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1 – The Know it All Pet Parent
This is the person who knows everything and shares their advice all day on social media. I’m convinced that this person secretly works for Facebook, otherwise, how do they find the time? What I love about the Know it All is that they will answer questions they perceive the OP (original poster) is asking, taking the conversation in an entirely new direction and arguing with anyone who wants to keep the discussion on track, including the OP. It’s pointless to argue with this person because they know it all.
I've learned a lot from the Know it All Pet Parent. Thanks to their participation in discussions and a few private back and forths, I've learned that it's best for me to be open to new information instead of assuming that there's nothing left for me to learn.
2 – The Tell it Like it Is Pet Parent
This is the person who feels the need to deliver a dose of honesty to every discussion, picture, and article share. They often preface their contribution to a discussion with a fake apology (I’m sorry, but I have to be an asshat) before being a complete tool. We often see this when people break the news that someone’s dog is fat or someone really needs to stop feeding kibble.
This is the personality that I envy the most. Although I've been on the receiving end of the Tell It Like It Is Pet Parent, I can still appreciate the freedom of telling the truth. Especially when I see a fat herding dog or shepherd.
3 – The Mean Girl Crew Pet Parents
You may not know the Mean Girl Crew but they do exist. And, if you're like me, then you’ve had the pleasure of being on the receiving end of one of their passive-aggressive attacks. This crew, and their followers, often talk shit about others behind the door of a Closed Facebook Group only coming out to wreak havoc on discussions by sharing a critique on a picture of someone’s raw meal. What astounds me about this camp is that when someone blocks them, they act surprised.
As a reformed Meal Girl who occasionally backslides (today, I took satisfaction in gossip I heard about someone I don't like), I can appreciate the Meal Girl Crew. Drama is fun. Drama is addictive. And many of us have been involved in an outraged discussion that was fun and where you return every few hours to check-in. The only thing I don't like about the Mean Girls is that their discussions tear people down. And having done that myself, I've learned to knock that shit out and focus on my dogs.
4 – The Vegetable Viper Pet Parent
There was a time when the mention of vegetables in a raw feeding group not only got you kicked out, but it also earned you a few days of trolling by Admins so offended by the fact that you feed your dogs the green stuff that they must harass you via Facebook messenger.
Today, however, these vipers surprise the hell out of me. I’m walking along, following raw feeding discussions in one of my two favorite groups, and * BOOM! * someone jumps into a discussion to say that dogs don’t need vegetables, vegetables are just fillers, dogs can’t digest vegetables. They act as if this vegetable chatter is left unchecked, a stranger will sneak kale into their dog’s diet when they’re not looking.
And, to be honest, I can understand both sides of the argument. I have friends who don't feed vegetables and their dogs are thriving. I feed vegetables and my dogs are thriving. I'm not convinced that anyone has the answer – we just do the best we can for our dogs.
5 – The Inexperienced Educator Pet Parent
This is the individual who just got a job at a veterinarian clinic or pet store, learned about raw feeding, and now has joined every Facebook group they can find to educate the masses about feeding fresh food. They seem to be under the impression that raw feeding is new and can often be seen suggesting freeze-dried and dehydrated brands (sold in their pet store) and they’re horrified that anyone would think they could make raw in their kitchen.
Because these people are new to the community, they haven’t purchased their thick skin yet, so they get very offended when someone shares an alternative point of view, feeling attacked and will often leave the aggressive group after making a grand announcement of their plans to depart.
I appreciate this person's passion, but they're going about it the wrong way. Over the past six years of feeding raw, I've learned that it's best to be open to learning from others. No one knows it all.
6 – The Debbie (or Donny) Downer Pet Parent
This is the person who feels the need to share their truth about everything and they have the power to ruin a meme in under 20 words.
If we knew this person in real life, we’d never invite them out to lunch or to a party, because they can't relax and have fun. Uggg. This is the person who sees a picture of a cute dog in the car and freaks out because the dog isn’t wearing a seatbelt. This is the person who instead of celebrating your cheat day pic of a donut, shares the ingredients and tells you that you're slowly poisoning yourself.
And most of their posts end with “sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but I just had to say something.” Ummm, they’re not sorry. And they didn't have to say a thing.
I think we all have a little bit of a Debbie Downer in us, however, many of us understand that it's not necessary to comment on every post that comes through our newsfeed.
7 – The Bat Shit Crazy Pet Parent
This is the individual who is just a nut job. They don’t have a lot going on in their lives and they’ve found this community of passionate pet parents and they feel that they’ve finally found their people.
We often see them diving into the deep end of angry conversations, sharing their thoughts in a rage that makes you wonder “wait, why are you so angry?”
You have to tread carefully around The Bat Shit Crazy Pet Parent because eventually you will offend them and it's a short trip from Bat Shit Crazy to Aggressive Troll, following you around on social media leaving random comments referencing an imagined offense that happened months (or years ago). And after you’ve blocked them on every platform, they’ll create a new profile and send you a friendship request, as if you’re dumb enough to start the drama all over again.
I've come across my fair share of this personality and when they're not sending me nasty messages, I feel sad for them because I've gotten to know a couple of them and they are living with anxiety and depression.
8 – The How Dare You Pet Parent
This is the person who thinks everything should be free.
If you spend months creating a raw feeding course, HOW DARE YOU charge money for the course. If you earn a degree or certificate in canine nutrition, HOW DARE YOU charge money for meal plans. And if you graduate at the top of your class from a prestigious university and have over 20 years of experience in holistic veterinary medicine and raw feeding, HOW DARE YOU charge for examination fees.
I sometimes wonder if these pet parents live in a world where everything is free OR billed on the honor system. Maybe they’re not used to our world where people have bills to pay and businesses have overhead.
Or maybe they're so fed up with people taking advantage of others that they assume anyone charging a fee is scamming pet parents.
9 – The Just Tell Me What to Do Pet Parent
This is the pet parent who is fed up with the fresh food community (or they're getting there).
They see influencers posting about what we shouldn’t do daily on Facebook. Don’t feed kibble, feed fresh food, but only if it’s balanced and, guess what, most of it isn’t balanced. Don’t feed fish oil because of overfishing, don’t feed sardines because of toxins, but be sure to add Omega 3 fatty acids to your dogs’ diet.
On and on it goes and this pet parent just wants to know what to do to raise a healthier dog. So we often see them asking “just tell me what food to buy/supplement/treat/etc to buy for my dog!”
10 – The I Have No Intention of Feeding Raw Pet Parent
There are quite a few pet parents that make up this group:
- The pet parents who will randomly defend kibble and scream “DON'T KIBBLE SHAME ME!!!” when the Admin of a raw feeding group removes their discussion on best quality kibbles.
- The vegan pet parent who believes their dogs should be vegan too and is going to bring the word to the heathen raw feeders of the world.
This pet parent can be frustrating because if they don't plan to feed raw, why are they in a raw feeding group? But I often wonder if they're joining because they know that they should feed a better diet, they want to learn about it, but they feel conflicted because they've always believed (and been told by their veterinarian) that kibble is fine.
I've learned to never argue or disagree with pet parents who defend the kibble brand they buy for their dogs. When it comes to raw feeding, we're all on a journey and it takes some of us longer to accept that feeding fresh food is better than a diet of processed foods. So, instead, I stay focused on sharing what I'm learning and what I feed my dogs.
What Pet Parent Are You?
As I was writing this post, I began to see a little bit of myself in each type of pet parent listed. What about you? Can you relate to any of these pet parents? Are there personalities you often see in raw feeding groups that I missed?