We have a small house and two large dogs and two cats. All of our pets shed but our one lab mix sheds like crazy. It’s been convenient that our baby arrived in the early spring as the dogs have been able to spend more time outside. It cuts down on the shedding and chaos but it also mentally tires out the dogs more to be outside vs. inside all day. The dogs still sleep in our bedroom at night (on the floor). When the dogs first come inside, they are hyper around us and the baby. But after a little time goes by, they tend to “leave it” in regards to the baby. We let them be around her but not lick her or get too close without our permitting. They need to understand that we call the shots re: baby and so far, they get it. I believe that putting a lot of time and energy into training our dogs in the years before baby came along will pay off (hopefully!). The cats…well, they acted like she has been here all their lives from the start! Not overly excited or fearful, just indifferent. It’s kinda crazy how easily they adjusted considering that we captured them as feral kittens. But I guess we shouldn’t be surprised as they adjusted to us getting the dogs with zero problem. Our one cat is a bit more vocal since the baby has come, I think he’s a bit starved for attention. I would say that’s been the biggest change in regards to our pets: they don’t get the same attention that they used to. We never babied our pets before so it’s not like they were spoiled, but we naturally had more time for them previously. If Derek and I both want to go for a walk, one of us takes both dogs while the other pushes the stroller. I haven’t dared to walk both dogs and push the stroller by myself yet. I may never do that.
I’m not looking forward to our baby crawling in the wintertime when the dogs are inside all the time! So much dog hair. Ahh! I’ll have to remind myself that it will get better when she moves from crawling to walking. I often wonder what having a baby is like for those who have zero pets. I’d imagine that it’s so much easier! But I also can’t imagine getting a puppy when you have young children. It’s nice that we know our pets well, invested time into their training, and now have added a baby. We said this before our baby came: these are our last dogs. Our dogs are 7 and 5 years old. It’s a shame that our child won’t have them for the period of her life that kids tend to appreciate having a dog the most (5-10 yrs old?). But the thing we hate the most about having dogs is the way that they tie you down. If we wanted to go away last minute we rarely can because we have to make arrangements for the dogs. It’s just not worth it for us to not get to see family and friends as often because we have dogs. We love to travel. To go places. To not be tied down. I’m writing this now so that when our dogs go I remember why we don’t want another dog! 🙂
How do I feel about my pets having had a baby? Surprisingly, very similar to how I felt before. I care for my pets. I love them. But they also annoy me sooooo much at times! They can be a royal pain in the butt. But I feel a responsibility as a pet owner to take care of them until they pass away. Unless there’s behavioural problems or our child develops allergies, I’m committed to them. Life with all our pets is not easy. Life with a baby isn’t easy. But we take it day by day and so far: we are doing OK!