Man With A Dog Has An Odd Comeback For Anyone Who Says He’s Not A ‘Real Dad’

Caretaking is caretaking.

Man on porch with dog @jonny_ve / TikTok

Are pet parents real parents? This man on TikTok says yes — and his reasoning is a bit of an eyebrow-raiser.

The dog owner had an odd comeback for anyone who says he’s not a ‘real dad.’

Dog owner Johnny recently sparked an important conversation about pet parenting on his TikTok page. He compared the bond between him and his dog to that of a parent and a child in one of his videos, which resonated with many viewers. It’s an age-old debate of whether pet owners can be considered ‘parents,’ and his novel take on the subject might be valid!




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“To anyone who thinks I’m not a real dad because I only have a dog and no human children, well guess what?” Jonny said. He explained that his dog was “acting weird a couple of months ago,” so he took her to a vet to figure out how to resolve her behavior.


“Guess what they ended up prescribing her? Prozac,” he said.

Prozac is a medication used to treat depression and anxiety — in both humans and dogs! As a caring dog owner, Jonny can’t help but feel partially responsible for his pup’s condition.

“That’s right. I raised this dog for ten years and she needs antidepressants. Tell me that’s not some real father-daughter s---,” he finished. According to a 2022 report from the American Kennel Club, antidepressants have been recently used for dogs to treat phobias, separation anxiety, behavioral problems, and much more. After his dog had been prescribed Prozac, he made light of the situation with some dark humor while illustrating a deeper issue.

Parents who cause their children mental health problems should certainly not be applauded. However, an owner caring enough to check up on their dog’s mental health probably didn’t directly cause her issues. Instead, it seems to be a humorous way to call attention to a topic as serious as familial trauma, which resonated with many people in the comments.


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Some commended Jonny for his dedicated pet parenting, while others reflected on their relationships with their own parents.

“The fact that you’re sitting near her means you’re doing better than 70% of the dads out there,” one user commented.

jonny_ve's dogPhoto: @jonny_ve / TikTok


Several other users chimed in as well, reminding Jonny that he’s not doing half-bad as a dog parent. People even shared that they didn’t even have the privilege of having a dad who took them to the doctor when they weren’t feeling well.

“My dad never took me to the [doctor] and he doesn’t know anything about me,” one user commented. “My dad wouldn’t even take me to a [doctor] so you’re good,” another added.

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Just like humans, pets can struggle with mental health issues. 

The Central California SPCA published a 2019 article detailing ways you can help calm a dog with anxiety. They recommended things from physical activity, massages, and even musical therapy.


Physical activity is also a great way to help your dog combat depression. Though, not all issues are so easily resolved, like in Jonny’s case, who recognized different behavior from his dog for months on end. It’s a sobering reminder of the emotional depth of our furry companions and the responsibility that pet owners undertake. 

As for humans who inherit mental health issues due to poor parenting, there’s no easy way to navigate or solve those issues. But the more future parents understand the ramifications, the less these problems will spring up in the next generation of children.

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Ethan Cotler is a writer and frequent contributor to YourTango living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news, and human interest stories.