It’s no surprise here that I don’t have ‘real’ children, but I do treat my fur babies like real kids all the time! Kurt and I actually decided that we needed to get a dog before we had kids because they teach you so much responsibility. We even preach this onto our friends- EVERYONE needs to have a dog before they have a baby! Here is the run down of the benefits of a dog and why you need one before kids:
It teaches you to communicate better as a couple
There is so much planning that goes into having a puppy that you don’t even realize until you are in the thick of things. A puppy needs to be kept on a strict schedule, which means you and your significant other need to over communicate. I remember when Addie was just a little puppy and I would come home from work and ask Kurt, ‘Did you feed Addie?” Sounds like a simple question, right? But what he would hear was ‘Did YOU feed Addie?” like I was giving him some attitude and accusing him of not taking care of our pet. Having a dog brings up issues and problems that you have to learn how to work out in a civil manner. And on top of that you are exhausted- which leads me to my next point.
You learn how to deal with being exhausted
Puppy life is really hard! I always had dogs growing up, but when you have your mom and dad taking on the majority of the care, you don’t realize how much work it is. Potty training is no joke and takes up a lot of time and energy. And to not mention that they have to go all the time. Then there are the night time potty breaks. When Addie was really small, Kurt and I would sleep in shifts- I kid you not! I don’t know where we went wrong in the training department with Addie, but she never slept!
You take more pictures
A puppy is the cutest thing in the world and you defiantly want to document it, just like you would when you have a baby. My entire phone is filled with pictures of the first 6 months of Addie’s life (who am I kidding, it still is!). And it really teaches you to enjoy those puppy or baby moments because you will never get them back. We look back all the time at those pictures of when she was tiny and cherish them.
A dog teaches you patience
Your little puppy doesn’t understand why she can’t just go to the bathroom on your new rug. But when they look up at with those big eyes, your heart just melts. I learned to let things go after raising Addie. My house always seemed to be a mess from her dragging her toys out or getting into something, but that’s just the way life goes sometimes! There are bigger fish to fry.
You learn to be less selfish
When Addie was a puppy my evenings were spent walking her, trying to tire her out and reinforcing potty training. By the time it was time for bed, I was exhausted. There was no ‘me’ time anymore. You quickly learn to adjust and realize your pup is more important!
We also love to plan fun activities with her on the weekends. Her favorites are the the dog park, dog beach (read more about that here) and other events in our neighborhood. We have learned to be less selfish in our needs. She is cooped up all week in her crate and the apartment, so she just wants to run and have fun!
You are more friendly
Dogs just make you a better person. Addie instantly puts me in a better mood and that begins to rub off when I see other people. Having Addie, people are always coming up us giving compliments, asking her age, breed, sex, name etc. You learn to be friendly and more outgoing. And we have even made friends with more of our neighbors because our dogs are friends! #parenthood
We have learned so much after raising Addie and we feel so much more prepared for parenthood. It should be easier the second time around right? #wishfulthinking
What are your thoughts on getting a dog before you have children?
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