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Where Do You Stand: Owning a Pet Together Before Having Kids Together?

It's a common notion that couples should first raise a pet (a dog, a cat, or any animal that needs constant love and attention) before having kids. While I see the importance in making sure you're ready to take on the responsibility of caring for someone who relies on you, I've never looked at this popular step as a requirement before starting a family. Sure, it seems like a natural progression, but where do you stand on owning, loving, and caring for an animal before having babies? Is it a necessity for you or do you not understand the hoopla surrounding this common practice?


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dikke-kus dikke-kus 8 years
You know what happens with couples with pets? That dog or cat becomes thier baby. They treat it like a baby. Talk about it like a kid. It goes with them everywhere. Everyone around them could puke about it. Then they fianlly have a real baby. And you know what? That dog becomes just a dog. That cat becomes a pest. Pushed out in a yard and forgotten.
ashleycheer ashleycheer 9 years
I want to get a cat when I get married! just because I really want one, not for child prep. I took a Parenting class for that. lol
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
Don't bring animals into a relationship that isn't marriage. I had to re-home my gorgeous kitty when my ex-boyfriend broke up with me and I had to move out. :(
Sydney-C Sydney-C 9 years
I already had 3 dogs before I met my bf and he has in a sense "adopted" them. We have a fourth dog, "together", if you will. With four dogs' and a horse's mouths to feed, lord help me if I have a kid in the next decade!! Although to the point, I can see how having a pet together would let you see how your partner handles responsibility and discipline. Definitely a good thing to know before you bring a child into the world.
missgnav missgnav 9 years
My boyfriend and I own a cat but we don't see it as practice for the real thing. We wanted a cat because we like cats and wanted one to play with and keep us company. It is a similar concept. For example, changing the litter could be likened to changing a diaper. Grooming the cat could be likened to giving the baby a bath. Obviously, babies require much more care and in a different manner. Pets aren't babies but they are a commitment, require a certain amount of care and attention, and definitely need love, some very important things to consider when having children, so the principles could be the same or similar. Some might need that extra practice, others not. Regardless, I know that when my boyfriend and I do have kids, he or she will have an awesome pet to play with when older!
jaxon jaxon 9 years
I would not call it necessary. My ex-bf and I got a puppy together, although i was already 4 months pregnant. It was supposed to be his dog once he moved to an apartment where he could have her, but I fell in love and kept her.
melizzle melizzle 9 years
I don't think it's necessary for child prep, but I definitely think it's a good way too learn more about each other... responsibility, etc.
kiwitwist kiwitwist 9 years
I think it makes sense but not necessarily the case. I think animal lovers just do it naturally. For me, I have always had dogs, the hubby has always had cats. So, now we have two of each and eventually will have kids.
linb linb 9 years
Not a necessity, but I think our raising a dog together has taught me a lot about how I would be as a mother, him as a father. Our daughter (the dog) goes to her grandmother's house everyday, and he and I call each other every afternoon to see who is available to pick her up from grandma's. It is so cute to see how he acts with her.
secretallstar secretallstar 9 years
It might help if you're an only child with no cousins who's never had to take care of another living creature before, but definitely not necessary. That said, we have 2 dogs and aren't planning on kids -- the pups are enough work for us.
Carolinewf1 Carolinewf1 9 years
It may be a good stepping stone for those couples who both want a pet, but def not required for child rearing.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
I think it makes sense. But mostly I just think it is something that should happen naturally, say both of them really want a pet and so they get it... :dog: :bunny: :fish: :meow: And then they realize how much work it takes, then they both make the connection, like, WOW this would be SO much worse if this was an actual human baby! And then they both realize what the hell, they want to have a baby anyways so they go through with it. :baby: I also think that it could maybe DELAY the whole having a kid thing, i.e. uh, now that we know how lazy and selfish we are as a whole, we should put off having this baby until we are REALLY an old, mature, boring married couple. :bcbw: ;) That's my take on it! Also, I dont recommend getting a pet with anyone unless you are SUPER serious, to the point of being engaged, because in the event of a break up, the whole having shared custody of the pet thing is really super annoying. :FOGEY:
LadyAngel89 LadyAngel89 9 years
I can see why it would be thought of as 'testing the waters' so to speak when you and your signifigant other own a pet together. Something like that can really bring to light your differences on discipline (bad dog no biscuit) and steadfastness with rules (no rover not on the carpet!). As for it being practice? Absolutely not. If it's anything I would say it's more of a cooperation and compromize project... well only if you BOTH wanted the pet (and those that get pets that just want one for the sake of having one should be dragged into the street!)
7kimba7 7kimba7 9 years
We got a puppy because we wanted a puppy. I don't think it's a "necessary practice" at all. Though I can see the benefit- it does teach you to be a little less selfish, while it is still completely different than having a baby.
rashell rashell 9 years
my ex and i got two kittens together and then i ended up loving them more than i loved him ouch! hahahahhaahaha
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 9 years
My boyfriend and I don't want kids, and he's told me he definitely wants some African parrot, and I definitely want a small puppy or a kitty, so having pets is definitely not a prep tool. However, having a puppy might make me give into my maternal clock someday.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
One's completely different from the other. So looking at it as a "practice tool"? That's no good. Especially if the poor creature is going to be dumped or neglected as soon as the couple spawns their own DNA replicant. Yeah, only get a pet if you really, truly want to take care of the animal for the rest of its life. Animals are living, breathing beings with feelings. Not just tools or toys. I think people should be prepared before deciding to become parents, but there are other ways. Parenting classes and/or one of those "baby-think-it-over" dolls, maybe? Constant babysitting for family and friends who'd likely be glad for the relief?
Shibi Shibi 9 years
We have a cat. We decided to get a cat before we were married (we were living together). I can understand how the concept of caring for a pet could progress to caring for a child. Sure, it's not the same thing, but generally, conceptually, I can see it. I feel a little more equipped to even consider having kids after seeing how we both react to having a pet. I know that a cat is not a human but, it is more of a life-commitment than never having gone down the pet-road at all.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
Not only do I think it's not necessary, I think there is absolutely no comparison between being a pet owner and being a parent.
aerie087 aerie087 9 years
of course its not necessary! but thats exactly what me and my boyfriend did and it worked out great. i just graduated from university and he surprised me with our puppy and we're taking care of it together. (its a husky so obviously you can't really compare it to a baby)
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
I don't think its necessary either, but i've always had labs growing up, so naturally I would want for my bf and I to buy a lab puppy someday, before, or after, having kids. One thing though, when you have a pet who's the "baby" for several years, and then you have kids, the pet can get quite jealous. I've seen this happen with cats and dogs of friends of mine.
CoconutPie CoconutPie 9 years
Ditto to what Jennifer76 said. People should take an animal because they want one. It's not a toy.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I think it's in your best interest to do this. If you can't handle a pet how are you going to handle a kid. I think that it really teaches you and you can see if you even want the responsibility of having a kid, now or ever.
lilwildone1202 lilwildone1202 9 years
i dont think that its necessary per say but i do think that it helps a little. i mean obviously dogs and kids are alot different but havin another living, breathing creature who relies on you is good preparation...but as my fiance says 'the dog didnt come out of you and its not made of our genes!' haha
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