Being a mom is one of the most rewarding experiences many women long to have. It can also be scary and overwhelming for new mothers who aren’t sure exactly what to do.
Raising a puppy is not the same as raising a child, but it can help one prepare for having human babies later.
Like motherhood, owning a dog can be highly rewarding but also takes a lot of time, devotion and an immense amount of patience. Your entire life will be basically upended with the arrival of a new baby or a puppy. Both will be dependent on you for even the most basic needs.
In 2018, people spent $72 billion on their dogs. The baby care product industry neared $75 billion that same year.
It’s safe to say many people treat their dogs like they are babies. You can still pamper your pup and cut dog-related costs by doing things like grooming your dog at home.
What can dogs teach us about motherhood?
Practice Your Maternal Instincts on a Dog
Many women find it offensive to equate dogs or other pets with children, as if loving your dog takes away how much they love their child.
Perhaps raising a dog doesn’t reach the magnitude of raising a child, but it’s impossible to deny that there are many similarities in children and babies.
For one, once a baby reaches the toddler stage, their curiosity prompts them to get into all kinds of trouble. The same applies to curious puppies or bored dogs.
Dog owners live by the mandate, “A tired dog is a good dog.” The same adage can apply to children and even moody teenagers.
New mothers often experience the feeling that they aren’t prepared. Usually their maternal instincts kick in, but having children can be daunting in many ways. Dogs can be considered a crash course in what to expect with a baby.
For example, moms have to learn how to multitask. Such duties can include knowing what to pack in a travel bag that will keep their child occupied. When traveling with dogs, owners must also plan ahead for what important items to bring for the trip.
5 Ways Having a Dog Prepares You For Children
Dogs are great companions. They are loyal, intelligent and sweet. But they take a lot of work. Not as much work as babies, but the general consensus is if you can handle a dog, you can handle a baby.
Here are 5 ways having a dog prepares you for motherhood.
1. Your Priorities Change
Dog owners and mothers both cite the day they brought a dog or baby home as the day their lives changed forever. No more late nights at the office or last-minute plans. Forget extended vacations halfway around the world.
You can do those things, but you’ll no longer want to do them. Your baby or dog will be your main focus.
2. You Become Responsible for Another Living Being
This is where moms get nervous. Mothers take on huge responsibilities as the primary caregiver to everyone in the family, even the dog. Moms are tasked with feeding, changing and raising a well-mannered child or canine.
3. You Adjust to Lack of Sleep
Expectant mothers are always given one piece of advice: Sleep while you can before the baby comes. After the baby is born, the advice changes to sleep when the baby sleeps. Babies fuss and cry often during the night. So do puppies and even older dogs.
4. Potty-training Struggles
Potty-training is the great equalizer among dog moms and human moms. In both scenarios, the dog or baby must be taught how to hold their bladder and where best to eliminate. Potty-training has a wide variety of techniques for dogs and babies.
5. You Learn Communication Without Speaking
Non-verbal cues are another thing shared by moms of babies and dog moms. Knowing what your child or dog wants without them being able to tell you is a special skill that moms learn. Moms are also adept at saying a lot in a look without ever speaking.
No, Dogs Aren’t Babies, But Both Have Similar Needs
“Dogs are not the same as babies” is a hot button issue for both parents and non-parents. No one is saying dogs are equal to babies. But they do have similar needs and demands.