Dog or baby? That’s the question here, at least when animal lovers and dog lovers are in the phase of family planning with their partners. The decision is not accessible. After all, there are good reasons for bringing your four-legged friend into the house first, but also for waiting to see how things are going with the offspring. The following tips will help you plan.
Whether you decide to have a dog or a baby first depends on your personal life situation and experience. It’s a different matter whether you’ve always had dogs and are familiar with them or entirely new to dealing with your four-legged friend and your baby. One thing is sure: do not rush the decision.
What’s the point of getting the dog first?
Getting a dog first and then having a baby can be beneficial. It can be easier this way, especially for people who have no experience with dogs. Dog training and child training are not so different – consistency and clarity are essential for both. It is also said that the four-legged friends are just as innovative as two too small three-year-old children. If the dog comes into the house first, you can “practice” with him and get used to giving clear instructions without being rude and teaching him essential rules.
However, it is essential not to neglect your cold nose once the baby is born. His upbringing doesn’t stop there, nor does his love for you. Think of him as a separate being with his own needs, not a surrogate baby or “guinea pig.” It can work great if you prepare your dog well for the new arrival during pregnancy. Another plus: Children are considered less susceptible to allergies and are said to have a more robust immune system if they grow up with pets from the beginning.
Reasons why the baby comes first
In contrast to getting a dog, you can only plan a pregnancy to a limited extent. Sometimes it works right away; sometimes, it takes a while until a baby is on the way. The latter can be very stressful for couples who long for children, and it can happen that they don’t have a clear head to give their four-legged friend the attention and occupation they deserve. Furthermore, having a baby is a big adjustment for any couple; it is an entirely new situation that you can only understand once you are in the middle of it.
In addition, such a tiny human being is always a grab bag: Is it relatively calm or nervous? Does it sleep through the night or keep waking up during the night? Is it pleasing, agreeable, and cooperative? Or is it confrontational, constantly testing its limits and reacting defiantly when it doesn’t get its way? Parents only know all this when the child is there. There is an excellent danger of underestimating the situation in advance. You react differently and behave more sensibly when you have had enough sleep and can think about it in peace. All of this speaks in favor of having the baby first and seeing how it develops and how you cope. And if everything is going well and the child no longer needs your full attention, you can choose a dog with the family.
Conclusion: dog or baby first? Difficult Decision
It’s up to you to decide whether the dog or the baby comes first. In principle, it is also possible to have a dog and a baby simultaneously. For example, if you have an unplanned pregnancy and have already decided to get a dog, it’s doable to raise them together. But it is a double burden that can be very exhausting.
It’s a little easier if you’ve had experience with both dogs and babies—like being an aunt, godfather, cousin, or babysitter—to get a little idea of what’s in store. Also, ask your friends or family if you can count on support from them if everything gets too much for you.