10 reasons why getting a puppy when you’re pregnant is totally awesome

Guest post by Cat Neilson

My nickname is Cat, but I’m a dog person through and through. Comparable to a little boy’s knowledge of cars, I’m simply transfixed by all the different breeds and personalities of dogs. I can remember a babysitter once introducing me as “This is Cat, she knows more about dogs than anyone I know.” I was about nine at the time and was quietly surprised by the remark — didn’t everyone know about dog breeds?

My childhood pet collection ranged from hamsters to turtles to budgies but Oreo, our miniature poodle, was the center of my life. When he died (I was 20) I wept like I’ve never wept before. It was like losing a sibling. After university and moving away from home, I’ve not had the chance to have a dog again — renting flats doesn’t usually give you that option.

At seven months pregnant my husband and I decided we needed to fork out for the space and have moved into a rented house (with friendly landlords). The house is dilapidated but roomy, and there is a backyard. It’s in a quiet residential neighborhood near some woods and a large recreation ground. Ideal for kids…and ideal for dogs!

The backstory on getting my puppy while pregnant

I had seen the advertisement in the paper a few weeks earlier … “I’ll just drive over and have a look,” I said to myself. “If there is one thing wrong with the place, the people or the dogs I won’t get one.” Famous last words. A week later we came home with Roscoe.

My overwhelming desire to have a dog blinded me from all the reasons why I shouldn’t get one. Namely, being pregnant. “A baby and a puppy, are you crazy?!” was the response I got from several people. How would I manage a yapping puppy and a crying baby? How would I walk the dog and the buggy? How would I stop it from chewing the baby?

These questions bounced off me as if I was encased in an invisible happy bubble. “I. Don’t. Care.” And that’s really the overriding factor to getting a puppy while pregnant. You don’t care, because you are so focused on the puppy, totally high on re-directed maternal hormones, that you don’t even think about the baby. Which brings me to this:

Top 10 reasons why getting a puppy while pregnant is actually not such an insane idea:

  1. Good practice: Puppies need to be let out in the middle of the night to pee, they need feeding, stimulation, grooming, fussing, training – the list goes on. You’re constantly up and down providing for the puppy. It’s great practice for interrupted sleeps, patience and setting a routine. Their needs are very similar to what a baby demands.
  2. Distraction: If you are worried about pregnancy and becoming a mother, having a puppy will distract you from all that. You will forget you are pregnant entirely because you’ll be busy with the puppy.
  3. Exercise: Puppies and pregnant women are the perfect match in levels of fitness. Puppies shouldn’t be walked too much because their joints and bones are still soft and forming. Two twenty minute walks a day is sufficient – also the perfect amount for a pregnant woman and it gets you out even when you’re feeling super tired.
  4. They sleep a lot: Yes puppies can jump about and get excited, but for most of the day they sleep. You’ll still have time to obsessively clean your house before the baby comes.
  5. Trainability: Puppies follow their new human parents around like lambs to ewes. They are playful and unsure about life, but really want to please you. Now is the ideal time for training and setting the rules. If you set boundaries and rules now, the puppy will respect them and grow up to be a well trained adult dog.
  6. Friends for life: Your baby and puppy will grow up together as if they were siblings. Your baby won’t be afraid of dogs and will learn about caring for animals. Likewise, the puppy will grow up looking up to the baby as if he were the baby’s minder.
  7. Spare time: For the first month (at least) puppies really need to be in your company. They shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time, so if you are on maternity leave you’ll have the spare time to spend with the puppy. And after the birth, you’ll be at home with the new baby and dog.
  8. Mothering: I am positive the pregnancy hormones in my body are making me sing lullabies to Roscoe. I can’t help but cuddle and brush him, or settle him down when he is in a strop (“chew time is over!’). The puppy definitely brings out those hidden mothering skills you never knew you had.
  9. Prepares the father/partner: Fathers-to-be benefit from having a puppy because they’ll get their first dose of feeling neglected while you spend all your energy and thoughts on the puppy. They also must deal with things like poo clean up, disruption when trying to simply watch TV or read the paper, new noises, laying down “the law”(no jumping up, no biting, teaching commands, etc), as well as gratification from witnessing their cuteness.
  10. New role: When the baby comes, suddenly there’s a new priority in your life – you are no longer number one. The baby’s needs come first, end of story. You get the same feeling with a puppy. If it needs to go to the vet, you take it straight away. If it needs special food, you buy that special food even if it’s expensive. Being 100% concerned for the welfare of someone else 24 hours a day is a new but nice feeling.

I am now due any day and Roscoe is four months old. He was the best decision I ever made and my husband thinks so too. We have no concerns about raising Roscoe with our baby because he brings us such happiness. There’s a niggling worry that I might not love the baby as much as I love Roscoe, but I hear the bond between mother and child (human child) is stronger than any other. However, a friend of mine has bought me a cuddly poodle costume for the baby…just in case.

Comments on 10 reasons why getting a puppy when you’re pregnant is totally awesome

  1. I love this article. I’ve read too many comments where people admitted to giving their pets to shelters all because they had a baby. I just don’t think those people cared for their animals to begin with. When my mother had me, she said her bond with her poodle/Afghan mix strengthened. Unfortunately, someone shot the dog out of spite, and it broke her heart.

  2. I got a pup during my pregnancy. Though in the beginning I enjoyed playing with him, after 6 weeks of my pregnancy, suddenly I could not take his smell. I puked everytime I was near the puppy! I felt bad that I could not give him all the attention I wanted and it was my husband who lovingly took care of the puppy.

  3. I love this article. I am pregnant (almos 6 months) and I have a goldendoodle (4 months). All the people said it was a bad idea… but I did not hear. Im very happy with my puppy but I have to admit it is hard. The puppy has a lot of energy and I am most of the time tired. Anyways, I play with her a lot, we go out like 7 times a the day and when my husband comes home we go to a big park, where she can run and keep playing =D. I have to clean my flat almost everyday and my puppy wants to be with me all the time… so I can not do a lot =S. I am very excited that my baby meets the puppy and they get inseparable. I know this will bring a lot of positive things and the best desicion…but at the beginning its hard. =)

    • Hi – I am in a similar position as you were. I am 4.5 months pregnant and have a small F1B Goldendoodle that will be coming home to us in October when I am roughly 6-7 months pregnant. The dog will be 16 weeks old, with 8 weeks of puppy boot camp already under its belt. Am I crazy?? How did things turn out once your baby was born? Did you still feel like it was a good idea? Any regrets or words of wisdom now that you look back at it and have experienced it? I appreciate any input or advice. Also, I live in a condo so I can’t just let the dog out into a backyard, I need to take it downstairs to pee and walk/run etc. Luckily potty training will be substantially done by the time the dog would come home. Thank you!!

  4. We got a puppy when we found out we were pregnant with our first. We already had a dog and my reasoning was our dog needed a friend because of the new baby. It was tough training the puppy while pregnant and he didn’t get much attention from me so it was good he had our older dog. The puppy may have a hard time adjusting to a baby just after getting into a routine with you all. If you do it be careful what breed you get to try to find one that is good with kids and doesn’t mind getting all the people attention.

  5. I read this article nearly 2 years ago now, when I was 7 months pregnant with my son and had just got a puppy (to be honest on a bit of a whim). I was looking for experiences that people had had with dogs and babies as I had never had either before and my father and many other’s were extremely negative, and even sometimes neurotic, about it all. I grew up with no pets except a hamster and I was terrified of dogs until I was 19 and my, now father in law’s, dog Gemma, a very very soft spaniel, made me fall completely in love with her. I didn’t want that for my little boy. I suppose as well I was very broody and needed to love something that wasn’t hidden away in my tummy. The experience was wonderful for both my “babies”! Oscar instantly became the most wonderful dog and, although my father insisted that we should probably get his claws filed down and that he would go into attack mode when the baby cried (I know it’s a bit mad), he has been nothing but wonderful to Alfie and prepared me as best as is humanly (and caninely) possible for the up-coming baby. To top it all off, Oscar and his relationship with Alfie turned into a sort-of career for me. All the mischief that they were getting up to and me wanting to return to my artwork, led to my husband suggesting that I wrote a children’s book about them both! That little book that I wrote for Alfie’s christmas present started to sell and I’m now working on a sequel. Thank you for all that you have done for me and my family, please take a look at the book just to see in print what you have contributed to! – Rose Hannah Button author of “No Oscar, NO!”

  6. I’m glad I found this post. Our dog of 8+ years just died from a surprising and sudden bout of metastatic cancer. I am almost 25 weeks pregnant and also have a two year old. I am scrambling for resources to give me insight, because while I thought I would never get another dog (he was definitely our soul mate/heart dog), after only a few weeks I couldn’t stand coming home to an empty house, the silence at night, the lonely walks — and my toddler is definitely having a time adjusting as she loved him greatly.

    While I’m not sure we’d go with a young puppy (maybe an older one, or young adult), more and more I’m needing less insight from others to make my decision because I just NEED to have a dog in my life! We are considering fostering until the next baby is here since I’m worried I’ll be “rebounding” and looking for a replacement for our dog we’ll never quite get, as well as navigating any dominance issues with dog being here first (I loved our dog, but he never quite got over our daughter coming into our lives!) — but at least fostering will hopefully help our hearts heal right along with helping to take care of a dog! But your post also makes me wonder if I’d be just fine adopting, too!

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