Diary of a Mama's Drama

The Pros and Cons of Having a Dog as a Toddler Mom

The Pros and Cons of Having a Dog as a Toddler Mom

So, you are thinking about getting a dog or a puppy, but you aren’t sure if it’s the right move.  Your kids are begging you for a dog and so is your husband.  Having a dog sounds like it would be so much fun, it would keep the kids busy, and you can have a soft furry friend to lay on your lap and cuddle with you.

You also might be feeling a little baby hungry and a cute little puppy might just do the trick to cure your longing for a baby snuggle.  If you are already a dog owner this post is not for you, you already know the deal with dogs.  This post is for those moms who need to make a decision if having a dog is right for their family or not.

I am going to start with the Cons of having a dog so we can end on a positive note.  Don’t get me wrong I LOVE dogs and I have 3 myself.  I also have two VERY ENERGETIC children and a fish 🙂 So I know what it’s like having pets and the responsibility involved.

So let’s dive right into the Cons shall we…

American Bully Dog

1- Expensive Vet Bills

Having a dog is not cheap! They are like children, they need their shots, they get sick and they need medicine. They also need to eat (obviously) and depending on the size of your dog and how many you have you could go totally broke in one trip to the vet…I don’t think I have ever left an appointment without paying at least $200!  I know right? Crazy!

One time I was leaving on a vacation and my dog starting vomiting non-stop and I had to take her to the vet before I left to be treated AND she had to stay there overnight.  I was charged for a hospitalized visit vs. a boarding visit…(big difference in price) I got a call a few days later saying my dog was good to go.  My brother-in-law went to pick her up and called to get our payment….the bill was OVER $800! Are you freaking kidding me….uggh!

2- Training Expenses

Training your dog is probably one of the most important and stress relieving things you can do for your family.  Unfortunately, we have never done this…why? Time, money and crazy kids.  If you are more disciplined than we are then for sure DO IT!  Do it while they are puppies because it is less expensive than when they are adults.

3- Dog slobber

Oh the slobber! So much slobber!  Two of my dogs don’t really have slobber, but my BIG GIANT HORSE DOG slurps up his water like he just spent days in the desert.  The slobber drips down from his jowls and drags along the tile floor.  Then he gets excited when he sees you walk in the room and comes and shoves his face and slobber all up on you…to me it sucks, but I am a mom I am used to stuff getting all over my clothes.  I just wipe it with a wet wipe and get on with my day.  If they slobber on my kids, it’s a full blown MELTDOWN where we have to change clothes and scold the dog etc.. etc.. so stressful.  Also family doesn’t come and visit you as often because they remember the horror of the slimy slobber dog. Yes, this is my life 🙂

4- Rainy Days

Don’t you just LOVE rainy days? You can get cozy in your sweats and settle down to watch a movie and veg out.  There is something so peaceful about it, that is until you realize you left your dogs outside for longer than you wanted.  They have had a blast playing and wrestling in the rain for the last 30 minutes…  What comes next is you running to the door frantically as your kids start opening the door to let the dogs in!

The WET dogs FULL of ENERGY and covered in MUD comes barreling in!!! OMG I cannot even explain in words how awful and gut wrenching it is when your UNTRAINED dogs cover your entire floor, couch and anything else in their way with mud!  Enough said.

5- Sick Belly EXPLOSIONS

So you are getting a dog, but you have to go to work and leave your dog in his kennel because he’s not house broken yet.  That is totally acceptable and dogs actually love to have a place to call their own and snuggle in.  The only problem is if they have an upset tummy and you don’t know about it until you get home.  Can I just say… Explosive Diarrhea! Ya I have had it happen multiple times to my dogs and it gets EVERYwhere!… The walls, the baseboards, the carpet, the cracks in the walls, all over the dogs butt and legs…you get the picture…basically all over any surrounding area that the dogs kennel is.  Guess who gets to clean that sh*t up? Yup! You guessed it…MAMA does.  As if you didn’t have enough a$$ wiping to do..

6- Dog Hair Everywhere

If there is one thing that drives me up the wall it is dog hair! Unfortunately I have 3 dogs that all shed 🙁  Things to consider when it comes to dealing with dog hair.  If you have a black or dark microfiber couch don’t get a dog that sheds white or tan hair….it shows up nicely against that dark background and forget about black yoga pants mama…you will be a hairy mess.   Make sure to have a lint roller on had or several.  Have one handy in your car too so your kids don’t go to school all hairy either…eww! Now, if you decide for the less hairy route and get a non-shedding doggy then you will have a cleaner house…but either one you will still love…

7- Air Filters

You must buy and change your air filters a lot more than a house without dogs.  Dogs being in all kinds of allergens and dirt into the house.  Their hair also can clog things up and that means clogged air filters.

8-Anal glands

Hopefully you don’t get a dog who is prone to getting enlarged anal glands (like us) because it stinks soooooo bad! Especially if it starts leaking out of their a-hole….so gross…good news is that you can take them to the groomers or the vet and have them expressed…eww even more disgusting and guess what it’s gonna cost ya! Or if you are anything like me you can youtube a how to video and try to do it yourself….NEVER AGAIN will I make the mistake and do that…yuck! 🙁  But, it makes the dog feel more comfortable so if it doesn’t gross you out save some money and do it yourself.  When you see your dog dragging their butt across the floor as if they had something stuck to it and they are trying to wipe it off, then that means there could be something going on with their anal glands.  Obviously I am no veterinarian and I am just speaking from experience and what vets have told me over the years so don’t take my word for it.

9- Going on Vacations

So, you finally have a chance to get out-of-town with the hubby and the kids have a weekend babysitter…YAY! But wait what are we going to do with the dogs?  This is another thing to consider when getting a dog.  Already being trapped day in and day out with house chores and kids you now have to worry about the dog if you go out, spend the night somewhere, plan a vacation etc.. etc..  Do you have family who would be happy to come over and Dog/house sit?  Can you afford to board them? (Where I am from it typically costs $20 a day per pet)  All things to think about.

10- Your favorite shoes

Forgetting to put our things away can be a bad habit and hard to break.  Well, if you want to get a dog you better get in the habit of putting your shoes and other important things up high or you will be crying…like I did when my brand new Nike shoe got chewed to pieces because I left them by the back door…true story…I literally cried so hard!

11- Kids Toys

I am warning you now don’t spend a ton of money on toys for your kids.  For one they will lose interest really fast and two the dogs will chew it up.  So long story short toys are a waste of money when you have puppies or untrained dogs.  On the brighter side, if you just put a large box in the living room the kids will have fun with it for hours!

12- Screaming/Crying/Frustration

One of the biggest mistakes we made in the past was only getting one puppy at a time.  You might be thinking…what happened to your other puppies…well I just couldn’t handle it, let’s just leave it at that.  I know kind of irresponsible, but we found AMAZING homes for the others and I am sure they are much happier there than with a screaming maniac mom…

What is different this time with our two larger breeds is that we got them both around the same age and time.  This was so amazing because before the other dogs would nip at the kids, which resulted in screaming, crying and frustration. They would get super rowdy and start chewing random things from boredom… I was always yelling and freaking out at the dogs because they were bugging the kids and quite frankly a pain in my a$$!  They just wanted to play, poor pups…anyway when we got the two together I thought it was going to be a nightmare, but it was actually heaven!

They played with each other, nipped at each other and tired each other out which made it less work for me trying to keep the dogs entertained and keeping the kids from freaking out.  It was the BEST decision and we actually made it through the puppy stage and we are on the upside of having a dog.

 

 

The Pros of Having a Dog

Ok now that you read everything above you are probably thinking HELL-to-the-NO! I am not dealing with that crap…LOL!  That is why I wanting to end on a positive note because having a dog can be so rewarding and AMAZING!

Yes, dogs are much like children that need a lot of attention and care.  Our children can be frustrating at times just like dogs, but we love them anyway.  We teach them, and guide them and love them unconditionally.  That is exactly what you need to do with dogs too.

1- You can save a dog’s life and adopt

I am sad to say that we did not go this route and we totally should have because there are so many homeless pets out there that need a home.  This is something you could consider.  The only reason we did not go this route is because we had small babies and getting a dog that you have no idea what their history is can be kind of unsettling if your babies are around them.  It’s sad, but there are dogs that are abused and can be unpredictable which is something you can’t really know until you have them dog and that was not worth the risk with our children.  We decided to get them young so the kids could grow up with them.  I know people have made comments on why we didn’t adopt and that we should have.  Others will make you feel guilty about your decision and have so many opinions on this matter so don’t let that decide what is right for your family.   Only you know that.

2- Your best friend

Dogs truly can be your best friend, your kids best buddy and so much fun.  Some dogs will attach to one person in your home and it’s so awesome how much love they have for you.  They will want to go on car rides with you, lay by your feet at the dinner table, cuddle you on the couch while you relax and even wait outside the bathroom for you….lol! They want to be wherever you are and you truly never feel alone.

3- Home security

We actually got a discount on our home insurance because we had dogs.  Dogs are great alarm systems and they can protect you if they have to.  I used to be scared when I was home at night alone before we had big dogs and now I feel so at ease because they are there.  They can hear the smallest of sounds that are out-of-place and you can send them to go investigate.

4- Keep your kids busy

Dogs are great play mates for your kids and make great pillows when they get tired…LOL! Especially in their puppy stages they can be hours of entertainment.

5- Keep your kids safe

If you are a super paranoid mom like me and get nervous even when your kids are playing in the backyard for fear that someone would even dare to go back there to do harm to them then you would love having a big dog.  I always have my big American Bully outback when the kids are playing because there is no doubt he would protect and defend my children.

6- Comforting

I am not sure where I read this, but I read that dogs have a sense of when you are feeling sad or sick and they respond by being around you more and comforting you.  As a mom I have had a few meltdowns where I just can’t take the stress and will burst out in tears and every time that has happened “my dog” the one who is attached to me always nudges her head into my face and will lick me and stay close.  It is the cutest thing.

7- Helps with depression

This goes along the line of being comforting.  Dogs are very good for those who are depressed and really help with not feeling lonely.  You can actually get a note from a doctor to be able to keep your dog in an apartment that does not allow dogs because of them serving as a service dog and helping with your depression.

8- Service/Therapy Dog

There are so many types of service dogs who are trained for specific needs.  We actually had a Labradoodle (mix of Labrador and Poodle) dog a few years ago that we sadly had to get rid of.  THe Labrador breeds is a great service dog for those with autism and epilepsy.  They are strong loyal dogs.  They are also FULL of energy and was too hyper of a dog for us and wasn’t right for our family.  We were able to find him a home with a Therapist who wanted to train him to be a therapy dog to give comfort to her young patients to keep them at ease and feel comfortable in their therapy sessions.  This was particularly helpful for those who had experienced a trama.

9- Lots of laughs

One thing your house will never be without is laughter.  Every dog has their own unique personality that can bring so much fun and entertainment to your home.

10- They clean up after your toddlers

OH HOW AMAZING this is!  Our babies and toddlers can make so many messes when it comes to spilled drinks, cookie crumbs and so much more! Some food messes or accidents seem impossible to clean up, but then you remember you have dogs and they lick up every last drop and crumb like it was never there.

11- They don’t talk back

Dogs communicate in other ways but you never have to worry about too much noise, crying or screaming.  Yes, they may bark once in a while but they can’t talk and you don’t have to listen to the mom, mom, mom all day long.

 

So there you have it! The pros and cons of having a dog when you have toddlers at home.  Whether or not you decide to get a dog for your family it is important to consider all of the things above.  It is a HUGE responsibility so make sure you are prepared.  If you have never owned a dog before you can download my list of dog essentials that every dog owner should have.

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