Why a pet is better than a man

Jan 23, 2013 at 6:38 p.m. ET

To say that pet mamas are passionate about their pets is an understatement. They're like our children, and sometimes they're even a substitute for male companionship.

Happy woman with dog

Unlike our men, our furry friends never have a hard time expressing their feelings, and they always literally come running when we call. We're sorry fellas, but with a devoted dog or purring pussycat at home, who needs a boyfriend?


They're faithful

Kelly Diedring Harris, "Queen of the Jungle" and pet lifestyle expert for the nationally-syndicated Daytime talk show, has two rescue dogs — Rocky and Vino — and a parrot named Simon who unfortunately hates her husband. "It's pretty hilarious," she says of how her bird taunts her poor hubby. While Simon's feathers get ruffled over the other man in her life, Kelly knows he's just being protective and adds, "Pets are 100 percent loyal, 100 percent of the time. What man can top that?"

Pet care and lifestyle specialist Charlotte Reed is also a proud pet mama with five dogs, two cats and, yes, a parrot. Of her dogs' loyalty, she says, "Even though they sniff around, they're never unfaithful." While Charlotte is happily married, she teaches a class called "Find the Pet Lover of Your Dreams" to help women find a compatible, pet-loving companion.


They keep us cool,
calm and collected

Kelly points out that while pets are scientifically proven to relieve stress and lower blood pressure, boyfriends typically do the exact opposite. "I'm always telling my husband how much easier my life was when I was just taking care of my animals."


They actually
like our cooking

hungry pug

"Our pets are excited every single day to eat exactly what we feed them," Kelly coos. On the other hand, "boyfriends complain about pretty much everything — including our cooking."

Charlotte says a former boyfriend once told her her dishes were "too fancy," and he preferred his mother's tuna casserole. "So I told him to go home and let her cook it for him!" But her pooches would never turn down her yummy leftover steak, roast chicken or pork loin.


They just
wanna cuddle

Kelly observes that while dogs and cats lick your face and just want love and cuddles in return, boyfriends always want more than "just a cuddle."

On a typical Friday night, Charlotte says she loves to snuggle on the couch with her dogs, watching chick flicks like Sandra Bullock's Two Weeks Notice and While You Were Sleeping. "I talk them through the movies, and eventually they fall asleep."


They're always
happy to see us

"When you've had a bad day, pets always lighten the mood and make you smile," says Kelly. "[But] boyfriends are probably the reason you've had that bad day to begin with!"

Charlotte agrees. "Whenever they see me, my dogs wiggle their whole bodies or jump on my leg with excitement that I'm home. If I have had a bad day, their enthusiasm makes me forget it instantly."

More on dogs

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Deciphering your dog's body language
Practicing Gratitude: Infertility and a puppy