Will I Neglect My Dog After Baby Is Born?

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cutest dog in the world
Hey, buddy! My adorable doggie.
I know it's silly, but it's something that I think about often: What will my dog's life be like after I have my baby? For the past three years, a 12-pound shih tzu named Onion has been the center of my and my husband's life. He sleeps in bed with us. He sits on the couch with us when we watch TV. He even perches himself on the driver's lap during car rides -- and we think it's cute and perfectly safe. It's sick, I know; I'm fully aware that my husband and I are the architects of this whole spoiled puppy mess. But that doesn't make the fact that we're pretty much screwed once this baby comes any easier.

It stresses me out and it breaks my heart. When I'm reading in bed at night and look over at my sweet, sleeping pup crawled up against me, I almost get a little teary-eyed. And then my mind starts going, which is never a good thing. He feels so safe and loved and perfect with us now. How could I be so cruel as to take any part of that away from him?

I know to some, I probably sound like a crazy person right now -- particularly to those who don't have animals. But the fact is, as loony and nauseating as it sounds, Onion is part of our family. A big part. And we'd feel terrible if his "feelings" were hurt.

My husband has already suggested putting him on the floor in his dog bed at night, as opposed to in our bed, since there will be a baby in our room, also. That's not happening. But things are about to get a little crowded. I know Onion. He's a curious guy. And when I'm up feeding my daughter in bed in the middle of the night, he's going to want to know what's going on and whether or not he can, somehow, turn whatever I'm doing into a game. A tail-wagging, barking game.

Like with everything pertaining to having a child, I'm hoping we'll just figure it out. (You do figure mostly everything out, right?) If we have to make some changes to Onion's cush lifestyle, so be it. But he'll always watch TV with us. And there will never be a dog bed on our bedroom floor.

Any tips for bringing a baby into a dog/cat-friendly home?


baby prep

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nonmember avatar Melissa

I had a Lhasa she slept with me went everywhere with me. But when I got pregnant I had those same exact questions and feelings as to what is going to change when my son was born. Major changes happened my son came first and my dog was not allowed to sleep with me anymore baby gates seperated her from me now. I didn't want my dog to accidently step on my son or have dog hair on him. I was just more protecive of my child than my dog. I did feel bad though.

Littl... LittleManMama

When I was pregnant we had 4 dogs and 2 cats. All rescues. Yes, we were crazy. And our dogs were the center of our lives. Sadly one dog was diagnosed with bone cancer when I was 6 months along and had to be put down. Another dog who had chronic health issues had to be put down after the baby came. And my parents took one cat because she was into everything and we couldn't deal once the baby came. (Had we not had so many others, it probably would have been fine). We now have 2 dogs and 1 cat which is way more managable. But I digress. What I learned is that you can't really predict what issues will arise, and they may change as the baby grows. I completely trusted that our oldest dog would tolerate the baby and behave but I didn't think he would be enthused. He loooves the baby and is the most tolerant . Once the baby comes you can take them for walks together. Onion will have an adjustment period and you will feel like you are neglecting him a little but it gets easier and he will adjust. 

nonmember avatar Jules C

We have three smaller dogs and now a baby. At first its a little tricky and you feel guilty, bc newborns are very needy, but now that my LO is 6 months, its all fun and games. They are so patient with her, even when she's pulling their hair and swatting them in the face. Its adorable and the guilt goes away. I hope you can have the same results as we did!!!

nonmember avatar Jennifer

Things are going to be okay. We have two dogs and a 7 month old. My dachshund is a spoiled rotten princess and it is completely my fault. For 6 years she has been my baby girl. She also has a huge prey drive. She had a difficult time adjusting in the first couple of weeks but eventually started to settle down. She now loves the baby and is never far from her. I have to watch her because she wants to shower the baby in kisses. I have been pleasantly surprised with her behavior. Shih tzus are good family dogs and from my experience with them, I think Onion will deal well. I can guarantee that you are going that have a harder time than he is.

Stacey Busenbark Sanders

If you are going to make any changes to your household, make sure you do them before the baby comes-so the pets don't connotate the baby with the changes and dislike the baby. We went from allowing our dog on the couch to not allowing him up there, and did it a few months before baby-he didn't seem to have a problem with it. Also, when baby and I were still in the hospital my husband brought a receving blanket that she had been wrapped up in home and put it in the middle of the living room for all the cats/dog to sniff so they could get used to her smell before she got there.

nonmember avatar BB

Our lives also revolved around our fur-baby before we had our daughter. When the baby arrived, our wild and crazy lab was incredibly gentle and careful around her. A year later, and now its the dog I have to protect! As far as turning your little Onion's life upside down... well, that is inevitable. But he will adjust, and his life will probably change for the better. Chances are he will love being a big brother!

bigndead bigndead

You made a big mistake letting the dig think hes guman. You need to establish dominance, territory, and alpha dog status right now or he will see the baby as a competitor. You need to make sure he sees the baby as his new master/pack leader.

Start watching Dog Whisperer now or youre in trouble.

bigndead bigndead

*think hes human

Chalon King

Wow. Not even a worry in our house. Dogs are pack animals and the family will blend. I hope my dogs will sleep with my kids one day and I cannot imagine kicking them out of the bed, Now the cat I worry about. She loves to curl up with babies....or take over their carrier.

KBW2 KBW2

Oh, this sounds like me. My schnoodle was my baby. And I had assumed it would stay that way after my son arrived - but I had a hard time, the dog had a hard time- I was all hormonal and finally realized the dog was a dog- not my baby. Once I made that realization, we made some changes and he moved back to my parents house.

I still love him, but now see him for the great DOG he is. Treating like a baby was all my fault. Lesson learned.

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