Being a dog mom is like running a marathon, except you’re carrying a bag of treats and a poop bag the whole time.
And being a black dog mom? It’s like running that marathon with ankle weights on.
But you know what? We’re up for the challenge.
I’ve got three human kids, two furry kids, and a husband who sometimes needs more attention than the dogs.
I may not have it all figured out, but I’ve definitely learned a thing or two about being a black dog mom.
Dogs don’t care about your looks, even if you’re covered in enough dog hair to knit a sweater.
And being a black dog mom just adds a little extra spice to the mix.
There will be laughter, there will be tears, and there will be plenty of adorable dog photos.
Are you ready?
This post is all about being a black dog mom.
Topics We’re Discussing
What it means to be a dog mom?
Being a dog mom means constantly being covered in fur, having a built-in excuse for being late (blame it on the dog!), and having a loyal and loving companion who always greets you with a wagging tail and slobbery kisses.
But it also means taking on the responsibilities of parenthood, like training, feeding, and ensuring your pup’s overall well-being.
It means being willing to sacrifice your time, money, and sanity for the sake of your furry child.
And most importantly, it means having a best friend who will never judge you for eating an entire pizza by yourself or wearing the same sweatpants for three days straight.
Being the Black Sheep of the Dog Park
Being a black dog mom comes with its own unique set of challenges.
We’ve got to break down stereotypes and prove to the world that we can handle these furballs just as well as anyone else.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my furry companions just as much as any other dog owner, but being a black woman plays a significant role in how I view and interact with my pets.
It’s like I’m living in a parallel universe, with societal expectations and stereotypes telling me how to raise my dogs, and my own cultural background and identity pushing back.
The idea of “respectability politics” as a dog mom.
“Respectability politics” is a fancy way of saying that I feel like I have to present my dogs as well-trained and well-behaved.
Not only do we have to deal with the usual challenges of training and caring for our fur babies, but we also have to contend with the pressure to be a positive representation of black dog ownership.
Now, let me make one thing clear – all dogs should be well-behaved in public, especially around small children and babies.
And maybe some of these feelings of pressure to have well-behaved dogs are coming from my own desire to be a responsible dog mom.
I mean, I don’t want to be the lady with the out-of-control dogs, no matter what color I am.
But let’s also acknowledge the elephant in the room: America’s history with race and dogs is, well, ruff.
From being hunted by dogs during slavery to being attacked by police dogs during the Civil Rights Movement, it’s understandable that we might feel some extra pressure to keep our dogs in check.
It’s like we’re carrying the weight of all those stereotypes on our shoulders, and it’s a lot to bear.
So forgive us if we’re a little extra diligent when it comes to our fur babies.
We’re just trying to make sure they’re not adding to the problem.
Lack of representation and resources for black pet owners.
Being a black dog mom isn’t just about societal pressures and community responsibilities.
It’s also about navigating the unique challenges of being a black pet owner.
For instance, there’s a lack of representation, respect, and resources for black pet owners.
Historically, black women have not always had the best experience with healthcare professionals, and it’s no secret that our pets can face similar issues.
I recently wrote a post about how I survived Black Maternal Health Week, which highlighted the disparities and complications that black women face in childbirth.
I mean, I didn’t birth my fur kids (thank God for that), but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the best of the best when it comes to their health and wellness.
And let me tell you, finding a vet who takes me seriously and understands my dog mom needs has been like finding a needle in a haystack (since we returned to our home state).
I trek 30 minutes to take my precious fur babies to the vet, even though there’s a location of the same practice just five minutes away.
Because every time I brought them in for a check-up, I wasn’t being taken seriously and felt like I had to micromanage.
They were constantly charging me for things that were supposed to be done during their last visit, and then tacking on extra fees to correct their own mistakes.
I’d rather drive the extra distance than risk getting taken for a ride by veterinary staff who don’t respect my wallet or the health and wellness of my fur kids.
Golden Retriever? But You’re Black!
Oh boy, where do I even start with the silly things I’ve heard as a black woman owning a Golden Retriever?
It’s like people think I’ve got a unicorn on a leash.
They’ll come up to me and say things like, “Oh my gosh, I didn’t know black people owned Golden Retrievers!”
Or, “That’s a white person’s dog, what are you doing with it?”
Seriously? Last time I checked, dogs don’t discriminate based on skin color.
But you know what, I don’t let it phase me.
In my previous post, “What It’s Like Owning A Golden Retriever As A Black Person,” I talked about how much I love my big, goofy Golden Retriever and how he brings so much joy to my life.
Sure, some people might think it’s strange for a black person to own a Golden Retriever, but I think it’s just another way of challenging societal “norms.”
Breaking Down Dog Breed Stereotypes
It seems like every time I turn around, someone is asking me if my Golden Retriever is secretly half Pit Bull because, you know, that’s what black people are “supposed to have.”
(Admittedly, that was my intention for my first dog, because I’m vertically challenged and felt better with a guard dog.)
But whether you’ve got a Pit Bull or a Poodle, it’s all about the bond you share with your furkid.
And let’s not forget about the health benefits.
Studies have shown that owning a dog can lower stress levels and improve cardiovascular health.
So really, it doesn’t matter what kind of dog you have, as long as you love them and they love you back.
From Dog Fighting to Love and Redemption
My first dog, Cody was a Pit Bull/Boxer mix that I rescued from the SPCA.
(Basically, he really was a walking stereotype.)
He had been trained for dog fighting and spent most of his life in and out of the shelter.
But you know what? He was the sweetest, most loving dog I’ve ever met.
I wasn’t even planning on adopting a dog that day.
I was still a college student living on campus, for crying out loud.
But when I met Cody at the shelter, it was love at first sight.
And when he somehow managed to unlock his cage and follow me out, I knew it was fate.
Now, I won’t lie, those first few months were tough.
Cody had a lot of rehabilitation to go through, but the became a big brother to our firstborn, Mya, and he even took on the role of nap buddy, laying next to her crib so she was never alone.
He lived to be 13 years old, and he was the best dog a girl could ask for proving that stereotypes don’t mean a thing when it comes to the love and loyalty of a dog.
This post was all about life as a black dog mom.
Being a black dog mom is no easy feat.
But you know what?
We’re like the pit bulls of the dog mom world.
We’re breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes, one wagging tail at a time.
Being a black dog mom isn’t just about owning a furry companion – it’s a way of life.
It’s about educating our communities and being a positive representation of black dog ownership.
It’s about facing the challenges head-on and coming out the other side with a slobbery kiss and a wagging tail.
It’s a representation of a strong, loving, and responsible dog parent who is also a Black woman.
And that, my friends, is something to be proud of.
For the extended and unedited version of today’s post, follow us on my dogs’ Instagram.
Other posts you may like:
- What It’s Like Owning A Golden Retriever As A Black Person
- Why A Prayer Walk with Your Dog is So Powerful
- Why Off the Leash Dog Training Was the Smartest Decision