Am I a Helicopter Dog Parent? Ways I May Be Overprotective of Penny

The post Am I a Helicopter Dog Parent? Ways I May Be Overprotective of Penny by Savanna Stanfield appeared first on Dogster. Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Dogster.com.

Hi, I’m Savanna! Read my introduction to learn more about me and my spunky Chihuahua mix, Penny.

In case you aren’t familiar with the term, a “helicopter parent” is someone that tends to hover over their children, being overprotective or in some cases, over-invested, trying to control absolutely every aspect of their lives. While the term usually applies to human children, I think it’s possible to be a helicopter parent to a dog as well.

Why do I believe that? Well, because I think that sometimes I might be a helicopter dog parent to Penny. I can’t help it! She’s just so small and I feel like she needs protecting. After all, small dogs are a bit different than big dogs, and there are a lot more dangers they’re susceptible to.

My husband thinks there are definitely some areas where I am overprotective of Penny. But I’m someone that always thinks of the worst-case scenario, so I have to be prepared for anything. Then I stop to think, “Maybe I actually am just overthinking and overreacting.” Here are some ways in which I might be a helicopter dog parent, but I still think some of them are justified!

The 4 Ways I Might Be Overprotecting Penny:

1. I Don’t Let Strangers Pet Her… at All

Is this being a helicopter dog parent, or is this common sense? Penny is not what you would call a friendly dog… at least to people she doesn’t know. She’s very protective of her family, and she has shown her teeth before to people that have gotten too close to us while we’re out with her. Because of this, I don’t let strangers pet her at all.

I’m afraid she’s going to nip at somebody. Her bark is definitely worse than her bite, but if she nips at the wrong person, they may try to sue me or something, especially if there is a child involved. In the rare event that I do let someone pet her, I always give them a warning first that she doesn’t like strangers. But it’s better to be safe than sorry and just avoid letting people pet her altogether. I’m even thinking about getting her one of those harnesses or bandanas that says “do not pet.” Then if someone tries to pet her, it’s their own fault.

2. I Don’t Let Her Go Outside by Herself

Our street is not super busy with traffic, and she’s never once left our yard. All she does is just sit in the driveway and watch cars go by. But I still won’t let her go outside by herself. I think this is totally rational since our front yard doesn’t have a fence.

See Mom, I’m not going to run away.

But what may make me a bit of a helicopter dog parent is that I don’t like for her to go into our fully fenced backyard by herself either. She’s never once tried to escape from the backyard. But I don’t know, it just makes me uneasy thinking about her being out there all by herself, especially at night. We have hawks and owls in our neighborhood, and while hawks and owls attacking dogs is rare, it does happen.

I don’t think they could actually pick Penny up since she weighs 12 pounds. But to me, the possibility is still there. I might be overreacting a bit on this one.

3. I Don’t Let Her Get Too Far Away

When we take Penny on walks, I never let her get too far away from us. I keep her on a short leash, as they say, especially when strangers pass (refer back to number 1 on this list). It’s not just strangers though; I’m always afraid she’s going to be bitten by a snake or something. We’ve taken walks before in places where there were alligators, and while a hawk or owl likely won’t get her, an alligator genuinely might.

How do I know an alligator isn’t going to come out of there?

I do let her sniff things and explore a bit when we go on walks, but I try to keep her close to me at all times… I don’t think that’s crazy.

Sometimes I’ll be afraid that the walk is too long or it’s too hot, and I don’t want to overexert her or for her to get heatstroke, so I end up carrying her for half the walk. Is this an overreaction? Probably. But at least I know she’s safe.

4. I Cried When She Had Nasal Congestion

In my defense, I didn’t know that was what she had at the time. But one night, she started snorting and “snuffling” a lot, along with licking the air and shaking her head. She couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t sleep. This was a few months after we got her, and the first time she had shown any signs of something being wrong with her.

I was afraid she had something stuck in her nose or throat, so I sat up with her all night, crying at the fact that something was wrong with her and I didn’t know what to do to help her. The closest emergency vet to us is an hour away, but she was breathing just fine, so I decided that we would just take her to the vet in the morning.

When we took her to the vet, it turns out that I definitely overreacted. She had nasal congestion due to the changing of the seasons, just like humans get, and she was totally fine by the time we brought her home from the vet. The vet prescribed an antihistamine in case it happened again, so the next time it happened, I was a little more prepared.

I don’t think this incident was helicopter dog parenting, but more genuine concern, especially when I didn’t know any better at the time. But I’m glad we didn’t end up driving an hour to the emergency vet in the middle of the night.

Fine, I’ll just hover over you.

So Am I a Helicopter Dog Parent or Not?

I think that in some cases, I might be a helicopter dog parent. But the way I see it is that I’m protecting her since she’s so small. If Penny were a bigger dog, I might not act this way, and I think some of my reasons are totally justified. I do understand that dogs have been living on their own and fending for themselves for years. But my job as a dog parent is to provide love, comfort, and safety for Penny, so that’s all I’m trying to do. I think I have her best interests at heart even if I do overreact sometimes.

The post Am I a Helicopter Dog Parent? Ways I May Be Overprotective of Penny by Savanna Stanfield appeared first on Dogster. Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Dogster.com.

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