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Would I be crazy to get a dog while pregnant?

(17 Posts)
Quodlibet Mon 15-Apr-13 08:11:18

So I have always wanted a dog, and have had dogs in the family, but up until now as an adult I have lived in rented flats without gardens.

We have finally bought and moved into our new home - with garden, next to a park, PERFECT for a small dog - and I found out I am pregnant the day before we move! Its not a total surprise as we have been TTC and have planned to have a child. I had a MMC over Xmas but was expecting it to take a while to conceive again as it did the first time.

So my question is - would I be mad to get the dog before the baby (hopefully) arrives? I would have several months to settle the dog in, and I am looking at a young adult rescue dog so wouldn't have the puppy stage to deal with. I raised our family dogs as puppies and did all the training, and still dog-sit for people, so I am under no illusions about the amount of work and commitment involved with a dog - although of course I have no experience of dog plus baby!

What do I need to think about here?

Quodlibet Mon 15-Apr-13 08:13:17

Sorry - I hope my OP communicates that I'm not the sort of person who gets a dog as a baby substitute and then dumps them when the baby comes along. I take the dog ownership for life thing very seriously, hence putting the thought into it.

YouveCatToBeKittenMe Mon 15-Apr-13 08:16:05

Don't do it

Wait till your baby is a toddler

Any new dog, especially a rescue will need your full attention for quite a while to find its feet and properly settle.

phantomhairpuller Mon 15-Apr-13 08:23:28

We got our dog when I was in very early stages of pregnancy and didnt yet know! She and DS consequently grew up together and are the best of friends. I know the general advice you will get is to wait but we didnt have that option and it couldn't have worked out better grin

binger Mon 15-Apr-13 08:23:40

No, no, no, please don't. Having a newborn is all consuming and very stressful, you don't need a dog in that mix (and I'm a dog owner so totally understand your predicament).

You have plenty of time to find the right dog for your family when the baby is older please don't do it now, you will regret it.

You can't begin to understand the difficulty in adjusting to life with a new born and you don't want anything to make it more stressful (although maybe that was just me and everyone else finds it a breeze).

Callisto Mon 15-Apr-13 08:28:04

I wouldn't. I think it would be very unfair on the dog.

DeepRedBetty Mon 15-Apr-13 08:31:06

Hmmm... tricky!

It all depends on the dog settling well, and also on you having a reasonably good birth and lying in time. Neither of which can be guaranteed.

Do you have family who could have your dog to stay if you have a difficult birth and need longer to recover than expected?

MrsJohnDeere Mon 15-Apr-13 08:50:53

I would wait until your dc is Pre-school age.

shoutymcshoutsmum Mon 15-Apr-13 08:54:44

I wouldn't. Your baby deserves all your attention. Then later the dog can get the attention it deserves. It is also much easier to train a dog if you can give it one-to-one time. I found it impossible to train mine to walk to heel when I also had to manage a pushchair.

tabulahrasa Mon 15-Apr-13 10:34:19

Assuming it's your first baby, I wouldn't - dogs are nothing compared to a baby.

I'd wait, have your baby, wait to feel human again and then think about it...depending on your pregnancy birth and baby feeling human again can take anything from 6 months to about 4 years, lol. You've no idea at the moment if you'll sail through having a child or if it will completely overwhelm you for a bit, most people are somewhere in the middle.

It's also a massive upheaval for a dog - I found it took about a year for my rescue dogs to settle in properly.

LST Mon 15-Apr-13 10:38:01

I got our border collie pup when dc was 9mo. He's now nearly 18mo and they are great together.

JaxTellerIsAllMine Mon 15-Apr-13 12:39:04

The sensible answer is to wait. And unless your OH is around a lot to walk, feed, train your dog while you have your newborn then dont do it.

We got our first GSD when I was expecting DS (14 years ago now) and the 2 of them grew up together, were the best of buddies and it all worked out very well. BUT my dH was around to help with the dog/baby a LOT then.

It really does depend on you, your family situation and how the birth/feeding etc settles.

MagratGarlik Mon 15-Apr-13 13:21:01

I'd wait. We got our lovely Whippy aged 12 months from the RSPCA because the family who owned him previously had a baby. There were 4 other dogs in there at the same time for the same reason.

You don't know how things will go yet with the new baby. When I had ds2 we had some awful problems and were bank and forth to the hospital a lot. We could not have coped with a dog. Whilst these things can happen at any time, best to wait until one of life's less turbulent times before mixing a dog in.

Sheshelob Mon 15-Apr-13 13:27:45

Having just spent my morning cleaning up the festival of cat shit my 2 year old dog rolled over my living room, I would say DON'T DO IT!

silverangel Mon 15-Apr-13 13:36:27

I'm going against the grain here, we got our dog when I was about 10 weeks pregnant and wouldnt cange it. We decided that it had to be then or it wouldn't happen until the kids started school.

He was properly trained (or as well as a terrier ever will be!) before the girls put in an early appearance at 31 weeks. I could not imagine having the time to devote to training a puppy with two toddlers running around - although admitedly it might be easier if you only have one child to contend with...I have to say he saved my sanity in the early days as I got a guarunteed break from the babies every day to take him for a walk and now they are the best of friends.

firstpost Mon 15-Apr-13 13:48:08

We got a puppy when my son was 12 weeks old. I desperately wanted a rescue but was talked out of it - had to salve my conscience by making a monthly donation to a local dog rescue! Like you, I knew she would ours for the rest of her life and that re-homing would never be an option.

Anyway, it has worked out brilliantly for us. Having a dog means every day without fail I leave the house, stay in touch with the seasons and enjoy some healthy exercise. It had its tough times, housetraining and breast feeding were not easy to do simultaneously smile That said, they are both 21 / 22 months old now and the very best of friends.

Getting a dog is totally life changing though, so just make sure you have weighed up all the positives and negatives before making a final decision.

Quodlibet Mon 15-Apr-13 21:26:59

Thanks all - loads to think about. I think after the MC I latched on to the finally getting a dog as being something to look forward to, a happy event that I could have some control over (unlike childbearing). Maybe I need to step back from the situation and think about the practicalities further. DP is around a lot as we are both self-employed, and getting outside every day is one of the main upsides to dog-owning for me too - but it may be too much all at once as some have said.

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