12 Reasons why it’s a Good Idea to have a Dog before Children
A lot of people compare having a dog to a child. But let’s be honest, you can’t crate your children or leave their food in a bowl or leave them in kennels when you travel. You also don’t have to deal with them for the rest of your life as their life spans are short. You don’t have to go through child labor pains either, you simply just adopt or purchase your pet. However, there are some valuable lessons and parenting skills you learn that I believe will help when it comes to taking care of your pet to prepare you for taking care of children.
- Potty Training: Everyone knows how difficult it is to potty train a dog and a child. You have to let your dog know exactly where to go and when to go. It also takes time to potty train your dog. Some can teach their dog to potty outside in a year and others it takes longer. You have to do the same exact thing with children and teach them to potty in a toilet.
- Patience: Speaking of potty training, you will be forced to be patient with your pet. They are not going to understand all training commands immediately. Just like children, you have to be patient and control your anger when teaching them life skill.
- Acceptance: You will simply have to accept your dog’s personality. Some of them are chewers and destroyers. You have to be mindful that they will tear up things especially as pups just like children will until they learn better. You have to remember they are still learning.
- Peace and Quiet: Some dogs bark excessively or click-clack as they walk with their long nails on hardwood floors or simply just whine when they require attention. You have to learn to tune them out and occupy yourself so that you do not become angered and annoyed. This will prepare you to deal with screaming children, temper tantrums and loud toys.
- Providing: You chose to have a dog and take on all the responsibilities associated. You must take them to the Vet, keep up with their shot records, feed them healthy food, buy them toys to occupy themselves, furnish their bed and be sure to bathe and clean them just like you have to do with children unless you want CPS called on you.
- Dirty Diapers: Not only do you have to clean up poop on your walks, you have to clean it up around your house. There are services that will come out weekly to pick up poop, but most people probably just clean it up themselves. I’m sure this is quite different than changing dirty diapers, but definitely helps put you on a schedule and prepare for dealing with soiled diapers.
- Recreational Time: Any person or animal does not like to be stuck in the house all day long. They require fresh air. It is important to walk your dog, play with them outside and possibly take them to a dog park if they are an acceptable breed. Children need time to breathe as well as playing outside and participating in recreational activities.
- Education: It’s always a good idea to take your dog to obedience training. It will help you manage your dog and have them respectfully obey commands. Children require going to daycare and school all of which are not cheap and are investments in your children.
- Traveling: You have to be mindful of your animal when you decide to travel. You cannot just leave them unattended unable to provide water and food for themselves. Hiring a dog sitter or kennel can get quite expensive, but is necessary just like hiring a nanny or babysitter for your child.
- Balancing your Time: You cannot just stay out all day and night when you have a dog. You must make time for them and be sure to take them out to potty, feed them and show them affection. Of course you can’t leave your child in a crate, but it certainly prepares you to balance your schedule with school and after school activities.
- Expenses: Owning a dog is not cheap. From Vet visits to purchasing dog food, can get expensive. Just to have a baby is expensive let alone taking care of them hand and foot until they turn age 18.
- Forgiveness: A very wonderful best friend of mine gave me some powerful advice. She said sometimes you do lose your temper or unjustly punish children. She said you have to learn how to apologize to your child and move forward. You also have to learn forgiveness when your child’s behavior is out of character. Just like with children, you have to be forgiving with your dog as well when they make mistakes. You can’t just go berserk when they do things that you don’t condone. First having a dog is a wonderful way to learn these skills before you have children.