Are dogs and babies similar? My verdict: Yes. And no.
Perhaps you may recall my post a couple of weeks ago about my ridiculously easy dog and how I feel like she hasn’t prepared me for the high maintenance needs of the newborn that will soon be living with my husband and I (*Read: 10 Reasons Why Having a Dog Has In No Way Prepared Me For Having a Real-Life Baby).
I received a lot of comments from readers who disagreed and felt that their dogs really have been good preparation for parenthood, which made me stop to reconsider my dog. While I must admit that I do have the easiest dog on the planet and that there’s probably no way our baby will be as easy to care for as a she is (I completely expected this), I did come up with 10 ways that she actually has prepared me for a baby. Even if my dog isn’t the most high maintenance, she still definitely requires some responsibility.
Read my list of 10 Ways That Having a Dog Has Prepared Me for Having a Real-Life Baby after the jump!
Dogs provide you with plenty of middle-of-the-night surprises…
just like babies. I can recall many a time being woken up to dog puke in the middle of the night...good practice for those random wake-ups a baby will bring.
Both are adorably perfect for plastering on social networking sites.
My dog has blinded me into thinking that every little thing she does is cute enough to post on Facebook. I've gotten better, but I'm sure the same will happen when I have a baby. If I start posting about nap schedules and the consistency of poopy diapers, please host an intervention.
Both dogs and babies adore you and completely depend on you.
Despite the fact that my dog can eat on her own, she still needs me to buy her food and serve it to her. Despite the fact that she's completely potty trained, she still relies on me to pick up on her cues and to actually let her out to go do her thing. All of her basic needs must be met by me, just like a baby. The bonus is that babies and dogs completely adore you and love you more than anything else in the world.
Dogs, like babies, are an instant conversation starter…
and both solicit unwanted advice from strangers. When you have a dog, other people with dogs (or without) want to come up and ask you 20 questions about it ("What's her name?", "How old is she?", "How did you get her to do that?"). Same goes for babies - I would imagine play group conversations start up quite similarly ("What's her name?", "How old is she?", "How did you get her to do that?"). Perhaps having a dog has been slight preparation for the unwanted advice from strangers I'm sure to get as a parent, because I've definitely gotten plenty of unwanted doggy parenting advice already.
They’re both cute and cuddly.
Both are so adorable! Can I just quit work and snuggle with you all day?
Babies and dogs both require grooming.
Like babies, dogs require washing, brushing, cleaning, etc... Basic, but true.
Both will probably embarrass you in public with bad behavior at some point.
This photo is from the first time we took Marley to the beach. She was completely insane and wouldn't behave on her leash, so my husband had to actually pick her up and carry her. Kind of embarrassing to have everyone staring at you carrying a 65 pound dog down to the beach. I would imagine that screaming babies in public may illicit the same embarrassed/frustrated state from time to time.
You sometimes have to forgo plans when they aren’t allowed at an event or location.
Sometimes dogs just aren't allowed into places, so you have to change your plans or work around it. You can't take a dog to the movies. You can't take them to your friend's house if they happen to be allergic. You can't take them to a fancy restaurant. Same goes for babies...and actually all of the same locations (babies at the movies can be disasters and I know plenty of people that are also "allergic" to babies...often those allergic to babies also tend to frequent said fancy restaurants).
You have to anticipate their messes and keep things out of their reach.
Every time I leave the house I have to take out the garbage. It's the one thing that my otherwise ridiculously well-behaved dog can't resist. I'm pretty sure garbage is like doggy-crack. This is kind of like baby proofing your house, or keeping messy things out of your baby's reach. It must be done - unless you really like cleaning up messes.
You love being with them and can’t stand being away from them for too long.
Whenever we go on vacation by the end, we're always completely missing Marley like crazy and wishing we were home already to spend time with her. I'm sure with the love bomb that we're about to experience with this baby we're never going to want to leave her side, and it's all going to be totally worth it and completely awesome.
Do you feel like your dog has prepared you for having a baby?
Why or why not?
10 Reasons Why Having a Dog Has In No Way Prepared Me For Having a Real-Life Baby
Pets and New Babies: 3 Common Mistakes
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