Post # 1
So, I’m 24 weeks pregnant and my husband and I are considering adding a dog (12 week old pup) to our family. We both have past experience with dogs growing up and we’ve talked about wanting a dog since before we got married. We tried to add a dog to our little family last year around Christmas and it went really badly. She was too young and had been raised on a farm (never been inside) before we brought her home to our apartment. Overall it wasn’t a good fit, the stress of it caused a lot of spats between my husband and I and we ended up giving her back to the breeder (which was very heartbreaking and difficult).
Flash forward to now. My husband has a deep desire to own a dog and we are now living in a house with a small fenced in yard and expecting our first baby in December. The pup we’re considering will be 12 weeks old when we bring her home and she is partially crate trained and used to living inside with people. My husband is completely convinced but I’m still on the fence about it.
His thoughts are that if we get the pup now, we will have time to get her adjusted to our schedule and start some training with her so that she isn’t brand new to us when the baby comes home. He also feels like we might not get a dog if we don’t get one now because we’ll be so wrapped up in the baby. In addition, the fact that I will be on maternity leave in a few months seems like a positive to him as I’ll be able to be home with the dog. I feel like he has some valid points, but I’m not totally convinced. I find myself feeling like I don’t want to sacrifice the time we have left with just the 2 of us to focus on the needs of a puppy. I also am worried that the puppy will get used to a lot of attention and then feel neglected when we start focusing on the baby. Not to mention that taking care of a dog is a big responsibility and feels like it wil add stress to the process of being first time parents and I might start resenting the dog. But I also realize that this dog is a little older and therefore won’t have the same challenges that the last puppy did. (And I don’t want to break my husband’s heart by just saying “no” especially since I want to have a dog at some point too).
Did any of you tackle this type of situation? Any advice that can be offered would be greatly appreciated! (I am just terrified to make the wrong decision on this).
Post # 2
I would say if you struggled before don’t try it again. A puppy on top of being pregnant and soon having a new baby will be overwhelming. When we got our puppy it was stressful enough without being pregnant or having a baby. Plus he is just a little over a year old now and his training is still not done. Yes he is house broken but he still jumps at visitors and barks at the neighbors. It just seems like a lot to deal with while pregnant and with a new baby soon.
Post # 3
Choreographer82: What kind of dog? Any chance of rescuing an older dog? If they are in foster care, the foster parent can give you a lot of insight on the dog. Its temperament, whether it’s potty trained etc etc. 12 weeks is still a very young dog.
Post # 4
I would wait till your baby is in a routine of napping/sleeping through the night to get a dog. it would be too much on you to raise a baby AND a puppy!
As for a dog, I would shoot for an older/more relaxed dog. This way you won’t have to worry about the puppy “teething” on the baby, you won’t have to worry about a playful puppy knocking the baby down or even landing on the baby….I would just wait for the right time and get an older dog that already has it’s personality and it fits with your family.
Post # 5
I have not been in this exact situation, but I don’t recommend getting a dog now. Puppies are a LOT of work, and you’ll only scratch the surface by the time your baby arrives. You’ll be spending maternity leave with the baby… not the dog. At that point, the dog will be in chewing stages, need training classes, socialization, etc. that I think would probably be hell trying to do with an infant.
The first year or two, depending on the breed, can be very time consuming and involves a lot of important milestones for development and training.
Since you already ran into a issues with trying to get a puppy before, I’d make the second time around as easy on you two as possible. So, personally, I’d wait.
Post # 6
- Wedding: December 2014 - Catal Restaurant
Choreographer82: I wouldn’t do it. We got a puppy while I was pregnant as well. If we had a time machine we wouldnt have gotten her. We love her to death but she has been overwhelming while being first time parents. Take this time to enjoy your husband. Go on vacation, sleep a lot, go to the movies, and nice restaurants! Once you get a puppy you wont always be able to do these things just like when you have your baby. I would recommend waiting until your child is alittle older to get a puppy. You can make it a family experience and they can help pick the dog.
Post # 7
Choreographer82: Don’t do it. If you struggled before it really won’t be any easier this time around, especially since you’re preggo. Enjoy your freedom while you can.
FWIW, my husband and I just rescued a 12 week old German Shepherd puppy and it’s been hell having him in our townhome (he came from a family with a large yard and 5 other shepherds). We’ve rescued and trained many dogs too (ranging from Dobermans to pitbulls) and it’s still really tough. We’re also starting fertility treatments and now I’m dreading being preggo while trying to raise this puppy. I honestly wish we would’ve waited but this pup is ours now so I just have to deal with it. Don’t get me wrong, we love him to death, but he’s a handful–way worse than any other puppy we have raised.
Post # 8
I told my husband that I could handle either a dog or a baby. He could choose. He chose baby. Being home on maternity leave isn’t a convenient “oh I’ll have all this extra time” situation. It seems like a lot of sleep deprivation. My packet from the hospital says to plan only on caring for baby and myself during the first couple of post-partum weeks. A dog does not fit into that mix.
Post # 9
Nope. Don’t do it. For someone already experienced with dogs, I would say go for it, but for people who already struggled once, it’s not fair to the dog to experiment again.
Post # 10
- Wedding: July 2016 - RattleSnake Point Golf Club
Listen to your gut.
A young dog and a baby at the same time can be overwhelming and now you have to worry about the puppies behavior around a new baby. What happens if the dog is a barker? You’re going to have a crying baby, barking dog, and your going to be sleep deprived… it will not be fun.
Also, I’m concerned already that you had to return a dog to the “breeder” who had never had the dogs in a house as well as well as found its energy level too high for your living situations… please do more research on breeds and breeders before looking into purchasing so you get a better fit and don’t buy from puppymills and backyard breeders… Your “breeder” should have told you before you brough the puppy home that the fit wouldnt be right…
Please read this:
Post # 11
I’m with you on this. Having a baby often turns life upside down. You will probably be sleep deprived and if breastfeeding, barely out of contact with your baby if you include the changing and bathing on top of the feeding. Your dog needs and deserves the regular exercise and stimulation of walks (running circles around a fenced yard isn’t the same as smelling updated other doggy smells out and about etc). A puppy will need considerable, patient and consistent training input, and will take time to become the calm, well-adjusted family member you hope for.
You will have maternity leave but it sounds like you will then return to work, so the poor pup will settle into a home with people around all day for months and then be expected to cope with long periods alone, not natural for a pack animal. I worked part-tine when I got my lovely girl, Bessie, but two years ago that changed to full time. She would only be at home alone between around 8.30 – 4.30 because of my husband and my work schedules but that is far too long so I pay a dog walker. It is a neighbour who only charges £30 per week ($50?) but that is still over £1,500 per year. Is now a great time to be setting yourself up for the considerable financial costs of responsible dog ownership?
I think both partners have to be 100% sure before committing to another life, canine or human, and you are rightly unsure. Your OH’s logic about getting one now because he fears you won’t after the baby is born is pretty flawed and a little immature, basically “Let’s get one now in case you’re right and it’s a PITA on top a new baby and it gets put back”.
To make it more palatable I’d make a counter-suggestion: you too would like a dog but can’t contemplate it before you’ve experienced life post-baby, so you agree to review the decision when the baby is 6 months old. You will then know what the time, energy and financial costs of your baby are and you can both consider that in relation to the equivalent costs and benefits of getting a dog. Make sure you budget for food, veterinary costs including annual injections and flea treatments, dog walker service if you are planning to go back to work, kennel/dog sitting fees if you plan to travel for over 8 hours without the dog. Beware of “my family will take care of it” – sometimes they might but you can’t rely on it, they have their own commitments.
I’m not saying that babies and dogs/puppies can’t work, but I agree that it is not something to be taken lightly or underestimated. It will be you dealing primarily with the demands of a baby and a puppy during the day so don’t be railroaded.
Post # 12
I think it’s a horrible idea to get a dog right now. The last thing you want to be focusing on during the time you’re spending with your new baby is training a puppy/young dog. Maybe wait until your baby is a little older to throw a dog into the mix.
Post # 13
I would say no. Even if the puppy is partially crate trained now, it’s still a puppy and will need to be let out every 3 to 4 hours. Also, from experience (I have 2 dogs and 1 puppy), any new situation can make a dog regress behaviorly. My pups were relatively easy to house train, but change in work schedule, even the weather and they would have accidents. Also, depending on the pup, they can hit their rebellious “teenage” phase between 1-2 years of age. So after you’ve dealt with puppy zoomies, teething, potty/crate training, general training the dog could act up again and start tearing up the house. A new baby in the house might also make the puppy act out once you think it’s finally settled down. You’ll be so exhausted just from the pregnancy, do you really want to deal with a puppy? It wouldn’t be fair to you or the puppy. It’d be better to get an adult dog after you’ve gotten used to the baby’s schedule.
Post # 14
See, my friend did this and I thought she was out of her mind but it totally worked for them. She was able to let the dog out when she got up for feedings which seemed to help with potty training. Do what YOU want.
Post # 15
I don’t have much to add that PPs havent already addressed. So I’ll share the advice FIs aunt gave us when we were considering getting a dog when our son was just a few months old. She said to wait until your kids are old enough to ask you for a dog. Then when you get the dog, you’ll be the best parents ever 🙂