a human child they had lost. Another explanation would be to copy something they have seen on TV or to copy how someone they know treats their pet. The last explanation would be that the trend is slowly becoming more acceptable to our society. I remember when dressing up your dog was limited to the 5 year old child having fun, not the current trend of buying elaborate costumes for special occasions and then taking out your pet to show it off.
Whatever the reasons, people need to keep in mind that their pet might react in a way that they did not expect it to when being treated like a child.