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Is a Pet Good Practice For a Baby?

Is a Pet Good Practice Before a Baby?

A user in Group Therapy is newly married and wants something to care for, but she's not sure if it should be a dog or a baby. Some might say if it's a question then the answer is definitely dog, but it also makes a good point: pets are often baby step to the responsibility of caring for an actual baby. Is test-driving caregiving with a Labrador good practice or a bad trick?

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danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
Oh, and Goldfish, with proper care, live longer than dogs. Their next year baby will be in high school, maybe even out of college by the time it passes.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
Oh, boy! If you mean too much as in money, Goldfish are actually pretty expensive. I know people think you can just get a bowl, the fish, and the food, but that will kill the fish. They need a whole tank setup (over 20 gallons) with the filter and everything. My fish cost me as much as my dog did. Tell them to just not get any pet, they would probably just kill it.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
How about neither? Wait and see if you still want something in a year. Don't get a dog that you might not want and have to give up to a shelter just you want a practice run. This seems so selfish to me.
bribella27 bribella27 7 years
I have a dog, and my sister just had a baby, and while I love my nephew to pieces I am glad I have a dog. Dogs are not babies, nor do I think that they are good practice for a baby. Besides being depended on, the needs of a dog and the needs of a baby are entirely different and let's face it - if you want to be a crappy dog owner and leave your dog at home in kennel 12 hours a day every day you can and no one will stop you. You have no relief from a child unless you plan as putting children in kennels is frowned up. :) So unless you really want a dog don't just get one as practice for a child.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
I should say that I've had dogs nearly my whole life, and I KNOW I could take proper care of one and love it to bits. However pass me a child and I haven't the foggiest what to do. Babies and pets are so amazingly different, and each have their own unique needs. You could always try to keep a fish if you want to give responsibility a go, but don't buy a puppy if you're thinking of having kids. Both puppies and kids require a lot of thought, planning and commitment.
claw claw 7 years
I'm glad the sentiment has been put out there already but I'm here to reiterate: PEOPLE: DO NOT get a dog unless you are serious about the commitment/responsibility. Owning a pet is a long term things and requires much more than feeding. Dogs required attention, excercise, veterinary visits, bathing etc. If you want to get practive for a baby, just offer friends or family to babysit.
KadBunny KadBunny 7 years
SKG, I am that cat-obsessed girl haha. However I didn't adopt my cat thinking "oh I wonder if I'm ready for children, let me get a kitten for a test run". I just adore cats. I will say though, caring for her since she was little (5 weeks old) has certainly opened my eyes to how exponentially harder having a baby must be. The first few months were challenging for me, and this girl didn't cry and keep me up at night. Didn't scare me off though :) Just enlightening. But yes it's completely unfair to get a pet for the sake of gauging your abilities. Why not just babysit? <_<
sparklestar sparklestar 7 years
In adoption assessment we do look to people who have had experience with animals as a good indicator that they are caring and warm people. However, a dog is a huge commitment and shouldn't be adopted if you are going to have a baby.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
Just want to add that I agree getting a dog for the sole purpose of a test run pre-pregnancy is not a good idea. However, if you have or are getting a dog regardless than yes the peripheral benefit is a good test run.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
I 100% agree with Pink Elephant. NOT a good idea to get a dog as a trial, not fair to the dog. I've seen so many cases where a pet ended up dumped in the shelter and euthanized because the parents can't "handle" both the dog and a new baby. Get a dog for the RIGHT reasons.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
There is no such thing as a bad excuse when it comes to adopting a needy pet from a shelter.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
I think dogs are a good test run especially dogs which are spoiled rotten because they are such attention *hores. I lucked out with my recent adoption though. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect mellow dog who just goes with the flow. Every one is amazed at his character and temperment, so maybe he's not such a good test run lol
starbucks2 starbucks2 7 years
We adopted a dog 2 weeks before we found out I was pregnant. She (the dog) is very lively and needs a lot of attention and is not happy unless she's outside 2-3 hours a day. It is really hard juggling both. I don't get the comparison though. If you're not finding yourself capable of taking care of the dog, or willing to make the sacrafices having a dog requires it probably means you're not a dog person. If you want babies you need to think about what that mean and ask yourself if you are ready, no need to practice!
tarabara1229 tarabara1229 7 years
@SKG, I am crossing my fingers for Admiral Ackbar!!! (and I don't even have any ties to Ole Miss) :)
dexaholic dexaholic 7 years
My younger sister (24) started talking about wanting to have kids, so I suggested her and her husband get a puppy. And boy, am I ever glad I did! Kids and dogs are different, yes. But not being able to give a dog the care and attention and training it needs to become a healthy and happy member of K9 and human society is a pretty good indication that you are not ready for children. (Though sadly, I'm not so sure she realizes she's not giving the dog the attention it needs...) And for the record, I have a dog and often think of him as my child, simply because he relies on me for food, for love and for guidance. "Child" may be the wrong word. Perhaps "dependent" would be more appropriate. Of course, with a dog, you are able to leave them alone for a certain amount of time, say, while you are at work, or at the movies or something. No need for baby sitters. SKG, I'm ashamed to admit that I had to look up the definition of "conflate", though I got the gist of what you were saying. For everyone else out there, dictionary.com defines it as "To bring together; meld or fuse". :)
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 7 years
If anyone thinks taking care of a pet is comparable to raising a child, they shouldn't parent. There's no comparison.
Pistil Pistil 7 years
I joke that my dog is like a child. Pet owners who seriously consider their pets to be people probably don't have kids. I grew up in a household with more pets than people, but I'm by no means ready for the responsibility of a baby.
socalbeachgal socalbeachgal 7 years
I don't think people say it's the same but if you have never had any person or pet depend on you, it is a good way to "test drive" if you are ready. I've had kids and pets at the same time and they are not mutually exclusive.
mandaleebee mandaleebee 7 years
I don't think anyone is saying that taking care of a dog is the SAME as taking care of a baby - if that were the case people would just have the baby! I do think a dog is good practice for putting another creature's health, safety, and care as your top priority. My dog is pretty easy to take care of, but I have to think about him all the time, make sure he gets enough attention, enough food, and make sure he gets his monthly pills, cleanings, etc. Its just a STEP in responsibility, but I think any step is a good one towards preparing for parenthood.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
I love my dog, and I definitely think that even though it's not comparable to a baby, having one to care for does teach a certain amount of responsibility. But, it is highly irresponsible to purchase a dog solely for the purpose of preparing yourself to care for a baby. Dogs usually live 10+ years, and you should not buy one unless you're ready to commit. Few things make me angrier than people getting rid of their dogs as soon as they have kids - so irresponsible!
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
lol, yes, anything that requires more responsibility then you're currently dealing with is good practice. Of course they don't compare, but some people REALLY need to ease into things when it comes to caring for others. My husband was one of those men whos mother just did everything for him, and just caring for his own needs, much less the two cats we adopted when we first got together was a learning experience for him. Puppies are great for sleep deprivation too, if you're walking and free feeding them as they should be, they need to be let out a couple times a night while they are very young puppies. And really, its RIDICULOUS to say everyone is just going to ditch their pets the minute they have a kid. Sure, some people do it, but some people also toss boxes of kittens on the sides of highways. I had a baby while owning two dogs, and two cats, and somehow i managed without feeling like the animals were dragging me down. When we unfortunately lost our dog to cancer, i then raised 3 puppies at once with a 10 month old. As long as the dog you choose is a breed that is good with children, aka no small dogs or high pain intolerant breeds, is not too old, and you ease them into the relationship with the baby, it's fine. If you're being a responsible pet owner in the first place, they should have the rudimentary things down already, and no animal should be left unattended with children anyway.
pink-elephant pink-elephant 7 years
I don't think it's all that fair to a dog if you get one only to test-drive how well you will do with a baby. You should get a dog because you've thought carefully about it, because you really want a dog and will be able to take care of it properly. There are millions of dogs put into shelters every year because people who get them suddenly decide they don't want them anymore or put down because (as skg said) they're bad for baby. Think about baby too-when comparing a baby to a dog--major difference.
imLissy imLissy 7 years
Oh course there's no comparison, but for a young couple, who never had to care for anything on their own before, I think it may be good for learning about sharing responsibility. I don't know anyone who got rid of their dog or neglected it once they had a baby, that's silly. Dogs aren't THAT much work. People do it all the time. Heck, they sometimes have TWO kids at the same time! Imagine that.
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 7 years
Babies are way more time consuming than pets. There is no comparison. If you plan to have a baby in a few years, you may want to hold off on the pet until your child is old enough to ask for one. Trying to juggle a new baby along with a dog is no small task and it's not really fair to a dog for you to practice on him only to get rid of him or neglect him once baby comes around and consumes your life.
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