At the height of our baby-denial, my husband and I had four cats and two dogs. For the record, that’s a shit-ton of animals, and I wouldn’t recommend that strategy as a birth control method for anyone. That many animals is a lot of work. And money. And work. (It’s still not as much work or money as one kid though.)
All that being said, I would recommend getting a dog as a parental sanity saver. Seriously, if you have kids and don’t already have a dog, go get one. Now. Right now. Just one will do. Don’t go too crazy.
What?! You’re worried about the extra work? You’ve never had a dog? You’re a cat person? I promise you, a dog will make your life much easier. A dog will save your sanity. I have first-hand experience, and I’ve compiled a list of several reasons why you should get a dog:
- When you’re feeding the baby, a dog is a great companion. A dog will lay by your feet while you nurse/bottle feed, even in the middle of the night. Or she will keep your spot on the bed warm. Our dog used to nudge me gently when the baby was crying to let me know it was time to feed the baby.
- A dog needs exercise, so she will force you to take a walk everyday. Exercise and fresh air are so therapeutic for both you and the baby. They can help you get your body back in shape and fight the baby blues.
- The dog won’t judge you when you pour another glass of wine and cry inconsolably wondering why in the world you ruined your perfect kid-free existence. The dog will simply lick up the crumbs from the cookies you shoved down your gullet trying to make yourself feel better.
- When the dog starts sniffing wildly around the baby’s butt, you know it’s time to change the diaper. There is absolutely no need to put your own nose there or risk your fingers getting dirty by taking a peek. The dog knows. (And may eat the diaper if you’re not careful.)
- Dogs genuinely appreciate every ounce of affection you give them, unlike those screaming, inconsolable, milk-sucking poop sacks.
- Dogs clean up spilt milk (breast or formula—they don’t discriminate) and spit-up. Before you think, “ew, gross,” remember that you now don’t have to clean it up yourself. (As a bonus, if you have a cat, the dog will clean up cat puke—or “hot lunch” as we call it.)
- Can’t figure out what that weird smell is? Don’t want to crawl around on the ground sniffing the carpet? If you have a dog, you don’t need to. Just set Fido free in your car or the kid’s room or your kitchen. This is not cruel—dogs actually like foul smells and will find the source of them in record time.
- But—by far—the best reason to get a dog comes when your kids start to eat solids. Feeding babies solid foods is a fucking disaster—food gets everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Your child is a mini-Jackson Pollock, and the medium is food. THE DOG WILL CLEAN IT UP. (Just don’t let him eat grapes, onions, chocolate, or other poisonous foods for dogs.)
Seriously, I don’t actually know how parents survive the high-chair phase without a dog. Dogs will do all of the clean up for you. No sponges, brooms, or special floor mats are necessary. My dog was so efficient at cleaning the high-chair and the floor and the cabinets and the walls and the mini-blinds…
Heck, she even cleaned the baby. Now, you can skip bath time and go straight to the wine. Trust me, get a dog.
This post is dedicated to Brandy, the best dog ever. We were fortunate enough to share our lives with her for 12 years. And she basically raised our two children.
Photo Credit: sinnawin / 123RF Stock Photo