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Toddler + pregnant + puppy(27 Posts)
I’ve copied this from the parenting forum for further opinions.
My DH has always wanted to have a dog, but being a chef has meant it’s never been feasible. In a few days we are swapping roles, and he’s going to be working PT and I’ll be working FT. He’s going to look after DS (29mo) 2 days a week.
This should be a massive improvement for our work life balance meaning we will get evenings and weekends as a family and DH won’t be so shattered all the time.
We were planning on getting a puppy at the end of January. We have just found out after a year of ttc that we are expecting our second child in September.
The more I’ve thought about all of this the more I’ve started to think it may be a terrible idea. If you have been in this situation how did you cope; any words of wisdom or advice? Is a family dog really worth the crazy puppy months? My DH has never asked me for anything and I think it would make him really happy but I really don’t think he appreciates how hard it will be and how it could affect our relationship.
My sister said it’s going to be a crazy year anyway so we may as well do it all at once! But her kids are older now.
The puppy is from a colleague and we’ve not paid yet as there were two pups left I said we were very interested.
What breed of dog is it?
I have a 2.5 year old and due again in Feb. I also have a 5 year old cocker spaniel. Honestly I absolutely adore my dog but I wouldn’t choose to have a puppy whilst my children are tiny. Dogs are rewarding but such hard work and a real tie. Do you go out for long days, do you go on holidays, do you have lots of other children visiting your house, how will you keep children and dog separated when you are out of the room (simple things like going for a wee means separating the dog, the toddler and the baby).
That being said I wouldn’t be without my dog, he is fantastic and I love that my daughters will grow up with pets. Just the dogs puppy and teenage period will be really hard.
Look at all the puppy survival threads on here. It's bloody hard and you will struggle with something, often the peeing everywhere or the biting (mouthing). Toilet training takes many weeks/months despite what people tell you in RL. You have to get up in the night to let them toilet initially unless you fancy pee/poo on puppy pads but then look at the threads where big puppies are still not toilet trained and confused about the pads. Dogs can struggle to be left and many are destructive or noisey especially if it isn't done gradually.
Now add a baby and crawling toddler into the mix.
Now add the work into the mix. I work full time with days at home. I ended up looking after the puppy and then working late into the night so my work didn't suffer. I also spend lots of money outsourcing care so my dog does not suffer. Sounds to me like you will both still be working lots and when at home looking after the baby.
Then look at the threads on here and see those where people come on saying they can't cope with the dog now the baby is here and want to rehome the dog. If you think this response is negative it's because of threads like them as it's heartbreaking to here how dogs are rehomed because now the baby is here they don't want to put the effort in.
Your evenings and weekends won't be quiet with the job change because you still need to walk and mentally exercise the dog. Training doesn't just mean puppy classes unless you still want a non trained adult dog. It's an ongoing thing for at a minimum a year but I still have to train to keep it fresh.
If after all that you really want a dog and are committed to it alongside the arrival of a new baby then all the best
i too think you are crazy and will regret it.
Don't get the puppy.
The change in working arrangements hasn't even happened yet, you don't know how you both will feel about it. You need to let that settle down first.
Also being pregnant will change things - you'll have maternity leave to content with, with an energetic dog, a toddler and a baby, how much will fall to you to do?
Is there any chance you'd consider a rescue dog? You'd have a better idea of the temperament and training and it would be less work than a puppy.
Personally I wouldn't get a puppy at the best of times. I'm currently pregnant and have a toddler too. We were thinking of a dog down the line, but definitely one that's already trained. Why put all that extra work on yourself when you've already got so much going on?
Oh god, don't do it. You don't know how your pregnancy will go for you (congratulations!), you might struggle a lot more physically, for instance. Toddlers and puppies are a horrible mix. I have a 3yo and a one year old dog, I have to physically separate them to protect the dog from his rambunctiousness. Both of them hate when I do it, but it's for both of their protection. I have to keep a constant eye on them both. It's tiring and I'm not pregnant or have a newborn.
I feel quite stressed just thinking of your plans tbh!
Oh my god no, please don't! We had a dog before our baby arrived and still needed to rehome him.
No way. I’d wait until the kid were older.
it's heartbreaking to here how dogs are rehomed because now the baby is here they don't want to put the effort in.
Just a note on this- very easy to judge! Before I was in this situation I definitely thought the same but when we could see our poor little dog suffering terribly, it was the kindest thing to do, to find him a nice new loving home (not a dog shelter). He was waking us more than the new baby, shaking, frothing at the mouth, running into walls. It was very distressing.
I’m coming at this from a slightly different perspective. I have 8 month old twins and a 5 year old sproodle, who is an absolute superstar. You couldn’t wish to meet a better dog.
However, I’ve really struggled to give him the time that he deserves, it’s not just about taking it out for a walk, a puppy is very much like a baby. It needs attention and training. If you have a puppy, baby & toddler, quite often all 3 will be wanting your attention at the same time. You will naturally give that attention to your children, which will lead to negative behaviour from your puppy.
I think having a dog within a family is a fabulous idea, they bring so much joy to you, but If I was in your shoes I’d wait until your children are a little older
Thank you everyone for your replies. There are no wrong or negative replies; I’ve asked for honest opinions and experiences and that’s what you’ve given me. I guess I’m trying to ease my guilt more than anything. I just don’t think it’s fair on us or a puppy. I did have a look at re-homing a dog but when I used their search criteria of a dog that would be ok with cats (god I didn’t even mention my 2 cats) and children in the 0-3 age range no matches came up on any of the sites I tried. I guess that speaks volumes.
Enjoy your toddler and new baby OP. When they are both old enough to understand puppies are bitey monsters for months and can be sensible around one then that's the time to think about a puppy.
Wait until your dc are older, we’ve had our puppy for 2 months now, it’s such hard work and dc is 10 but even he’s struggled with the constant jumping up and biting.
The right time will come and you pup will be a wonderful addition to the family but now’s not the right time for you.
No, no, no. Don’t do it. When the youngest is school age, that’s the time to think about it
I can understand if you had a dog before children but young children are very demanding and throwing a puppy (who is like a baby) into the mix adds much more demands. Especially as unlike children you are limited where you can take the dog. Definitely wait and enjoy your children.
Definitely wait until you children are older - I'd say back end of primary is the earliest I'd recommend. You want those baby potty training days and sleepless nights to be a distant memory before yo do it with a dog!
We currently have a one year old, heavily pregnant with second and have a seven year old dog (and a cat). I really wouldn't go for a puppy now. The older dog is great because he's fairly set in his ways and pretty calm now, as long as he gets a good run he will happily snooze in the house for the rest of the day. My DH also takes him to work quite often which is really handy when you've got other people over for playdates/appointments for children etc. I really don't think I could give a puppy the time it needs until both children are in school.
Definitely don't do it! Can't think of anything worse/more hard work than a toddler/baby/puppy combination
I wouldn’t do it simply for the reason that when you have small children it’s nice to have the flexibility to just go out to soft play , amusement parks , museums etc and if you have a dog all these ad hoc outings become more difficult because you have to factor in dog care . We didn’t get our first family dog until our youngest was 10 .
Firstly as for rehoming a dog- shelters dont let anyone with children under the age of 8 adopt a dog. Secondly pregnancy toddler + puppy... no. Honest opinion here. I'm a stay at home mum and a carer to my partner. He has mental health issues. My son is 3yrs old and we have 2 6month olds pups. If I was pregnant too I can tell you now I would NOT cope. The stress of walking every day for at least 3miles, added on to ds appointments and asthma and other issues, my partners health my back issues.... add that onto keeping a house cleaned and when the pups were younger cleaning pee and poo in the house... everything needs cleaned moredue to dog hair... oh and not to mention if you have grass they'll trail mud through the house which means even more cleaning. Then add on that if they get bored they'll chew anything and everything and while teething.. from cupboard to skirting boards... from sofas ds toys... oh not forgetting the new kitchen vinyl floor with a big whole in it.... dogs are loving and loyal and bring so much love into your life but honestly? If I'd have thought about it more, we'd have waiting 1 or 2yrs until we got one nevermind 2
It is absolutely not fair on a puppy to bring it into a home with a risk that it may lose out, one way or another, due to a planned change.
There is no way a dog in that scenario gets as much attention and care as a dog coming into home where life has calmed down a bit (or, at least, where it won't be competing so much with young children for care and attention).
A toddler, newborn and adolescent dog just spells trouble, and it'll be the dog that loses out.
I'd wait it wont be fair to get s puppy then not be able to give it the attention it needs becouse you've had a baby.maybe wait until your youngest is 1 or 2 so it's a compromise not no just wait until the new baby is born and older.
For a number of reasons I ended up with a 10 month old baby and a puppy at once.
It was great in some ways, a nightmare in others but we are 3 years in now and they are best of friends.
Admittedly, puppy wasn’t trained to as high a standard as dog1 and as a result isn’t as obedient. She also has separation anxiety as she was never left much as a puppy as I was on maternity leave.
I did it and survived but I already had a dog at the time, was used to having multiple dogs and had to walk one anyway so it was no different to not having to walk at all. It was training where things fell short and dog2 just had to sort of follow dog1!
Just posted about our 10 month old terror also have a 20 month old human baby). I HAVE put the work in and I am still worried we might have to rehome him. Honestly - don’t do it. God especially not pregnant as well. It is really bloody hard. Even after the toilet training and chewing everything phase is over.
I have a puppy who is now 6 months, and no children. I was completely exhausted for the first couple of months! You need to watch a puppy constantly unless it’s asleep to check it isn’t weeing on the floor - every time you miss it weeing indoors house-training gets delayed. I used to pick mine up and dash outside with him - if you were feeding baby at the time you’d have to let the puppy fend for itself and it would wee inside and thus end up taking ages to house train. They wake you up in the night to go out for a wee. They chew everything and I can’t imagine trying to keep a toddler’s toys away from it when the toddler will be dropping them on the floor. They bite - mine was called BiteyFuck on here for a reason. He made us both bleed on occasion, and a toddler has much softer skin and is right at face-biting height. I’m not scaremongering; this is just a fact of puppies, they have no idea they’re being naughty and it takes ages to teach them not to do it. Then mine refused to be left alone for more than 5 minutes while tiny - I couldn’t go to the bathroom without him howling. What will you do about baby appointments and toddler groups when you can’t leave the puppy alone? Yours might be better with being left for a bit, but a very young puppy can’t be left for more than an hour to begin with before it needs a wee again anyway. I felt absolutely stir crazy to begin with. Also, DH and I took 2 weeks off each to give puppy 4 weeks to settle in before going back to work, so used up a lot of annual leave - would that be possible? And I echo PP on working from home - I also found I wasn’t getting anything done until
DH got home as the puppy was all-consuming and had to spend my evenings working to catch up. Even now I’m doing longer, more drawn-out days around his pee breaks and episodes of playing.