Mar 20, 2015

How is a Puppy Like a Baby?

Why We Chose To Adopt a Puppy

I originally wanted a dog because I wanted a running buddy, but I also believe they a great way to see if you want children.

However, getting a pet is a huge commitment so I wouldn't get a dog just of the sake of seeing if you are ready to have kids. Instead, maybe opt for fostering a pet first, so you don't have the long term commitment.

We decided a young puppy would be too much for us (we are cat people) and ended up adopting Lexie, a border collie/sheltie/Aussie mix. At the time we got her she was around 7 months old and was already pretty much potty trained (had a few accidents, but that is to be expected in a new home). Lexie was already kennel trained (she cried the first night, but was fine after that, just needed to get used to her new surroundings). After having her a year, we stopped using the kennel though as she proved herself to be a well-behaved dog.

One thing I remember in the early weeks we had her was bursting into tears a few weeks after we got Lexie. It was such a huge change to my lifestyle that it became a little overwhelming. I never had to take the cats outside to go potty. I didn't have to walk the cats. She wasn't very good at being on the leash. Lexie demanded my attention (I felt a lot of these same emotions after our daughter was born).

I decided to take a dog obedience class to see if that would help the situation, and it did! The class gave me the tools to teach Lexie to sit, lie down, and even roll over. Now, almost a year later, I love her to bits. We go running together when it is nice out, cuddle on the couch, and she now knows how to ring a bell to go outside so I don't have to worry about accidents! She just lets me know she needs to go out by ringing the bell.

Lexie opened the door to the possibility of having a child.

how is a puppy like a baby?

How is a Puppy Like a Baby?

  • Both need their poop picked up after them. - A baby will eventually grow up, but picking up after a dog helps you get used to seeing and touching poop (with a plastic bag of course).

  • You have to potty train both. - We skipped this step by not getting such a young puppy.

  • Both need attention. - A baby will also grow out of this, but a dog never will.

  • Dogs will make messes. - They throw up, roll in mud, etc. and you will have to clean it up. A baby will make ten times as many messes as a dog.

  • Dogs bark and babies cry. - We lucked out and Lexie barks rarely, usually when the doorbell rings, but we have neighbors whose dogs will bark constantly while outside.

  • Both will need baths, and you have to bathe them, they can't do that themselves.

  • Both teethe. - Lexie had a phase where she would chew up blankets and flip flops, luckily that phase did not last long!

  • You have to buy toys for both.

  • Both will wake you in the middle of the night (a puppy needs to go out, baby needs to eat).

  • You will have to puppy proof just as you will have to baby proof your home. 

Dogs and babies have a lot in common, but they are also very different. As your child grows, they begin to learn right from wrong. Kids can be taught not to do certain things, but dogs can't.

Dogs are a constant toddler in need of your love and attention, but a dog is a great way to see if you have the patience to care for a child. Just keep in mind that a dog is a big commitment, so make sure you can afford it and are willing to take care of it for 15 years (or longer!) before taking one home.

A baby is an even bigger commitment, but people will often jump in without considering costs or long-term care. A child will be your responsibility for 18 years, and even after that many parents still help their children out (don't forget grandchildren!), that is a commitment till you die versus a pet that lives for only around 15 years.


Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on Canva.


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