Chances are that if you’re on this site, you’re a dog lover and passionate about your pets; whether they’re dogs, cats, horses or fish. It’s probably safe to assume that you consider your dog as much a part of your family as your spouse, siblings or your children.
Generally speaking, people with dogs refer to themselves as dog owners. No one would blink an eye if you told them you owned two dogs. The definition of “own” (in this context) according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is to have (something) as property, or to have power or mastery over something. So I’d like to ask you, do you own your dog? Is your dog property that you can choose to do whatever you wish with?
I’ve grown up with dogs my entire life. Since before I could walk, there was a dog in my family and never once have I felt that I “owned” my dog, anymore than I own my brother. There are things that I do own. For instance, I own my car, I own the computer I’m currently typing on, I own books, I own furniture, I own many things; things that I can use and abuse as I please and no one would say anything about it.
I completely understand that people call themselves dog owners and don’t think of it as a negative. Your dog is under your care and you’re responsible for his or her well-being. You’re responsible for their shelter, food, comfort and health, so I understand why it’s commonly accepted that you would be your dog’s owner.