(Closed) Do pets really prepare you for parenthood?

posted 8 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
1560 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

I don’t have kiddos yet so I can’t speak from personal experience but I think that the main thing with dogs is structuring your life differently. Making sure you feed them on time, get them outside and exercise, but they’re so low maintenance compared to kids. Mine are lying on my lap and on my feet right now, I’m pretty sure kiddos would be running a muck and I wouldn’t have as much time on WB! 🙂

Post # 4
Member
5263 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m probably a bad judge because we don’t have kids, but I will say that having pets has really taught us how to budget and self-sacrifice. They eat first, always. We’ve had to make hard decisions (putting one of our young cats down) and definitely had to learn how to discipline – we can’t have one person be the “fun parent” with a 1,000 lb Mustang! 

Post # 5
Member
651 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I don’t have any kids either, but maybe a dog would help in some ways because you are responsible for feeding and caring for a living thing.  But I’m sure my dog is MUCH less maintenance than a child.  My dog also doesn’t wake up crying in the middle of the night, and she costs a lot less money.  I certainly don’t feel anymore ready for a child after having my dog though.

Post # 6
Member
485 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I think so!!

We got our puppy last July and I’d imagine it’s fairly close to caring for a child. The first few months we were up with him 4-5 times every night and we never, ever left him alone. We felt as though we were caring for an infant.

That being said obviously parenting a child has many more challenges than parenting a puppy, but I do think a couple that can successfully parent a rambunctious puppy would be better prepared for a baby.

Post # 7
Member
3363 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

A beagle will!  They are high maintainence!!!!

Post # 8
Member
2532 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Dont have kids yet but I think in some ways it does prepare you but I dont think you can ever be fully prepared for parenthood!! I think learning that you have to care for something else and that your day isnt always about you is a good thing pets help with. Also, cleaning up messes, making other arrangements when traveling and having to go to the doctor and/or emergency room are all things you will have to deal with as a parent so maybe having a pet may take the shock factor away from those things but I think its probably 100% different when you have a child!

Post # 9
Member
1740 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

i have a daughter and three cats and one dog. i always have cats. before i got pregnant we got a kitten  and a baby bird. the kitten wasnt that much work, at leat for me because i already had another cat, and my oldest cast was like a foster dad for that kitty. but the baby bird was a whole full work. we took him with us to collage because we need it to feed him every two hours with a little special bottle. we did that for three months. we took turns in collage to take care of him. some hours i will have the bird with me and other he will have it. it was a lot of work. up to this day the bird still alive and living with my step dad in puerto rico. he is 8yo today. that experience prepare us for our daughter

Post # 10
Member
2208 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

No.

I love my dog, but it isn’t a baby substitute. They don’t compare to the all-consuming animal drive/need to protect a baby, to the time commitment, to the expense, to the months of exhaustion, to the decades of worry you face as a parent. Even more than marriage, it is the event that most changes your life. I don’t live for my dog, but parents live for their children. When you have that baby, it isn’t about you anymore.

And you can’t leave them at home unwatched for hours.

Post # 11
Member
4765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas

I definitely think it teaches you a lot about sacrifice/changing your lifestyle to take care of someone/something else. I don’t have kids, but I have two dogs (including one 7 week old puppy!) and Fiance and I have learned a lot about sacrificing sleep/things we want to do to take care of the dogs! 

Post # 12
Member
1883 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I stayed with my sister the first few weeks she had a baby. I was shell shocked. It is absolutely nothing like having a puppy. A puppy you feed twice a day. A baby-well you feed it every two hours for twenty four hours a day. That pretty much takes up your whole life. Even if you don’t nurse you still are pretty much doing nothing except trying to sneak in a nap and feeding. I mean honestly i came home and said I did not want children. it was scary and overwhelming to watch.

Post # 13
Member
235 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Definitely not even close.

But, a baby is the most wonderful thing in the world, and it’s a million times worth the self-sacrifices.

Post # 14
Member
705 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Our dog has taught me that it’s not all about me.  I have to wake up early enough in the morning to take her out and fix her food bowl.  And I can’t just come home and collapse, I have to take her for a walk because she’s half chihuahua, half jack russell so she has A LOT of energy to burn.  She might not have prepared me for kids but she’s taught me a lot.

Post # 15
Member
5154 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I don’t think it is very comparable but I do think that it is a good step to teach self sacrifice, time management, and caring for someone besides yourself & SO.

I can’t wait to get a puppy 🙂

Post # 16
Member
2196 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I don’t think anyone would argue that it perfectly prepares you for caring for a human baby. But I think caring for a pet definitely shares a lot of the same qualities as caring for a human baby.  Not only do you have to make sure you can afford its food, litter, and medical expenses, you need to make sure it’s fed at the right times, that you can come home to take it out frequently enough (if it’s a dog), you need to learn about training it (ie “raising it”) properly, and you need to constantly be on the look-out for symptoms of sickness, injuries, and changes in behavior.  And when they get sick, you need to devote yourself to nursing them back to health.  It demands a lot of you.

Side note, Fiance said he couldn’t have ever imagine me being a mother till he saw how maternal I was with my cats, heh.

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