I'm Calling You OutAn Open Letter to People Who Put Their Dogs in StrollersGabi Conti

Dear People Who Put Their Dogs in Strollers,

Yes, you.

Okay fine that is cute, but also SO wrong.

Let me start off by saying:

WHY?!

And follow that up with:

But seriously. Why?

I’d like to think of myself as an open-minded person, ready to embrace new trends, like a cool mom who just wants to, “relate.”

When cronuts became a thing and I was told it looks like a donut but tastes like a croissant, I said to my non-existent boyfriend at the time, “Sure. But can I call it a cro-SANT and not be one of those obnoxious people who over-pronounce a pastry’s name because they spent a week in Paris?”

When I see someone wearing a beanie with shorts. I smile and think to myself, “Ha! It’s never too cold to be wearing a knit cap but too hot to NOT be wearing pants! That person is really giving none of the cares but also all of the cares simultaneously. God Bless.”

When my entire Instagram feed is clogged with the same sunset, and suddenly everyone I follow has become some sort of “artist” thanks the rise filter and the colors in the sky, I shrug and think, “to each his own.”

BUT WHEN I SEE ADULTS PUSHING AROUND DOGS IN STROLLERS AND ACTING LIKE THIS IS TOTALLY NORMAL AS IF TO SAY, “WHY ARE YOU STARING AT ME? I AM JUST PUSHING MY DOG AROUND AT THE GROVE. NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG.”

I.

Just.

Cannot.

I have to draw the line somewhere.

Dog strollers are where I draw that line.

I get it. People love their dogs.

And in LA people REALLY love their dogs.

Personally I am more of a cat person. But dogs are great doing their dog things! Like being a dog! It’s really…dog-tastic.

But putting a dog in a stroller.

No.

To help you out, I spent hours crafting this list of things that you can put in a stroller:

1. Babies
2.
3.

Babies can’t walk. You can put a baby in a stroller, because there’s really no other option. Dogs can walk. Therefore, you cannot put a dog in a stroller. You also cannot put a baby on a leash. I’m looking at you, moms at amusement parks everywhere.

If and only if your dog cannot walk, then you can put that puppy in a stroller. But stroller dogs should come with a warning, because there is nothing more terrifying than looking into a stroller expecting to see a cute little baby, but instead locking eyes with a snarling pit bull. Maybe a dog handicap stickers to alert those around you, “No, I’m not being obnoxious. I really do not have a choice.”

Not only are people putting their dogs in strollers. Companies are selling strollers specifically for dogs. For the definitely reasonable price of $178.13 dollars, you too can look like a crazy person.

Let me leave you with this:

I understand this is a free country. And I understand you gotta do what you gotta do. But think before you put your dog in a stroller and remember it’s a pet. Not a newborn.

Respectfully yours,

Gabi Conti

Image via here

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  1. My dog loved the park, he was diagnosed with a severe genetic liver disease when he was only 9 (normally yorkies live into their late teens). I tried to take him for a short walk but he was too weak to do. I made the best of the short time we had left but letting him do his favorite things. One of those things was going to the park, since he could no longer walk more than 10 feet without stopping to rest I would put him in a stroller and push him along. I wanted his last weeks to be happy ones. He was my best friend and I loved him more than most people. If it makes people happy and doesn’t concern you, then why all the hate?

  2. I use a stroller for my dog when we go to the dog park. I want to use the walk to the park as exercise for myself. rather than lazily driving there. HOWEVER, my 9 year old scottish terrier with weeee little legs cannot walk that far. When I try to walk her that far I end up having to nearly drag her along or pick her up. I can take her in the stroller and have a great walk for myself and then at the park she can run and play to her heart’s content and then ride back to the house in the stroller.

    So there you have it. That is WHY.

    Maybe just don’t worry about what other people are doing and why….

  3. I got really excited to read this when I saw the headline. I thought, “Finally! Someone is going to point out why this is such a bad idea!” But instead of pointing out that most dogs should not be in strollers because it does not allow them to learn to be confident DOGS who can deal with the world on their own paws and that treating them like babies can cause behavioral issues. Or noting that strolling your dog around is not the same as a walk or socializing them. Instead it is an article about how you shouldn’t do it because it annoys the author. Then I got to the part about a “snarling pit bull” and got exasperated. When are we going to accept that pit bull are normal dogs? My pit bull has never snarled at anyone and at 40-60 lbs, your typical pit bill will not fit in a stroller. In 10 years of working retail in Los Angeles I have never seen any dog bigger then 25 lbs in a stroller. Good idea for an article but a missed opportunity to be more than a rant.

  4. I thought this was absolutely hilarious. We live in Vienna – a dog lover’s paradise – and have seen our fair share of dogs in fancy strollers. It makes me laugh every time. And I’ve also done the “Aww… a baby… NOPE, dog.” Always an awkward recovery. Awesome letter!

  5. Maybe you should consider all options before you start preaching. For example, dogs can get arthritis but they still need exercise. Dogs are very stubborn and refuse to walk anymore if they are in too much pain even when they are far from home. It is also hard work carrying a dog home especially if you are elderly, therefore you take them back in a stroler.

  6. Don’t apologize Gabi! Everyone needs to relax… This is OBVIOUSLY meant for able bodied people with able bodied dogs. People need to stop thinking that everything is meant as a personal attack on them and find reasons to make things racial/sexist, etc. If your dog is disabled in any sort of way, this doesn’t pertain to you. It’s when people use dogs as an accessory/fashion statement that this becomes ridiculous. People that spend $4000 on a Chanel bag to carry their dogs in: they don’t do it for the dog, they do it for themselves as a status symbol. The dog doesn’t give a sh!t… LITERALLY!. Also, a lot of the time these dogs have respiratory problems because they’re fat due to the amount the owner feeds them and they don’t walk them enough. If you’re going to treat dogs like your kids, THEN BE A RESPONSIBLE PARENT and don’t let them get fat! Exercise people, try it out. It’s good for you and your dogs.

    In the case that this article is meant for, I couldn’t agree more. Don’t be lazy because it’s easier to not get yanked around because you are too lazy to train them. Walk your dogs. They need it just as much as you do.

  7. Hello Everyone. Thank you so much for your comments. I’m learning from each and every one of you! :) Of course if your dog can’t walk, has problems is old, I totally get it. I’ve just been seeing a lot of young able body dogs strollers and it just confuses me. Thank you for clarifying though! And yes this is meant to be a satire/joke/rant if you will. Did not mean to offend or be ignorant. Something to spark discussion or “discuss amongst yourselves,” in a coffee tawk. Hugs and kisses to you are your furry friends. xo

    Gabi Conti | 4/25/2014 02:04 pm
  8. Haha right its a free country! Also as some have already said some people use strollers for esp smaller dogs who may be tired or have health problems…..sooo …I do not even know what to say anymore I guess.Hello giggles used to be awesome .

    • However I do agree that it is ridiculous to use a stroller for a dog that really does not need it and insist to dress it up in clothes but that is just me haha

  9. I agree with an earlier post, you might be trying to be funny, but you sound like you have no idea what you’re talking about. Yes, some strollers are for babies who can’t walk. But strollers are also for babies/toddlers who can walk, yet get tired easily. Just like dog strollers are for dogs who can walk and get tired easily, or for dogs who can’t walk well at all. Dogs still like to go outside and enjoy the sights and smells, even if they might not be able to walk. As the owner of a small dog who has arthritis and can’t walk very well, I take offense to your ignorant article. Also, putting a child on a leash is so much better than letting your children run around free in potentially dangerous areas. Children need exercise, but they also need boundaries. Next time you want to publicly voice your opinion, get some facts first.

  10. I had a stroller for my late cat. Cost $40. Worth every penny.

  11. I love your list of things that belong in strollers. And I agree. Dogs do not belong in strollers unless they cannot walk at all for some medical reason.

  12. I hate to add to the negativity here, but the babies on a leash comment bothered me too. I’ve never had to do it, but for some kids it’s a serious safety issue, and I’m sure the weird looks they get is totally worth not having to go through the terror of losing your child at the amusement park or them tearing away and running into a busy street. People who dont know can always argue that parents should have “better control of their child”, but sometimes you seriously can’t, and other than not leaving home until they turn 18, there really is no safer option.

    • Yeah the baby leash thing needs to lose its stigma and judgement. You can’t always reason with a small child enough to teach them not to wander off. And you can’t keep them in a padded room…so middle ground. And it’s better to tether your child to yourself with one of those cute little backpacks than to lose them in a crowd. And have people never watched Criminal Minds up in here?! Baby snatching unsubs, man.

  13. Also…snarling pitbull is a really obnoxious stereotype for one of the best dogs out there. Trust me, I have been snarled at by chihuahuas and Jack Russell terriers WAAAAAAAAY more often than pitbulls – my friend had to go to the hospital and get 10+ stitches on her arm after being attacked by a Jack Russell actually. Hell, I once had to pick up and carry my 70 lb pitbull across my living room once because she was too scared to walk through the 5 kittens that were camped out and staring at her (in an OBVIOUSLY menacing manner…….like kittens do!)

    I know you are going for humor here in your hyperbolic statements, but instead you just sound ill informed and judgmental.

    • I agree, snarling pitbull is a horrible stereotype. Our pitbulls are big babies who jump in laps if there’s a weird noise.

  14. Um, YES you CAN put toddlers on a leash. Otherwise they RUN AWAY. As my parents found out when they lost my brother four times, BEFORE THEY PUT HIM ON A LEASH. It’s a safety thing. Don’t be an idiot.

  15. A lot of breeds with short noses, like the pugs you have pictured above have serious respiratory problems. For that reason a lot of these dogs get short of breath very quickly on walks. A lot of people who used strollers for these types of breeds do so to give them a chance to have some fresh air and see the world without putting too much stress on their body. They may even let the dog out for a bit and put them back in when they get winded.

    Before getting annoyed and ranting, have you considered asking someone why they have their dog in a stroller?

    • I think that if you adopt a dog that has respiratory problems, then whatever, okay, you get a pass. But if you bought a dog (i.e. caused to be bred a dog) that specifically is prone to respiratory problems, then you *are* the problem, because pure-breeding dogs that are just definitely going to struggle with things like walking around the way, you know, dogs are supposed to do because they’re prone to asthma or dysplasia or seizures or whatever is just mean. Never mind the trendy douchebag angle.

    • Agreed! I’ve been thinking about getting one for my bulldog. In the summer she can’t take super long walks. So when I take her to the park, I don’t want her to get overheated and too tired. I don’t want her stuck in the house all the time because she loves meeting people and other dogs. Glad to know people will be staring and judging me.

    • But she does address this… A handicap dog sticker is a great idea. Otherwise… is it just plain nutty!

      • A “handicapped dog” sticker is a good idea? Seriously? Has everyone lost their minds? Or are people just so self-absorbed and judgmental that we have to let them know up front that our animal is disabled so that they can stop worrying about wasting previous time wondering what we’re doing with our dog in a stroller and get back to their own narcissistic lives? Perhaps we should put stickers on ourselves and disabled friends and relatives too so that people won’t have to stare and wonder what’s wrong with us, they can just go about their day comforted in the knowledge that we are, in fact, disabled and we do require whatever assistive devices we are using.

      • Yes! Let’s make handicap dog stickers a thing!

        Gabi Conti | 4/25/2014 02:04 pm
    • I completely agree with this. A woman I see in town quite often has 2 corgis, and they take it in turns to hitch a ride on the womans mobility scooter. (Slightly different than a stroller, I know, but the point is the same). At first, I just thought it was weird, until I realised she was out the majority of the day, and her dogs are quite old, so they kinda need regular breaks. Its unfair to judge when you don’t have any idea what the situation is.