Commenters were quick to offer their opinions to one mother after she explained why she won’t let her adult son bring another pet into their home.
In a viral Reddit post published to the platform’s r/AmITheA**hole forum, Redditor u/crystalpalacequeen detailed the battle between she and her 18-year-old son and asked the popular subreddit’s 3.5 million members if she is wrong for preventing him from getting a dog. Titled, “AITA for not letting my son get at dog?,” the post has received over 9,700 votes and 1,000 comments in just eight hours.
Writing that she and her son live in a condo with two cats that they have had for 10 years, the Redditor said that two months ago, her son announced he was getting a dog — but his plan was short lived.
In their original post, u/crystalpalacequeen provided multiple reasons for not allowing her son to bring a dog into their home.
While explaining that both she and her son work, meaning her son’s dog would be stuck inside for at least nine hours per day, the Redditor said her homeowner’s association only allows homeowners to have two pets and questioned the 18-year-old’s ability to care for a pet.
“When one of the cats recently had a UTI, I asked him to give her a dose or two of her antibiotics when I was not home,” she wrote. “He refused.”
“He’s unwilling to care for the pets we already have,” she added.
Since the beginning of the global pandemic in March, 2020, homes across the United States have opened their doors to new pets at higher rates than before its onset. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 23 million households adopted a new pet during the pandemic.
Last week, The Washington Post reported that the boom in pet adoption has caused another boom in the pet ownership economy. According to the report, American pet owners spent $21.4 billion on non-medical pet products during the pandemic, and an additional $28.4 billion on dog food alone.
The Washington Post also reported that dog-walking and boarding platforms like Wag and Rover reported new waves of customers and increased earnings, and that BarkBox, a subscription pet food and toy service, saw a 39 percent increase in membership and a stunning 130 percent increase in revenue “between April and September compared with the same period in 2020.”
Despite ASPCA polls that show 90 percent of dogs and 85 percent of cats adopted during the pandemic have remained in their adopted homes, concerns over hastily adopted pets and “pandemic puppies” arose as animals were returned to shelters across the country.
Census numbers at shelters are climbing, and pet trainers and behaviorists are overwhelmed with requests for assistance with unruly animals. This, according to Scientific American, is a result of unprepared pet owners. In an article titled “Home Alone: The Fate of Postpandemic Dogs,” Jessica Pierce and Marc Bekoff, co-authors of A Dog’s World: Imagining the Lives of Dogs in a World without Humans, explained that “living with a dog is a whole heck of a lot harder than meets the eye and that Instagram photos of dogs doing cute things have very little connection to the actual responsibility of caring for an intelligent, emotionally intricate animal with complex social needs.”
Although u/crystalpalacequeen did not specify whether the potential of cute Instagram photos was motivation for her son wanting a dog, she did describe his volatile reaction when she told him he could not have a dog in her home.
“He says he prefers to be homeless with a dog than live under my oppression,” the Redditor wrote.
Redditors commenting on the viral post latched onto this reaction. In a comment that has received 5,000 votes, Redditor u/innocentsubterfuge said that the original poster’s son was free to choose a dog over his home, and called out the 18-year-old’s treatment of cats.
“That offer is always on the table!,” they wrote, responding to OP’s son.
“Also, what are the odds he wanted your cat to die so he could get a dog?,” they asked.
Some Reddit users commenting on the viral thread echoed those sentiments, and wondered if the refusal to administer the cat’s UTI medication was an attempt to make room for a dog in the future. Others, like Redditor u/Zagriel55, said that because both u/crystalpalacequeen and her son are full-time employees, they won’t have the necessary time to properly care for a puppy.
“Your son doesn’t realize the responsibility a dog entails,” they wrote. “There’s been a ton of studies that show dogs shouldn’t be left alone for more than 6 hours at a time. Dogs can develop a range of behavioral issues if left alone too long.”
Redditor u/shamelessseamus, who agreed with the original poster that she should not exceed the number of allowed pets in her condo, said adding a dog would create chaos, and warned the Redditor’s son that life changes when you move out of your mother’s house.
“It’s a condo with 2 cats, adding even another cat, let alone a dog, would be too many for a small place,” they commented. “Adios, kid… Gimmie a call when you realize how much harder it is out there.”