IS RAISING A DOG LIKE RAISING A CHILD?

Is taking care of a dog enough preparation for having a child? The video below provides ample evidence that raising a dog will provide you the experience you need to raise a child!

  HAHAHA… now that was a good laugh. Wasn’t it? I swear I find it comical when people say.

We want to eventually have a child. So, we decided to get a puppy or some other kind of pet

To me this makes absolutely no sense. There is no way a dog can prepare you for a child. You will not be prepared emotionally or financially!   No matter how much you love your dog, how much time you take to groom your dog, or how much money you spend on your dogs toys. YOUR DOG WILL NEVER PREPARE YOU FOR THE DEMANDS OF A CHILD! Fyi, caps means I’m yelling! :-)

 

Why?

 

Well it’s quite simple. Dogs are not human! They are not as emotional and as needy as children. For example, let’s say you wanted to go out for a few hours. When your dog is 8 weeks old you can literally do this.

 

Step 1: Put food in a bowl

 

Step 2: Put water in a bowl

 

Step 3: Put food and water in a kennel

 

Step 4: Put the dog in the kennel

 

Step 5: Close the kennel

 

Step 6: Leave the house!

 

 

 

 

Try to do that with an 8 week old child and see what happens! I’ll wait….   If that example is not enough for you, I will provide more.

Raising a dog costs a mere fraction of the total cost of raising a child. We spend on average about 70 dollars a month on our dog. These costs cover food, toys and the occasional trip to the dog park.

 

If you want more information on how we budget see my post I AM TOO SEXY TOO BUDGET. 70 dollars a month on a 8lb dog to cover food, toys, and play in my mind is high (dog standards). She is a spoiled pooch! She gets the expensive all natural food and new toys constantly.   But, it doesn’t matter what income bracket you’re in, I guarantee you will spend more than 70 dollars a month on your kid.


 

I won’t even factor in the cost to save for a college education. I can train my dog with a 10 dollar book from amazon and a 2 dollar clicker.   I’m sure I can do the same thing with a kid but more conventional means of education are quite more expensive.

 


My dog also doesn’t play soccer, go to karate or have to pay for school supplies for the whole class.  By the way, when did public schools start doing this? When I was a kid I never remember having to buy crayons and markers for class, let alone enough for all my classmates. but I digress.

 

Also, when a dog is in the kennel crying at night (for attention) you don’t have to move, but if your newborn is crying guess who’s getting up to check on little chucky?… that’s right! It’s you! Get ready for those sleepless nights!

 

Let’s talk about emotional aspects of raising a dog

 

Dogs are very very simple creatures. Our dog Coco who happens to be a bichon-poodle is food driven. Meaning, if I was to yell at her for a particular reason all I had to do was offer her a snack and all would be forgotten.

 

Disciplining kids then giving them a treat doesn’t work out so well in the long run. Kids have a gambit of emotions and tend to hold on to things a lot longer than my little toy dog.   I’m not sure who thought of the “if you want a kid get a dog or pet” idea but It had to be some savvy pet shop owner. Because, I feel it is one of the silliest things one can do and think they’re prepared for a child.

 

Hell, my dog is so self sufficient I can literally set her up for 3 days with food, toys and water and she wouldn’t even miss a beat. As long as I left the patio door open so she can go into the back yard she would be in heaven.

 

Try that with a child!

 

The only real way to prepare for a child is to raise one. Try babysitting an infant for a week while your friends are on a much needed vacation. That one week of babysitting will give you a hint of what life will be like with a child.

 

Below is a video of how we feed our dog. We use a kibble meter and other interactive toys to stimulate her mind. Talk about low maintenance! She eats when she wants but works for it. I recommend toys like this for all dog/cat owners.

 

Reader Thoughts?   What is your opinion of this post? In what aspects can raising a pet prepare you for parenthood?

 

Comments

  1. Both children and dogs are dependent, innocent beings who need love, attention, and care. Anyone who doesn’t grasp this has no business raising either.

  2. I’d say that having a dog would teach you more about the sense of responsibility, caring and hard work required for raising a baby than say.. A house plant. Judging by your oversimplified description of how to leave a dog alone at home, you’ve clearly never had a puppy with potty training issues or severe separation anxiety.

    Besides, as human beings, most adults are biologically and instinctively capable of reproducing and then raising our young to adulthood.. Otherwise how would so many of us exist in the world in the first place?

    I hate how parents these days, once they have children, seem to think they are the only people who have ever existed that know anything about parenting. Nobody is perfect at parenting. Parenting is HARD. it’s hard for everyone, even for the most “prepared” people on the planet. I don’t remember a single teenager in my childhood saying anything like “You know who I think is awesome at disciplining me? My parents”. Lol.

    • You’re absolutely right.. my dog has never had potty training issues or separation anxiety. I guess I got lucky in that front. However, I think this comes down to merely training your dog properly. Since, this post, we’ve installed a doggy door and implemented a food/water bowl dispenser. Our dog is really on auto pilot and function as another adult in the house. Hell.. I even trained my dog to use the treadmill. I say that to say this… dogs are nothing like children. I don’t care how many pets you own, it will never teach your enough responsibility to care for a child.

  3. I have a Golden Retriever which I love very much and yes, he is like a child. A very lovable child. He is the last of our Guild Dog puppies that did not make it into the program. Health issues kept him out of the program.
    Trying to understand his needs and train him has been a joy to our entire family.
    He is in his 12th year and is not expected to be with us much longer.

    Because we work from home we have been able to extend his life with love and care. Working from Home is great! It has given me extra time to spend with Family and Friends and our very large 2nd child.

    http://budurl.com/goldretobey2456

  4. The cost of raising a child is totally different from raising a dog, a bunch of dog foods could not ever gonna compensate an infant milk and food. Dogs were also sensitive but not as sensitive as the kids do and just simply consider the cost of having a dog and kid they are totally different more particular with the emergency fund that you need to prepare.

    • URFinanceSimple says:

      I agree.. I'm about to have a kid of my own so I can test it out :-) On Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 5:10 AM, YFS <yourfinancessimplified@gmail.com> wrote: approve

  5. The responsibilities are equal. Only 1 parent can carry a child and breastfeed, but the other should be doing other things. Then after the age of 6 months (or much earlier if breastfeeding is not possible) either parent can do anything.

    • URFinanceSimple says:

      How exactly are the responsibilities equal? My dog is so self sufficient now. I can leave her home alone (since we installed a doggy door) and she can function without me.

  6. I'm a crazy dog person, and I can honestly admit that it's not the same. My dogs pretty much take care of themselves. I give them food and water, but they can let themselves in and out.
    My recent post My Money Obsession/Confession

    • URFinanceSimple says:

      I'm a dog person as well and I feel the same way. I did have a dog person once argue, that dogs need more care than kids. I thought they were crazy! On Fri, Jul 6, 2012 at 4:11 PM, YFS <yourfinancessimplified@gmail.com> wrote: approve

  7. Woah 25 lbs! my dog is only 8 lbs.. I guess my dog is a more bichon than poodle. I'm assuming your dog loves food. My dog definitely is food based. I have to really limit the food she gets or she will eat until she gets sick.

    What kind of food do you give your dog?

    • He definitely loves his food and will literally do anything for it, including climbing in the dishwasher to lick the dishes.

      We feed both of our dogs Innova and Milk Bone Treats. They get people food sometimes–mainly carrots, peanut butter, chicken/turkey and bananas.

  8. I'm not quite sure how tall he is (I do know that he's not much taller than my Bichon, but he is longer) and he's around 25 pounds. He had to go on a diet a few years ago and got down to 22 pounds. He quickly put that back on! But the poor thing has arthritis and a slight heart murmur so we're trying to work it back off. Putting a dog on a diet is hard!!!

  9. I love this post. Since I've become a parent, nothing annoys me more than people comparing their dog to my child. While they're are some similarities (extra money in the budget, responsibility, patience, cleaning up poop, etc), I can say with 100% certainty that raising my child has been nothing like raising my dog.

    Also, I have a bichon-poodle mix as well. He is the best dog ever!!! He's a big fatty, though, so we think he's a mix with a standard poodle rather than a miniature.

    • Team Bichon-poodle! How tall is your dog and how much does he weigh?

      I think people are ridiculous who think their dog is a kid. I understand having love for your animal. I love my dog. But, I recognize she is a dog not a human so I treat her accordingly.

  10. Brenda Nelson says:

    It is true http://gomestic.com/pets/train-your-dog-like-you-… and the reverse is also true
    http://gomestic.com/family/teach-your-child-like-

    people do not like to think of it that way but the same training and pschology we apply to dogs can be applied to young kids

  11. Appraently no ,lol

  12. I'm a high believer that having a dog first can absolutely set you up for success for a child. It's like taking a mini step. It'll force you to take more responsiblity, give attention and be affectionate, make you think about what kind of plans and vacation plans you can make, make you think about when the dog has to eat or not… This will all inherently help you for when you have a baby.

    • I guess I can kind of seeing where you're going with this. But, as a dog owner I can honestly say having a dog has not provided me any insight or confidence in child rearing. Maybe, it is because I'm already use to a certain level of responsibility or maybe I'm giving my thoughts of the unknown, which, is raising a child too much credit.

      I see your link is about the Oster 78004 Powermax 2. How does that cipper compare to the Andis Ultra Edge? I current use the Andis Ultra Edge for grooming my Bichon Poo

  13. Raising a dog could be like raising a child when the dogs start going to school. One of the big challenges as parents is to make sure your kids are receiving quality education and they are learning at a good pace. This is one of the most important responsibilities as parents. Parents must find a way to build strong foundation in education when kids are in elementary school. If you miss this opportunity, then it will be too late.

    • I could not agree more. It seems like more and more people rely on teachers only to teach their children. It starts at home!

  14. Sorry for not adding a disclaimer on how the first video ended. But, what do you mean I can't use a plant as a preparation tool for a kid! My hibiscus requires tons of attention :-)

  15. My opinion of this post is 1) you should have some kind of warning on the first video. I probably would have watched anyway but then it would have been purely on me. And 2) your post seemed to not go into any benefits of having a pet. My opinion is that because I know for a fact old people and sick people are recommended pets and/or plants, that people who live alone (roommates don't count) should have a pet or plants. It gives them something to nurture, share their space with and love unconditionally. AND IN NO WAY SHOULD PETS OR PLANTS BE CONSIDERED BY SOMEONE PLANNING TO HAVE A BABY IN ORDER TO GET PREPARED FOR PARENTHOOD. (Sorry, but I am yelling).

  16. Fatima Rosales Naya says:

    I raised a child first: that gave me the confidence to get the dog! I thought if I'd survived the sleepless nights, breast feeding, giving up my job, going on holidays and my social life, managed to cook special baby-friendly meals, teaching him to speak in English and Spanish, good manners and social skills, helping him with his school work and his own social life, then I could survive a dog too! And boy, that is literally just a walk in the park!

    Fatima

    • So I take it you agree the kid was much more of hassle than the dog. If you don't mind me asking what kind of dog did you get? Since, you got your dog after your kid was born was it any tension between the child and the dog. Was the dog being possessive of it's masters?

      • Fatima Rosales Naya says:

        We got a Labrador Retriever 3 1/2 years ago at my son’s request, who was 15 at the time. My son has Asperger’s syndrome and I’d heard that a dog could help with his problems. I fell in love with the puppy from the moment I saw him and no way was I leaving him behind. We have all benefited greatly from having him around: I even took him to school when I was working full time and puppy couldn’t be left alone. My students loved him too and still ask about him now, 3 years later. There was never any problems with authority: I think we all know our place in this family.
        I love your dog and the toy you got to feed him. What a great idea! The video was very funny, by the way. Will share it with my family at the earliest opportunity.

        • Fatima if you have a Lab you might want to look into using a Kong Wobbler. My dog uses the small version of the Premier Kibble NIbble. Thank you for sharing your story! I would definitely appreciate it if you shared this post and the videos with friends and family!

  17. One advantage of kids over dogs, is that kids don't shed much.

    That is one funny video clip…

    • You're absolutely right about that. One of the traits we wanted in a dog was that it didn't shed and it had a good temperament around kids. That's why we ended up with a bichon-poodle. Do you currently have a dog or kid?

  18. Ahhh- I want a dog but I know I don't have the time to take care of one. I do think it's smart to purchase a pup to prove how unready you are for parenting.

    • I thought I didn't have the time to care for one either. The misses and I work roughly 12 hour days. That's a long time to be away from an animal. So we choose one that will work for our lifestyle. We also use unconventional means to crate/potty train. As you can see from my pictures our dog has an oversized kennel with room to use the rest room. I definitely say you should plan it out. You might find that you do have the time for one.

  19. OMG! This is just too much! There are people who spend more money on a dog than I'll ever going to on my three kids. Anyways, I think you are so right, there is no such dog in the world that can teach you and prepare you for having a baby! What can I say about the video? That was kinda' funny, but I was a bit shocked at the end…

  20. Haha. Great video(s). Our dog definitely feels like a 4th child. Unfortunately need to find a new home for her because she is just too wild for us.

    • Hunter did she get too wild after your last child or has she always been this way? What's different this time around?

  21. Great post – and like many other comments, HILARIOUS video. :) Children can be quite expensive. While that is not the reason my wife and I don't plan on having kids, it is a nice perk.

    • If you don't mind me asking. What is your reason for not having kids? I know your friends and family are asking you this question all the time :-).

  22. I don't have a dog or a child, so have nothing to say, but the video was awesome.

    And I know someone who treats a dog better than family. Their dog grocery is more than the grocery for 3 people!

    • Dog food can get expensive! Especially, if you have a fairly large dog who can chow down. If you give them the good natural stuff it will cost about 3x the cost of the cheap crap in the box stores. But, if the dogs grocery bill is 3x the cost of the owners food bill. Something is wrong.. the dog is eating healthier or better than the owner. Wow!

  23. That video was Hilarious! Yeah, raising a pet is not like raising a kid. Cats and dogs become self sufficient much faster than human, that's the price we pay for having big brains.

    There was a couple in the local news recently that crated their 2 down syndrome kids. Those people are going to jail

    • I was in tears watching this video. Mrs. YFS asked why was up laughing so hard. What in the world is wrong with people crating their kids? oh my god!

  24. There is just no comparison between how you feel about your child compared to your dog. I'm of the camp that says nothing will prepare you for having a baby – not even having your first baby. Each kid is so much different!

  25. I think there are some similarities but kids are still more work and you have to be well aware of that before you have a child. If you aren't ready for what is involved then disaster is inevitable. Great analogy.

  26. They didn't say getting a puppy was exactly like raising a child – but especially for people who are unprepared for responsibility, proving that to themselves on a puppy first may be a good thing.

    Sure, you can crate your dog, but you'll have to come home from work to let it out before you can go out to party. Regular maintenance might not be so much, but what if your dog develops a tumor, and you suddenly realize that your budget is not set up for emergencies like these? I've known many people suddenly bail out on having the dog because even THAT level of maintenance is too high from them.

    THEN you look at how much "work" your dog is, and project that 100 times to a child, and you realize you're not ready.

    If you're a good dog owner, you'll realize that you have another living being's entire life under your control, and again, project that feeling 1000 times to having a child.

    I don't think anyone thinks you can "prepare" for parenthood by raising a puppy, but it's an interesting test of how you behave when you're raising something small and helpless.

    • Unfortunately, I've had friends give up their dog over the cost of a surgery. But, that did not discourage them from wanting kids. Hopefully, it let them know they need to establish a certain level of emergency funds for when "life" happens to their future children.

  27. I've seen some people treat their dogs better than some kids get treated: fully clothed, multiple outfits, decked out in doggie bling, special car seats, strollers. To me, it's just weird. Then the grooming and food costs that some of those people spend are through the roof. I've never had either (yet) so I can only speak from the things I've seen.

    • I've seen the same as well. I spoil my dog but I can't do the clothes thing. That is just odd to me. Grooming costs a ton of money. Grooming my dog costs 80 dollars a pop! and I would have to do that every 2 weeks because her hair grows so fast. To cut down on costs I went out and bought all the grooming supplies now she gets a hair/wash/nail trim etc etc at home. But, a kid will still cost more even if I didn't groom myself.

  28. Chris Stefan says:

    Taking care of a child is EXACTLY like taking care of a dog…if you don't mind tying your child to a stake in the yard while you're at work.

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