Though it's a subject that never fails to offend, comparing pets to babies remains a temptation that many ardent animal lovers simply can't resist.
When I say animal lovers, I mostly mean dog lovers. Cat lovers are more sensitive, although in their case I suspect it's their cats' feelings that they're trying to spare.
Sure, there are countless circumstantial similarities between pets and babies. Both tend to be less interested in gifts than they are in the tissue paper they came wrapped in. Both push entire plates of potato salad onto the floor without feeling the slightest tinge of remorse. Both can relish drooling in a manner perhaps best described as liberating.
But pet lovers should just leave well enough alone - some observations are best kept to yourself. When in mixed company, they should either bite their tongues or lead the small talk towards more harmless topics, such as religion or politics.
I only bring this up because tone deaf animal lovers are sure to be tempted to step in it, yet again, when they rave to their baby-toting friends about Pet Pic (iPhone, Dh3.67), a smartphone app that could probably help you get really good photos of newborns as well as it does domesticated animals.
When taking photos with your smartphone, this simple app broadcasts barks, meows and squeaky-toy sounds through the device's speaker, drawing your creature's attention for the precious seconds required to capture memories that will last a lifetime (assuming you then store multiple back-ups of those memories on multiple hard drives).
Once you download the app, simply turn it on and as you snap photos, one of several selected sounds will, hopefully, gain your pet's interest as your two steady hands take the perfect canine or feline glamour shot.
No longer must animal-loving shutterbugs devolve into almost circus-level contortionists, doing everything they can to get Rex or Snowball's attention with one hand while trying to hold their camera-equipped device steady with the other.
Also by now, familiarity has probably bred contempt into full breeds and half-breed alike - after hours of overexposure, Rex and Fluffy have no doubt become desensitised to their owners' entire back catalogue of whistles, pops and "woot, woots!" Pet Pic gives them something new to bend their heads in that adorable angle to once the paparazzi arrive.
And yes, I'm sure some parents will try Pet Pic for their babies as well. Just make sure it's their idea, and not yours.