It’s a fun and exciting time when you are bringing a new bundle of joy home, and there is a lot of preparation that has to take place. The house has to be baby-proofed, and the nursery finalized before the arrival of the newborn. Surprisingly enough, puppies have similarities to newborn babies in their first 6 months and require similar foundations.
Many families wonder if it is better to raise a puppy and a baby together or wait until the baby is older before getting a dog. Here are some things to consider about the topic and also what worked best for my family.
Puppies are excitable and full of energy (when they are awake!). At 8 weeks, a puppy is already teething and very busy. Both require lots of love, attention, and routine. These similarities between puppies and babies don’t end there; here are more reasons they are alike:
Babies and Puppies will sleep up to 70% of the day and will want your undivided attention. While babies and puppies are awake, they will expel a lot of energy. Puppies will run around and play while the baby is making noises moving their arms and legs. Sleeping helps restore and recover energy expelled and helps them grow.
They Will Go Potty Anytime and Anyplace. It doesn’t matter how many times you show a puppy where to go potty; they live in the moment during the early stages. Time, proper training, and patience will help a puppy know where to go potty, and the same goes for a toddler. Babies frequently potty throughout the day, and they usually won’t start potty training until they reach about 18 months.
Teething. Both puppies and babies go through teething. They will chew and gnaw on toys and just about anything they can get their hands/paws on. The puppy mustn’t chew on your newborn’s toys as it can spread bacteria and lead to other issues.
Constant Praise. Puppies and babies alike both respond to attention and affirmations. Positive reinforcement is necessary when either your child or puppy exhibits good behavior. Did you know that “baby talk” helps babies formulate words when they are ready to begin speaking?
Puppy and Baby Interaction. Life is never dull with a puppy or baby. Interacting with either a puppy or a baby can be tiresome as they are full of life and joy. Every person, place, and thing is new to both a puppy and a baby, so they naturally want to interact with everything. Be mindful of their surroundings!
Being a parent of a dog and child will come with challenges and rewards. Both puppies and babies require tons of attention so they will be able to have a great start to their lives. Eventually, a baby will develop speech and cognitive skills, so they’ll start to understand the environment. Since puppies are dog babies, they may require additional training to understand their role in the family.
At Dogs To Diapers, we are expert trainers that understand your puppy’s needs and can help manage their expectations when sharing a household with a baby. If a puppy isn’t receiving the attention they are expecting, they may show behaviors of disobedience, making them hard to handle around the baby. To help families understand the relationship between puppies and babies, stream our featured film here.
For my daughter, I choose to wait to introduce a puppy into our household until she was past the first year. We selected a Chocolate Lab named Tesa. They have since been growing up together and have the most fantastic bond. Tesa is now one of our breeding females, and I can attest in saying she has been the perfect balance of what a family dog should be. She has a rock-solid temperament, a high threshold/tolerance for children. She loves to play ball, swim, go for stroller walks, lay on the floor with the kiddos when they watch movies, and follow them everywhere. She truly enjoys being part of our family. If you have questions about what puppy breeds would be the best fit for your family or are interested in reserving a puppy from one of Tesa’s upcoming litters, fill out this form, and we will contact you soon!