Chit Chat

Anyone get a dog before kids?

I ask because apparently my H’s grandparents are having a conniption fit that we got our dog before having kids. We got our Lab/Mix, Myka about 6 months ago when she was 3months (so she’s 9 months now). We have been working with her to get her trained and so far she has been doing great. She is a real sweetheart, very good at listening. She is a little hyper still but I see her mellowing out a lot.  H and I have decided to start ttc and are glad that we got our puppy before kids so we had time to devote to training her.

We saw my IL’s last weekend and they said his grandparents wouldn’t let up about what a terrible mistake we’ve made and the dog is going to be jealous/hurt a kid, etc. I know it’s really none of their business and I shouldn’t let them get to me, but I can’t help that they have brought up a seed of doubt.
So I guess the point of this post is for you ladies who got dogs before having kids to reassure me that it will all be okay!

Re: Anyone get a dog before kids?

  • We don't have a kid yet, but we have two dogs. The important things are to:
    1. try and time it so that the dog is ALREADY trained by the time a baby comes along (so you don't have 2 creatures' poop to clean up)
    2. follow all of the appropriate steps to acclimate the dog to the baby when it comes.
    3. respect the commitment that you've ALREADY MADE to this living being, and not just decide to ship it off when things get hard and you get tired. Because they will get hard and you will be tired. That's no excuse to get rid of a dog.
    If the dog is 9 mo now, and you're only starting TTC now, she'll be at least 1.5 by the time the baby comes. That seems sufficient to me, as long as you're dedicated.

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    littlepepemmaaapaperpusherlovegood90
  • littlepeplittlepep South Carolina member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    It makes me so ragey when people act like you can't have a baby and pets. Your pet will learn to adapt to the baby. Most of the time the pets are gentle and sweet with the kids. They are more intuaitive than people think. My parents had dogs when I was a baby. I slept on them all the time and they didn't eat me or whatever the hell people think dogs/cats will do when you have a baby.
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  • My parents got a dog before I was born. The world didn't combust and everything was okay. I enjoyed having a dog around as a baby/kid.


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  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I would like to get a dog before kids, personally. Dealing with a small child AND trying to potty train a puppy sounds like way too much for me to handle.

    And I really don't want to wait 4 years to get a dog, because I have puppy-fever.
  • We got our pup before having offspring.  It led to a really awkward discussion with my mom telling me the dog was basically my way of having a baby and that I need to have babies.  And the kicker is she did it via a huge text message.  I wasn't ready at the time at all for kids, and that conversation got to me.  The dog will be mellowing out by 1.5 years (that's how old ours is right now and he's much easier than he was as a little puppy).  Don't let them upset you with this, though I totally get it because my mom's thing bugged me.  Like Lolo said, if the dog is trained, acclimated, and still cared for, this is a non-issue.
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  • Got our dog as a puppy right before we found out we were pregnant! He was trained and fine when baby came (a little jealous at first, but that's to be expected). Our son is 2.5 now and they are best buds!
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Our dog is 6 months old and we are going to TTC in the summer, so pretty similar time lines. A lot of rescues don't recommend getting a new dog if you have children under 5, so it makes more sense to get a dog first train him and then have kids. 
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  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

    SO and I fully intend on getting at least one dog, probably two, before we have kids. This is the norm in my circle. Everyone I know had a pet before having kids.

    I'd roll my eyes and tell your ILs to STFU. Or maybe something more polite I guess.



  • MadHops21MadHops21 Buried in blankets member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer
    When my FI and I move in, we're getting a dog together. He's never had pets before, and I think something like a dog would teach him how to take care of something other than just him. I've had pets my whole life and they're my babies that I love to death. 

    I've heard something interesting, something like if you introduce your kids early on to pets, they'll be less likely to become allergic. My brother and SIL have had 2 dogs first, then 3 kids after, and they're all around the dogs and seem fine. I don't know if there's a scientific article about it, just what I've heard. 
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  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    DH and I have 3 dogs and a cat. we aren't TTC for at least a year and by then the youngest dog will be 4.

  • My parents had a dog before me. The dog thought of me as a puppy as soon as my parents brought me home. She slept under my crib and was always around protecting me.

    In other words, I wouldn't worry.
  • My dad's favorite story from when I was a baby is that whenever I started crying our dog (then still a puppy) would get under my bassinet and cry too... My dog and I were best buds! I'm sure your pup and baby will get along great!
    missxasiafirebabe6519
  • KatieinBklnKatieinBkln (NO SLEEP TIL) Brooklyn! member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer First Anniversary
    People have had dogs and kids in every possible order with much success. You will have to be mindful of how you train and prepare your dog once you have a baby, as @lolo883 mentioned, but there's no reason why you can't have your dog and a baby too. It sounds like your h's grandparents have experienced a Bad Thing re: kids and babies, but that doesn't mean they're correct. Just thank them for their concern and proceed doing what you want.
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  • My parents had a dog before kids.  It was fine.  My parents remember when my older sibling (first born) was little and grabbed the dogs ears to pull herself to stand up.  They jumped toward her because they were afraid the dog might snap, but nope, the dog was just fine. They never had a problem with the dog. (That's one of the reasons I want to get a golden retriever. They are AMAZING dogs.)

    H and I want to get a dog, and kids are still a few years out for us.
  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    No personal experience with kids, but I've known plenty of couples who had already had a dog when they had a baby, and it was fine. Just make sure the dog is well trained and it shouldn't be a problem.
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  • My brother and SIL had their dog for a couple years before my niece was born in December. From stories and pictures I've seen he acts as her little guardian. He sleeps by her crib and sits next to whomever is holding her. When she cries he gets under her crib and cries, when she's giggling he does this little dance thing.

    My parents had 4 dogs and they have a bunch of their grand kids constantly coming over. Playing and getting in their faces and sleeping on them. The dogs do it back too. I have a picture where my one nephew was 2 and he got on my dog like a horse while he was lying down. My dog didn't give a shit, looked at him like "WTF you doing?" And then laid back down and didn't give a care.

    It's totally doable and you need to squash your doubt.
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    huskypuppy14
  • FiancBFiancB MinnesOOOta member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    It's really not a big deal. I have a friend that just had a baby and has always been super involved in rescue and things. She has three dogs and they are taking it really slow by keeping the dogs with her parents for now and visiting, but that isn't really all that necessary. Granted it eases the amount of work they do and being that one dog is a livestock guardian breed and another was originally feral and both are huge, it's not a bad idea to take it slow.

    I take my dog to an obedience club and they have a Dogs and Storks class where they educate people on how best to make introductions, the sorts of manners your dog should have, etc. But really a basic obedience class while making your concerns known should be fine too. 

    Really though even if you got a puppy and immediately got pregnant, there is still plenty of time to make preparations. 

    We got a dog over the summer and I'm glad that by the time we have a baby our dog will be mature and trained. Just don't be an idiot that lets your toddler abuse your dog unsupervised, or let your dog jump all over everything and everyone. 
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  • FiancBFiancB MinnesOOOta member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    I was just thinking about this some more and put more simply, I would rather have a dog already so that it can get used to us and then gradually get used to a baby before it starts to be more active than wait and bring home a brand new dog that I don't know to a kid we already had. 
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  • This is sort of unrelated:

    but your dog can tell you're pregnant before you know. They can actually smell the change in hormones in your system...kind of cool fact; but the point is, your dog will know something is different. It's how you react to him/her that will shape the dog into the pet you want around your children.

    I currently have a dog and cat. Probably will have another dog before TTC
    theartistformerlyknownas
  • My friend had two dogs before she had a baby, you know what the dogs did? Laid down next to the baby and stared at him lovingly, they also bring him their toys when he cries.

    FiancBJstump2
  • Thank you for all the replies they really helped! Personally, i didn't grow up with a dog so a lot of the dog stuff is new to me. For the record we are 100% committed to keeping our pup and doing everything possible to make a good transition once a child comes. It really helps hearing all the stories of people who have had positive experiences.

    And just because I love her here's a pic of Myka.
    buttercup1958
  • @drunkenwitch‌ I've actually heard that before. I will be very interested to see if I notice her acting any different.
  • Just read today that babies who are raised with dogs/cats have a stronger immune system than those who don't. Can't wait to shove that in the face of MIL who is terrified that our dog will mean that our baby will get sick all the time. 

    We have a rescue, she's probably about 5 now, also a lab mix. Our first child is due in August. I'm not too concerned about the dog being jealous because she's well trained and I've read up on  techniques to help with adjustment between dog and baby. She is a mother herself (had pups before we adopted her) and I've seen the caring instinct she has. I do still worry a little bit about how she'll react around the baby, how I'll keep her from eating the baby's toys. Horror of baby crawling around the house with dog hair attached to his/her drool. But I'm also really looking forward to our children growing up with pets and the love and responsibility that comes with that. 

    GIving your child his or her first best friend is definitely not selfish. Yes, it may take some work at the start, but in the long run, I think the pros way outweigh the cons. 
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  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    SBmini said:
    Just read today that babies who are raised with dogs/cats have a stronger immune system than those who don't. Can't wait to shove that in the face of MIL who is terrified that our dog will mean that our baby will get sick all the time. 

    We have a rescue, she's probably about 5 now, also a lab mix. Our first child is due in August. I'm not too concerned about the dog being jealous because she's well trained and I've read up on  techniques to help with adjustment between dog and baby. She is a mother herself (had pups before we adopted her) and I've seen the caring instinct she has. I do still worry a little bit about how she'll react around the baby, how I'll keep her from eating the baby's toys. Horror of baby crawling around the house with dog hair attached to his/her drool. But I'm also really looking forward to our children growing up with pets and the love and responsibility that comes with that. 

    GIving your child his or her first best friend is definitely not selfish. Yes, it may take some work at the start, but in the long run, I think the pros way outweigh the cons. 
    Congratulations!!
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  • SBmini said:

    Just read today that babies who are raised with dogs/cats have a stronger immune system than those who don't. Can't wait to shove that in the face of MIL who is terrified that our dog will mean that our baby will get sick all the time. 


    We have a rescue, she's probably about 5 now, also a lab mix. Our first child is due in August. I'm not too concerned about the dog being jealous because she's well trained and I've read up on  techniques to help with adjustment between dog and baby. She is a mother herself (had pups before we adopted her) and I've seen the caring instinct she has. I do still worry a little bit about how she'll react around the baby, how I'll keep her from eating the baby's toys. Horror of baby crawling around the house with dog hair attached to his/her drool. But I'm also really looking forward to our children growing up with pets and the love and responsibility that comes with that. 

    GIving your child his or her first best friend is definitely not selfish. Yes, it may take some work at the start, but in the long run, I think the pros way outweigh the cons. 
    Ahh congrats @SBmini‌ !!

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  • I have always heard it is best to get a dog pre-baby. Then you have more time to train it, plus it knows your pregnant so the whole pack mentality makes the dog more attached to the new baby.

    My parents did this. We got a Chow Chow for me, and that dog was so attached to me! It would try to keep me out of trouble and followed me everywhere. Then with my brother we adopted a Keeshond mix. She loved my brother. She would bring him toys, take away the toys when he tried to fill the potty with them... She would even pick him up by his diaper and carry him to his room when he was being bad. She was awesome!
    Jstump2
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