Dog Vs. Infant: Who's the Bigger "Baby?"

Dog vs. BabyDog vs. BabyEach and every year we get a Christmas card from a childless couple that proudly features their two wiener dogs, usually sporting some type of wacky outfit. You know why those dogs are front and center on the Christmas cards? Because they're like kids to that couple. Before I had kids, I definitely considered Briggs (my chocolate Lab) to be my child. But now that I've got like 14 of them, I no longer consider Briggs to be my child. A member of the family, to be certain, but not my child.

Still, I totally get why many view their pets as children. And, what's more, it has recently occurred to me that dogs and infants really are a lot alike. Which begs the question: who has the advantage? Dogs or infants?

Oral fixationsOral fixationsOral Fixations
Dog: Despicable package lapping with a tongue that doubles as some type of nutsack Zamboni. And just an FYI -- that picture does NOT do it justice -- he licks that thing like it owes him money.
Infant: When not chewing on his toys, he often tries to fit his entire hand in his mouth.
Advantage: Infant

Dog: Once per day, relegated to outdoor area so Caroline won't freak over the mess despite the fact there is none.
Infant: Several times per day, relegated to highchair to minimize mess, over which Caroline never freaks despite the fact it's legendary.
Advantage: Dog, but only because he helps clean up after the baby by eating whatever falls on the floor.

Related: 9 animal photos that will melt your heart

Waste ContainmentWaste ContainmentWaste Containment
Dog: Bagging etiquette means that one half of one millimeter of plastic is all that separates you from your dog's robust effort. (Side note -- hard to look cool on a run when you're holding bag of dog sh!t, y'all. Though at least it keeps your hand warm on those cold-morning gallops.)
Infant: Easy-to-roll-up diaper. I'll let y'all argue over whether those should be cloth or disposable. But there's no arguing over this.
Advantage: Infant

Dog: Despite the fact he's ten, our dog still derives great entertainment out of chasing (and occasionally chewing) his tail.
Infant: Easily entertained by any number of toys.
Advantage: Dog (Unlike many toys, our dog's tail doesn't make obnoxious, high-pitched noises.)

Dog: Occasional show-stopping efforts of astonishing repulsion, brought upon by eating human food. Or garbage. Or grass.
Infant: Ever-present, drool-type substance, often shooting forcibly from mouth, brought upon by the Law of Inevitability.
Advantage: Infant for two reasons: 1) it's never as gross as dog vomit and 2) who could be mad at a face like that?
By the way, I'm totally sorry for that picture. Truly.

Related: 10 ways my dog has prepared me for a baby

Dog: Gets a bath every time my wife threatens to leave me because of "how gross your dog smells." But he hates baths (yet we can't keep him out of our pool?), so I have to tether him to the trailer hitch of my vehicle.
Infant: Gets a bath every day, and it's truly a joy to give him one.
Advantage: Infant. (And, honey, please leave me alone about Briggs. He's a dog. He smells. Get on with it.)

Method of CommuncationMethod of CommuncationMethod of Communication
Dog: Barks at the door incessantly, which forces you to stop what you're doing and open it.
Infant: Daytime: makes adorable cooing sound which forces you to stop what you're doing and love on him. Nighttime, makes piercing cry which forces you to stop what you're doing (sleeping) to see what's the matter.
Advantage: Dog. (Unless he's pulling that outdoor-barking sh!t at midnight, then it's a real thinker...)

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HeadshotHeadshotJohn Cave Osborne is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on such sites as Babble, TLC, YahooShine and the Huffington Post. John went from carefree bachelor to father of four in just 13 months thanks to marrying a single mom then quickly conceiving triplets. He chronicled the experience in his 2010 memoir Tales from the Trips. He and his wife, Caroline, are expecting their fifth child, Grande Finale Osborne, this July.

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