Pets
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Pets before babies?

My husband and I just bought a house with a lovely backyard, and are looking for a dog to play in said yard. When my mom heard this, her answer was "I've heard lots of people say to have a baby before you get a dog, because the dog'll get jealous and might hurt the baby." Never in my 29 years of existence have I ever heard this. I've tried researching this claim, and I come up short handed. We already have a cat, and I see no reason why she or any pup we got would get less attention because a baby came along in a year or three. 

What's your take on this, or your experience? Should we hold off on adopting a dog until after a baby is here, or just go for it? 

Re: Pets before babies?

  • That is silly. Yes it will be important to properly introduce dog and baby, but that would be the case no matter which came first.
    image
    DD born 1.25.15

  • Caz1221Caz1221
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    member
    edited February 2015

    I agree there is no "right" order in which to have pets vs. kids - you should do what works best for your family.  For example, we were ready for a dog way before we were ready for a kid, and we had no desire to deal with a new dog (puppy or adult) and a baby/young child at the same time.  As a result, DH and I got our first dog (13-week-old pug) in October 2007, adopted our second dog (almost 4-year-old pug) in May 2010, and had our first (and currently only) kid in August 2013.  Our second dog passed away (very unexpectedly) shortly after our daughter was born, so we are down to one dog (a 7.5 year-old-pug) and one kid (17-month-old daughter). 

    Our dog is pretty low maintenance, especially when it comes to his exercise needs, and he is CGC and therapy certified, so we have had a very easy time adjusting to life with a dog and a baby/toddler.  However, the amount of time and energy required to care for a baby/toddler can be immense, so my pup definitely doesn't get as much one-on-one time as he used to.  We have been very happy with our decision to bring baby into a house with a fully trained adult dog who has been in our family for many years because it gives us the leeway we need to focus on baby without having to also train a new dog or puppy or worry about meeting the exercise needs of a higher energy dog.  HTH!

    image

  • That does! We're on the hunt for the right furball right now, so my only concern at the moment is that the dog gets along with the cat and vice versa. 

    Thanks for the help!

  • schuette2 said:
    That does! We're on the hunt for the right furball right now, so my only concern at the moment is that the dog gets along with the cat and vice versa. 

    Thanks for the help!
    We had our cat before our dog and i was a nervous wreck about how they would interact.  They are totally fine!  We didnt force them on each other and we allowed the cat to come out on his own time.  We just make sure his food is in a spot where the dog cant reach it.  They now sleep on the same bed together :)
    imageimage
  • Our dog has been just fine with our cats.  It helped that we got the dog when she was a baby, but I think as long as whatever dog you get is used to cats they'll be fine. 
    Me: 28 H: 30
    Married 07/14/2012
    TTC #1 January 2015
    BFP! 3/27/15 Baby Girl!! EDD:12/7/2015
  • That is silly.  If you are already pregnant I think it's a good idea to put off getting a puppy because I wouldn't want to be training a puppy and raising an infant at the same time.  Other than that, the order doesn't really matter.  We decided to add a second dog to our family last year because we weren't quite ready to have a baby yet.  It has worked out great for us and we have plenty of time to make sure she is well trained and has good manners before adding a baby to the mix.

    If you wait to get a dog until after having a kid, consider waiting until the kid is old enough to pitch in with caring for the dog.  That is where a few of our friends are since they had a baby first, they are waiting until their youngest is 4 or 5 and wants a dog.
  • Im in the same situation but my thinking is I won't have time to train a dog with a baby or even young child. It is also a good way to get us ready for the responsibility of taking care of another being. No where near the commitment of a baby but a good place for us to start our family.
  • doclagodoclago
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    edited November 2015
    What usually happens is that people don't have time for the dog after the baby comes so it goes from being the center of your life to relatively ignored, left outside, left somewhere to be picked up, brought to the shelter or brought in to be euthanized. YOu will also lack the finances to care for the dog if it develops a problem. Just an an FYI, if you care, there are a WHOLE LOT of people who will think much less, and possibly even ill, of you if that happens.   IF you are planning on having a baby, DO NOT get a dog..it's unfair to the dog..
  • doclago said:

    What usually happens is that people don't have time for the dog after the baby comes so it goes from being the center of your life to relatively ignored, left outside, left somewhere to be picked up, brought to the shelter or brought in to be euthanized. YOu will also lack the finances to care for the dog if it develops a problem. Just an an FYI, if you care, there are a WHOLE LOT of people who will think much less, and possibly even ill, of you if that happens.   IF you are planning on having a baby, DO NOT get a dog..it's unfair to the dog..

    I don't think you can make that blanket statement. Just do your research, have a plan, and know that the dog is a permanent family member. Some families can't balance a baby and dog, but plenty do every day.
    wink0erin
  • I agree that the order doesn't matter. Our cat is 12 and our dog is 7 and we just had our first baby 4 months ago. You introduce your baby to pets just as if you would introduce the baby to an older sibling - slowly and reassuringly. It's an adjustment for everyone but has been working out for us just fine. I do want to add though that it is naïve to think that your pets won't get less attention once the baby arrives. I was on the same thinking level as you with that one and to my surprise, it happened. It's no one's fault when it does and it doesn't make you a bad pet owner. Babies just require pretty much 90% of your attention, love and time and you can try your best to make as much time for your pets as you did before, but it won't happen. Just do your best and cut yourself some slack though when the time comes.
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