At the weekend I was gently accused of being a helicopter dog mom. And it got me thinking, what exactly are the traits of a helicopter pet parent, and do I really exhibit them? So I did some research and this is what I’ve found out.
What is a Helicopter Dog Mom, Anyway?
We’ve all heard the term ‘helicopter mom’ applied to parenting a child. Helicopter moms, or dads, let’s be fair, hover over their child to protect them from all possible harm in an oftentimes misguided sense of saving them from the world.
Realistically we know this can do more harm than good. By over-protecting our kids, we can hinder their necessary life experiences that encourage growth, reliance, and personal development.
Well, it turns out a helicopter dog mom is the same, only applied to parenting your dog. A helicopter dog mom is an overprotective pet parent.
Signs You Are A Helicopter Dog Parent Too
If you’re wondering whether you also deserve the label of helicopter dog parent, then read on:
1. You kiss your dog goodbye before your kids when leaving the house.
2. When you return home, you check to make sure your dog didn’t miss you too much. That she has food, clean water, her bed looks comfy, and she has toys to occupy her, before hugging your kids.
3. Your dog stays inside the house when you go out. After all, it’s far too hot, too cold, or it might rain, for your precious pup to be left outside by herself.
4. You’ve purchased, painted, and built a large and good-looking dog kennel for when your dog will be left outdoors by herself. It looks good but so far it’s never been used. See above.
5. Every morning you make your bed around your dog who is still busy being snuggled up in your bed.
6. You’ve purchased dog booties to put on your dog for when she goes outside to potty in the mornings. Because, you know, the grass is wet in the morning.
7. Sunday afternoons are spent batch cooking your dog’s favorite meals for the week. You’ll lovingly sauté a collection of beef and chicken pieces along with steaming vegetables before portioning them up into just the right size and freezing them. Your dog is too precious to be feed grain kibble. No way!
8. You love perusing new and interesting dog treat recipes in your spare time so you can try them out at the weekend. Whole foods, plant-based sweet potato and pea dog treats are the best. Don’t forget the chickpeas and chia seeds, they really make it.
9. You’ve had your own personalized dog perfume designed for your darling dog. Now she smells just like a freshly laundered blanket you can enjoy having on your lap. No natural doggie odors allowed.
10. You spend $3,000 on a new dog sibling because you don’t want your fur baby getting lonely on the one day a week you leave the house without her for 3 hours.
11. Shortly after bringing home your new puppy, you discover your human child has a possible allergic reaction to dogs. You medicate your child, seek medical help, and finally settle on immunotherapy. This involves monthly injections for your child with the aim of desensitizing him to his allergy. Re-homing is not an option, your child loves living with you.
12. There’s a chair at the dining table that belongs to your dog. When the family sits down to eat, your dog has her meal too. Meal times together are important for family bonding.
13. You renovate your laundry to include a purpose-built pooch bath with adjustable jets for relaxation and a built-in dryer. Last year you didn’t have your princess so the renovation two years prior doesn’t count.
Does This Mean I’m A Helicopter Dog Mom?
It was my own dear dad who said I was a helicopter dog mom. I believe this is because he catches me watching over my dog while she happily and madly plays with my parents’ dog while visiting. And on occasion, I’ve tried to ensure my dad doesn’t trip over her. She is pretty small. He is not. He’s also 70. I wouldn’t want my puppy to get hurt.
So does this make me a helicopter dog mom? Reviewing the list, I only tick off 6 signs. I do love a good personalized perfume. And a little doggie brother would complete our family.
This morning, after the kids had been dropped off at school, my husband called out to me by way of goodbye, ‘I love you!’
He was taking the dog to her dog training class, complete with his little clip-on doggy bag filled with poop bags, dog treats, and a fold-out water bowl.
I yelled back, ‘I love you too Coco!’
Dad, perhaps I do deserve the label helicopter dog mom.