What Your Level of Pet Obsession Says About You

Sarah Marcus, Staff Writer

It is common knowledge that people love their pets. I’m sure everyone has experienced their fair share of looking at pictures of other people’s pets, responding with the usual “Awww” or “They’re so cute!” To be fair, some animals are truly adorable. Most pets rightfully deserve the praise and compliments they get on a day to day basis. But in some cases, people are downright captivated by their pets. If you think you might suffer this obsession, this scale can help you determine how much pet fever you suffer from.

1: Not Obsessed

This level is for two types of people: the ones that have bad pets or the ones who are bad people. You may find yourself in this position if you haven’t been able to intimately connect with your pet. At this stage, you like your pet, yet do the bare minimum to keep them around. 

If you don’t affectionately greet your pet at least once a day, give it treats, or pet it, this is where you belong. A level 1 pet obsession is not necessarily a bad thing, but there is a fine line between obsession and compassion. Just remember, if you are placing yourself in this category- go give your pet a hug. 

2: Slightly Obsessed

Let’s imagine an instance in which you are showing someone pictures of your pets. Theoretically, your friend says “Eh. Your dog’s not that cute.” If you feel yourself starting to turn red, if a fit of rage and anger starts to control you, it is safe to say you are slightly obsessed with your pet. When any comment about your pet starts to feel like a personal attack to you as the owner, you are beginning to form a bond that could lead to higher levels of attachment. Another sign you are starting to have a problem can be figured out by the type of food your pet eats. If it’s just normal pet food, you should be good. Yet if your pets eat many scraps of human food or eat different meals from other pets entirely, it will start to become an issue. If you are still not sure this is you, the simple question of “Where does your pet sleep?” will determine that right away. If the answer is right next to you in your human bed, keep moving up the list. If the answer is in a dog bed in the close vicinity, you may find your place at level 2. Even if you are staying here, just be careful. If you go down this track any further, you may find yourself in circumstances right before obsession. 

3: Obsessed

The first sign you have a level 3 pet obsession depends on your answer to one simple yes or no question: Does your pet own any items of clothing? If the answer is no, you can scroll back to level 2. If the answer is yes, you may have come to terms with your pet infatuation. Something I’ve learned from my dog is that most pets prefer not to ever wear clothes in their lifetime, but that’s a discussion for another day. The second sign you are at a level 3: the way your pet spends their birthday. If you treat this day just like any regular day, because as we all know, pets don’t know their birthdays, you should be fine. But if your pet has attended any birthday parties, eaten any special birthday treats, or received ANY form of birthday presents, it is safe to assume that there is a reason for concern. Let it be known, this does not apply for just birthdays. If your pet celebrates any holiday, perhaps has their own stocking under a certain tree, or has been an active participant in a doggy wedding, I think you can qualify for this level of obsession too. Pets aren’t people, just remember that.

4: Pretty Obsessed

If you have a few more friends than just your pet and can spend at least a day without seeing your cute companion you have passed the first test. But, let me ask you this. If I looked through your camera roll, are more than half the photos of your pet? When someone scrolls through your instagram feed, will they be overwhelmed with action shots, sleeping pictures, or even selfies of your pet? If the answer is yes, we need to talk. And let me clarify: by talk, I mean in authentic, human voices; not the high pitched baby voices you most definitely conversate with your pet in. Don’t get me wrong, I have been guilty of using this voice once or twice. But if you find this squeal becoming a daily occurrence, just make sure to ask yourself: would you talk to a real baby this way? Remember: animals can get scared too. Finally, you should automatically place yourself in this category if any other human has already called you out on your pet obsession. If any friend or family member has told you that you constantly talk about your pet, number 4 is just the level for you. 

5: Unhealthily Obsessed

If you are inseparable from your pet, this category is the place for you. These people take the phrase “man’s best friend” a little too seriously. Let’s be real, if you constantly talk to your pet, take it everywhere you go, and revolve your entire life around it, you’re either crazy or really, really lonely. If your pet is your only friend, unfortunately, you’re a 5 on my list. My advice for you: identify that you have a problem. Unless your pet can talk, try to get a little human contact. Meet some new people, leave the house a little more, and let your pet experience a life of its own. Trust me, you won’t regret it.