8 Totally Shameless Things You Do If You Love Your Pet More Than Your Friends

Growing up, my family adopted an adorable yellow Labrador mix named Candy. My parents weren’t necessarily "dog people," but my sister and I wanted a four-legged friend so desperately. Eventually, they caved.

Becoming a pet owner was everything I dreamed it would be and more. Candy and I spent every possible waking hour together playing fetch, taking walks, and going to puppy play dates at the park. At night, she slept next to my bed. Candy has long since passed, but I’ll never forget the pure pride and joy that came from having a canine comrade — a topic that's lovingly discussed in the new Pet Parents, Oversharing podcast, which is sponsored by Freshpet. The new podcast is hosted by a dog mom and a cat mom who absolutely understand the ridiculous, gross, and magical club you join the moment you become a pet parent.

As a huge fan of canines, I can relate to the level of love expressed by the podcast's hosts. I proudly refer to my sister and her partner’s dog, Lemon, as my "puppy niece" and I treat her to long runs, squeaky new toys, healthy treats, and belly rubs whenever I visit. OK... I spoil her rotten, and I admit that I'm known to treat Lemon far better than I do my sister, or most of my friends for that matter. But as silly as it may seem to non-pet owners, I’ve noticed a similar trend among most pet parents and animal lovers I know: When it comes to the wellbeing and happiness of our beloved pets, there’s not much we won’t do.

To celebrate our furry friends, and the many (sometimes ridiculous) ways we show our love for them, Bustle has partnered with Freshpet to bring you eight totally shameless things you do if you love your pet more than your friends — which, for the record, is totally OK.

1. You're OK With Their Clutter

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It's not cute when roommates, partners, or friends keep an untidy apartment. But when it comes to keeping your cat happy, you'd gladly leave empty boxes out on your kitchen floor so they have a literal kitty playhouse to enjoy when you're not home!

2. You Consistently Go The Extra Mile

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Carefully wrapping presents for your best gal pals is just too time-consuming these days. (Hello, that’s why gift bags exist!) But watching a dog tear open a thoughtfully-wrapped gift that unveils a new chew toy promising hours of playtime and squeaks of delight? Now that’s an experience worth buying wrapping paper once a year for!

3. You Never Get Tired Of Looking At (Or Talking About) Them

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Everyone in my life knows about Candy and Lemon not because they ask, but because I tell them. I'm always prepared with the latest snapshots of Lemon on walks, Lemon taking a nap, and just generally Lemon being the goodest girl of them all. If this behavior describes you to a T, go ahead and download Pet Parents, Oversharing on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you get your podcasts to continue reveling in the joy that is being a pet parent.

4. You Read The Labels

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Hosting an impromptu book club means stocking your grocery cart with the biggest party-size bag of chips and other cheap assorted snacks. But when it comes to refreshments for your furry BFF, you’ll do a little extra detective work to find the best, freshest ingredients to serve. Freshpet food is made from 100 percent real meat with fruits and veggies you can see — so you can treat your pet to snacks you feel good about.

5. You Let Them Hog The Bed

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Most of us have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to bad bed-sharing habits. Whether dealing with a partner or a friend during a girls getaway weekend, any mattress hogs, cover-stealers, or heavy snorers deserve a swift pillow to the face. But if it’s a four-legged friend that wants to lay in the most impractical spot on the bed as you dangle uncomfortable close to the edge... well, you just let it slide.

6. You Never Deny Their Affection

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It’s great when friends show their love, but to be totally honest, there is a bad time for a sweaty embrace — and it's OK to deny a hug from a friend who can't stop sneezing. When it comes to your cat or dog, though, it doesn't matter what body part they've been licking recently: You'd never deny their nuzzles or cuddles.

7. You Go Above & Beyond For The 'Gram

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When a friend asks for help getting the perfect picture, it’s customary to give her a few minutes (or seconds) of your time. Yet when it comes to capturing a gorgeous photo of your pet, no amount of time spent snapping candids is too long. In fact, you probably have albums upon albums of your pet just being their adorable selves — and there's nothing wrong with that! In fact, here's a tip: You can get that perfect pose by bribing them with a Freshpet treat pulled straight from the fridge!

8. You Get *Extra* On Birthdays

Courtesy of @mooninthemeadow

At this point in our lives, we’re often so busy that extravagant birthday celebrations need to be tabled until the weekend. Those rules don't apply to our pets, though. Despite only having time to shoot off a quick 'HBD' text to most of our buddies, your canine can expect a slice of Freshpet® Select Chunky Beef With Vegetables & Brown Rice Dog Food as a dog-friendly birthday cake — topped with all-natural DogNation Chicken Snack Sticks as makeshift candles!

This post is sponsored by Freshpet.