My husband and I were dog-parents long before we had our son. When we found out I was pregnant with D, we talked about how this whole dog/baby thing would work. Of course, we knew that there were many benefits to having children grow up with dogs: dogs can help children to build social skills early on, dogs can help kids build healthy immune systems, dogs contribute to kids’ overall happiness, and one study suggests dog ownership can even help kids improve their reading skills later on. Plus, I love being a dog mom.
Nobody, however, mentioned the benefits that I might reap from being a dog mom and a kid mom, so I’ve come up with a list to share with you!
7 Reasons Why it’s Great to Have Two Dogs and a Baby
#1 – I’m literally never the only one up with the baby.
My dog, Luna (whose name means “moon” in Spanish) will literally get up at any time of night with me. She is beyond happy – ecstatic even – to be awake with me at midnight or 3AM, whether it be to change a diaper, nurse, or pump. She’s psyched to be my companion, and is always more awake than I am.
#2 – There is no judgment about midnight snacks.
Luna spends every waking moment moving around and burning calories, and I’m pretty sure she might only get up with me at night because there’s a chance of getting food. I’m okay with that, though, because nursing and pumping is a full-time job, and I’m always hungry, too. Luna offers no judgment about midnight PB toast or eating takeout leftovers at 3 AM, and she is happy to share my snacks with me.
#3 – My dogs occasionally provide entertainment for the baby.
I remember when D was only a few months old, I was a walking zombie, and the dogs wouldn’t stop play-fighting in the living room. I tried to get them to stop multiple times until I realized that D had stopped crying and was watching them with awe and amusement. I really loved that 30-second break, haha. But now that he is a few months older, he really enjoys interacting with them, and I can tell all three of them are building on their social skills.
I have to note here: baby/dog interaction is always carefully supervised at our house. As my husband mentioned in his guest post, our dogs are still working on boundaries, so although D and the dogs have gotten much more comfortable with each other, supervision and continuous feedback to both D and the dogs is important for the safety of everyone.
#4 – The area surrounding the high chair is spotless.
Seriously, if you are looking for the cleanest spot in our house, look no further than the 2-foot radius surrounding the high chair. D has learned to pick things up pretty well, but only a fraction of those items actually end up in his mouth. Spoons get tossed overboard, puffs fall to the ground, and recently, D dropped a whole teething biscuit down for Pete the pup to snack on. If you’re looking for my dogs, you’ll find at least one lying right under the high chair.
Ok, this next one might make you cringe, but…
#5 – I never have to pick up puke…
…if it lands on the floor! Haha, I know, I’m sorry, it’s so gross, but yet, so helpful. This one goes out to you, Luna.
#6 – There are two extra sets of eyes and ears in the house.
Pete has always been protective of us, but when I was pregnant, his security sense went into high gear. He has now transferred that protection to D, and Luna’s ready to join in and defend us at a moment’s notice, too. Having 140 pounds of security in the house gives me peace of mind, but it’s also great when I take the dogs out of the house. Recently, on a walk, a strange dog ran right up to us, and Pete was there, at the ready. He stood between the dog and D, and asserted his dominance without being aggressive. Way to go, Pete!
#7 – There is extra love and comfort when I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
Pete has always been my lovebug, and when I cry, he always comes to my aid. It’s wonderful to know that I have his unconditional love and that he won’t leave my side until I feel better. Even after I stop crying, he lays down next to wherever I am and sticks his foot in his mouth.