Post # 1
I am self-employed and I board dogs in my house. I am trying to figure out how long I am going to be able to work during my pregnancy and when I will be up to working again after birth.
This is my first pregnancy so I have no clue what to expect. I would love some ladies who are late in pregnancy, or are mom’s to give me some advice.
I take dogs in my home without any kennels. They just stay with us in our home. I also do pet sitting where I go to other people’s homes and walk with dogs. In my business, people like to book my services far in advance. This means that I am already dealing with clients who want my services near the end of my pregnancy.
1) I am not sure how long I will be able to do dog walks and pet sit. When do you think that I will be too pregnant to do this? When it will be too difficult/uncomfortable to go on dog walks. I also worry about my safety. I can’t walk a hyper dog at 8 months who would maybe pull me over and make me fall.
2) When am I going to be so pregnant that having dogs in my home is going to be too much? Right now I am thinking this: I am due early Oct. I am planning to stop taking dogs about Labor Day. A month before I am due. I am thinking that I will not be sleeping well and I will be uncomfortable. I will also really want to get my house in order and have it clean, which is very hard with dogs here.
3) With a new baby, when will I feel up for having dogs in my home again? I don’t plan to work as much as I do now. I currently take up to 4 dogs at a time. I think that I will maybe just take 1 at a time. (maybe 2) Also no more pet sitting at other houses at all. I know that with a newborn you are not sleeping, etc. My plan is to let myself have the holidays. I will start taking dogs after Jan. Baby would be 3 months.
I am so new at this and I am having a hard time guessing how I will feel before and after baby. I would love some input about how you felt at 6,7,8+ months pregnant. And how you felt once the baby was here. I want to be realistic, but I also need to earn money as long as I can.
Post # 3
I’d be careful about walking dogs pretty early on. I still go for runs and walks with both of mine and I’m 6 1/2 months but I know them and their behaviors well. For our big dog (~75 lbs) we got the easy walk harness and it made me be able to walk him again. Really at 4 months my center of balance and even the way it felt on my stomach if he’d tug at all was making me uncomfortable so only my husband was walking him for a bit. My other dog is 35 lbs and hasn’t been a problem yet. So maybe if you got a good no pull method for the dogs you could go for awhile.
Post # 4
How far along are you now? I’d wait to make determinations about working in your third trimester until the last possible minute (though I know you likely need to set the boarding schedule in advance).
(1) I’m 35 weeks tomorrow, and I have no problem walking (quickly, slowly, upstairs, near run, etc.) with my dog, who is 60-ish pounds and can be a handful. I’ve not experienced any issues at all with my balance. I’m 5’4 and have gained about 22 pounds so far, so maybe I’m just lower to the ground and not as easily affected by balance issues!
(2) I’m not having any problems sleeping at all, but I do understand the need to get the house clean — mine looks like a tornado has run through it! I’m working up until the minute I go into labor (provided there are no sudden health changes in the next five weeks), but I work in an office and can separate work from home (kind of — I have a ridiculously stressful job).
Hope this is a little bit helpful!
Post # 5
I am 35 weeks too. I’ve gained 27lbs ( so I weigh 127) and all the extra weight is killing me! I can tell you that I have zero energy to walk my one dog and he is only 20lbs AND i am totally out of breath when I walk. lol. Not to mention I waddle and sort of bend over when I walk because I constantly have braxton hicks contractions AND constantly have to pee. It’s really fun. =/
Post # 6
I was walking my two dogs (about 80 and 40 lbs) up until I had Addie, and then within a couple days of birth. We have these Gentle Leader harnesses, and that keeps the dogs from pulling; I’ve even taken both of the dogs and the baby out by myself a couple times! In your business, I would consider choosing which dogs (non-hyper ones) I take out on walks starting around 4 months. You might want to also consult your doctor about when you should start cutting back; mine said I should start taking precautions immediately, but that no activity was completely off limits until I was about 6 months along or further.
I think stopping overnight visits a month in advance is good. It’s hard to keep up a house with dogs, anyway, but at about 8 months I couldn’t clean any more without taking frequent, long breaks. It made keeping up the house a lot harder.
As far as bringing the dogs back into your house… I don’t know. If you know these dogs well, and they handle children well, bringing them back in at 3 months shouldn’t be a problem. But having my baby around dogs whose temperments I don’t know would make me really nervous. Unless you have a seperate section of the house (or can section the dogs off or start kenneling them), I wouldn’t bring unknown dogs into my house with my kids. It just seems like too many unpredicatble things that can happen, especially when the baby becomes mobile.
Post # 7
What is your backup plan if you get put on bedrest early or if there are complications? Let’s say you tell people you can watch their dogs at your home until month 8. If you got put on bed rest a month before that, do you have contacts in your field that you can field your dogs to? That would be a really good way to approach things with your clients, to give both of you peace of mind!
Post # 8
I think my only advice is to have back-up plans for everything. As you can see reading these posts, plenty of women felt ok walking through the very end of pregnancy. Right now I’m about 31 weeks, and I HATE walking a lot of the time- I have to go super slow and I swear EVERYTHING hurts. When I’m feeling up to walking at all, I’m ok walking my well-behaved 35-pound dog because he’s well-trained enough to deal with my slowness and walk beside me, but a couple of attempts with the 60-pound hound who pulls on the leash at the sight of another animal or a big truck sent me straight to bed with a hot water bottle and the desire to never move again (my core muscles just really hurt after trying to stabilize both myself and the dog). (For reference, I’ve gained about 15 pounds, and I’m already miserable with added bulk, so I can’t imagine how much less motivated I’ll be to do all this in a month or two). For the question of when to stop boarding pre-baby, I think it might depend on how much help you can get from your husband… you don’t need to be lugging around big bags of dog food or anything, and if you normally spend a lot of time bending over to refill food and drink bowls and pick up poop and the like, it’s possible that that will be pretty uncomfortable later in pregnancy.
If you know the dogs well, and have a good system for separating them from baby, I wouldn’t worry as much about boarding dogs in my home while I have an infant, but I’d be SUPER wary of taking them in once the baby starts crawling. Unless you can just always keep them totally separate, that’s a risk I just don’t want to take.
Post # 9
I guess I didn’t explain the “after baby” part well. I do know that I will not take new clients for a while. I do have many current clients whose dogs I have had before. So this gives me the ability to know who I could take and who I couldn’t. We have some dogs who are older or very easy. I would consider those dogs. I don’t think I would be able to take new clients for a long time. Just too scary to try to figure out a new dog when I have a baby.
As for walks, I am thinking the same thing. I may be able to pet sit for the people I already know and whose dogs are pretty easy. I think I may just cut out the pet sitting all together because I am not going to feel comfortable taking new clients where I have to be in their home with an unknown dog when I am pregnant.
I do walk all the dogs who stay with me…but that is easier then getting into the car and going to someone’s house twice a day for 30min each visit. I am sure I will be walking my dog and the dogs staying with us until Sept, but I think I may be pushing it to drive all over town and do the pet sitting at other people’s homes. It’s already hard for me to currently balance the dogs in my home when I have to leave for the pet sitting. So I think once I am “more pregnant”, I may just cut out the pet sitting
Post # 10
@crayfish: I would just have to cancellon my clients. Thankfully I live in a city and there a lot of other dog boarding places.
I really don’t want to cancel on my clients but my husband reminded me that though my clients may have us as their #1 choice….I am not the only show in town. I feel the pressure that I don’t want to let them down, but it was good that he reminded me that they may like me best, but if I cancel they will not be without a place to send thier dogs.
I don’t have many realationships with other people who do what I do, but there are a TON of dog boarding places in my area.
Post # 11
I am 31 weeks and I have 2 dogs. We have a 4 year old dog that weighs about 50 lbs and we recently adopted another dog about a month ago who is 5 months old. I still walk my dogs every day, take my puppy to socialization and training classes and we go on long hikes on the weekend. I really think it just depends on your body and how your body handles pregnancy. Can I walk as fast as I used to? No. But if I take breaks on our hikes, I haven’t had any problems. I do agree with everyone that it really depends on what type of dogs you are taking care of and their personalities. I would be really wary of dogs that could pull you really hard or cause you to fall. If you have regular clients and know the dogs, then I don’t see why you couldn’t continue taking care of them like you plan to. I think stopping 2 weeks to a month out from your due date sounds smart.. it is hard to know when you will deliver, so better to not have anything planned.
Post # 12
@spraguebride: That makes sense; I think if you know those dogs, and their well-behaved, 3 months is plenty of time to bring them back into the house. 🙂
Post # 13
My husband is a big help..so that’s one nice thing. I know that when I am pregnant and things are hard for me, he will really help.
I didn’t even THINK about what I will do once that baby is older like crawling. That’s a good point.
Ideally I would like to have one or 2 dogs who come here for daycare and that’s it. This would mean that I was not having new dogs but just taking care of one or two dogs who I have already gotten to know. We care for some REALLY easy dogs. (and then we have some who I already know that I will not take when I am even 6months along. Just too hyper or too much work)
I have many clients who have kids, so I know what dogs are good with kids and what dogs don’t have the experience.
This is my career for now…but in a few years I will be going to grad school and will go back to a “normal” job. I don’t plan to have 2 crawling kids and still had dogs here…..but I am glad that people mentioned when baby #1 is crawling. That’s a good point. Ideally I was going to be a stay-at-home mom for a couple years but when I started this biz I realized that I had a way to get a little income during that time. There may come a point where the dogs just don’t really work anymore.