Puppy Parenting

You've probably heard people say that "parenting" a puppy is good practice for parenting a human baby... but is it true?

Woman looking at her yawning puppy

Love in training

In some ways, caring for a puppy is a lot like caring for a newborn. You'll instantly be in love with your fur baby (though you'll love your future human baby infinitely more) so much that you won't mind waking up in the night multiple times to let him do his business. Even some of the yucky chores like cleaning his "accidents" out of the carpet and picking up his doodie while out for a walk won't seem like a burden. You'll love cuddling your puppy much like you'll cherish snuggling with a real baby. But there's a lot more to it.

Bottom line

Of course, parenting a human baby is certainly more complicated than caring for a puppy. After all, you can leave the puppy in your bathroom with a few squares of newspaper if you need to run some errands or meet friends for happy hour. With a real baby? Not so much.

Jokes aside, parenting is a 24/7 full-time gig and being a pet parent is much less demanding. However, similarities do exist. So we have to wonder -- if you're trying to have a baby, should you get a dog? Before you do, ask yourself these questions:

Will I be able to manage both?

Say you get pregnant quickly after welcoming a puppy. Will you be able to handle training a puppy (and dealing with countless chewed up shoes) while also caring for your newborn which involves a never-ending cycle of feeding, bathing, changing, napping and playing with baby? Will you resent the puppy when he wakes you in the night for a potty break just seconds after you finally got back to sleep after your baby's second nighttime feeding?

Am I just getting a puppy to tide myself over?

Is the puppy just a place card until you have a human baby of your own? And when you actually do have a baby, will the puppy's life change dramatically because your focus has instantly changed from puppy love to baby love?

Think it over

If you're considering getting a puppy because you're frustrated with your struggle to conceive, we suggest you hold off. You'll get plenty of parenting practice once your real baby comes along.

More on parenting

Dealing with the psychological impact of infertility
Impatience or infertility?
10 Fertility-boosting tricks to get pregnant

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