So Then, If I Can't Have Babies Can I Have a Puppy?

Updated on March 10, 2012
E.D. asks from Olympia, WA
26 answers

Holey Moley.

Have I told you all how much I just want a baby? Well I do. Every cell in my body is shouting "MAKE A BABY!!!! BIG FAMILY!!!!"

I'm trying to squelch out the sound...

We have two children, one who is a birth child and we're kinship care providers to our other child. Realistically I don't know that we could emotionally provide for yet another kiddo. Being a kinship care provider is very challenging and it's difficult for me to give enough attention to both children who have such different needs. That, and, I'm becoming restless staying at home. I have big dreams and am planning on going to school in the fall when our eldest enters kindergarten. The path I'd like to take in school will most likely be grueling. To put it lightly.

Add to that that I really don't enjoy being pregnant very much and I loved when my daughter was a baby and I was also so happy when my hands became free again. I love parenting kids more than I love parenting babies, and I like my body to have some autonomy.

And then there is the money and the space, neither of which are flowing over.

While we are still fairly young, I am excited about having our children young at the same time. So if we were to have another, this would be the time. I don't think this is the time. *Sigh*. It's difficult for me to really own that and give up this idea of having a big family. But it's true. I just don't know how we'd make it work.

To the point! What about a puppy? I'm thinking about adding a puppy to our family. I've been dreaming about babies, holding babies, holding...PUPPIES??? I think maybe it's crazy. My husband is thrilled with the idea. He sees a puppy and he's 10 years old again and bee lining to hold it. The man LOVES puppies. He's also not home as much as I am, so he wouldn't be it's main person.

Our dog is getting older. She's a wonderful, sweet, well trained mutt. Part of the reason I'd like to get a puppy now, is that she would be a good influence on it. Our kids are really great with dogs. And I'm good at training dogs. I like dogs. I don't love puppies as much as I love an older, mellower, listening dog...but it takes being a puppy to get there. I've had dogs all my life and working with a little pup doesn't freak me out much.

But I need a good kick of reality. Puppies are a total pain in the bottom right? I am looking for all of the reasons I should NOT get a puppy. Shoot me down. Tell me not to do it (or tell me to, you know you want to). For all I know, this is just another crazy-Ephie spring time talkin' idea. I need an objective perspective.

Happy Friday!

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Featured Answers



answers from San Francisco on

Puppies are just as much work as babies. Chewing on everything, whining at night, and don't get me started on house training.

Okay, so now that I've listed some cons, the truth is if you want a baby but don't think it's a good idea, a puppy would be the perfect alternative!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

I think that's a great idea!

My kids asked for a baby brother... they got it.

Now they want a baby sister... I'll get a puppy before I have anymore kids! That last one was awful (but we'll keep him!)

So yeah, get an older doggy, and then you can still squish on other people's babies... and give them back :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

Hi Ephie,

I can't give you a good reason NOT to get a puppy :) I am a total animal lover (we have a dog, 3 cats, 8 chickens and a bearded dragon) and I would love to have more. I know how much work they are, but (like babies!!) they are totally worth it!!

DO IT!!!

Happy Friday to you too ~ hope you have a wonderful weekend.

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Atlanta on

Rescue a young adult dog. You get to skip all the puppy steps and move right to the fun part. Check out to see what young dogs are available in your area.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Well, I've had 6 children. Of course the last three were puppies.


(Yeah, you KNOW you want one!)

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Puppies fix "baby-cravings" in no time flat.

All the cuddly/ wiggly/ lovey AND all of the "Aaaaaaaaargh! Shoot me now!" moments

Birth to age 5....Compressed into 6 months.

I get babycravings BAD every 2 years like clockwork.

Boy oh boy... did getting a puppy STOMP on those hormones.

The only problem was that I couldn't get a new puppy the next 2 rounds! I'd have a menagerie! But oh did our dog save my tush the first round.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

One word: Kitten.



5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Try the puppy first. Puppies are a pain, but a lot less so than another child. And it's good for kids to have a dog (even though you will probably do all the work).

Then, if the puppy doesn't satisfy the urge, you can revisit the idea of a baby.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

You can have mine!!!!!!
My daughter adopted a puppy late last summer and since she couldn't have it in her apartment, she asked me to keep her until her lease ran out. Fiona has been here since Sept 1st. She is a lab/blue healer mix, she's smart and sneaky and destructive. I try to keep things out of her reach and put away but she will chew anything and everything she can get her teeth on. Chewed the cord off a brand new (totally unused) carpet scrubber--chewed a new pair of boots--chewed more than I can remember..... Knows she is supposed to potty outside and loves to go out but gets busy barking at squirrls and other rodents that she forgets to actually go potty. More than once she has pooped on my carpets right after going outside. The older 2 dogs HATE her so there is constant groweling and snarling. I have to put her in the bathroom everytime I leave the house.

I was never allowed to have a pet as a child my Mom was afraid of animals. So I admit my puppy training skills are lacking. But at this point I want this dog gone but there is no one who can take her. I feel like a prisoner in my own home. Sometimes I am afraid to go to sleep or relax because then she will get into something.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Nothing like a new puppy to put the spring back into an older dog's step, right?

As for a new baby--all in the right time. It WILL work out and you'll say "THIS was perfect timing!

(yes...they are a pain in the butt, but SO worth it....kind of like your pregnancy was! LOL)

Good luck deciding, Ephie!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

ohhhh boy ... I haven't read your other responses, but for what it's worth ... puppies are a a huge time suck. From personal experience, it takes about 2 years for them to outgrow the general puppy stage. Our dog just turned two and he's finally calming down now. But it was A LOT of work, from the potty training, to the chewing, to the getting into the trash and strewing it all over the house, to just not knowing how to settle down or not play hard with teeth (biting), etc. Dogs also need daily and sustained exercise. The ideal is one hour of walks per day. You mention going back to school in the Fall; that in itself is going to be quite an endeavor. Throw a puppy into the mix w/ two little ones as well and you will certainly be challenged.

Finally, in regards to bringing a pup into the home when you have an older dog; this CAN be stressful to an older dog. I've heard many stories (my SIL/BIL are one of them and some on here even) of a young pup not being a good fit w/ an old pooch. My SIL's older dog was absolutely miserable with the new dog and became so depressed and withdrawn. He also started exhibiting behavior that he'd never had before, such as nipping and biting the puppy. He just wanted to be left alone in his old age!

Anyway, I'm not saying it's not do-able, but do think very carefully. Maybe a dog that was a little older may be a better fit? Regardless, I'd hold off until you see how the new responsibilities of school fit into the whole family scheme and schedule. Good luck!

Added: how could I forget the training? Oh goodness, training a dog is a LOT of work and time. And if you don't do it, you end up w/ a wild animal that rules the roost.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

What would your older dog think and how would she react? Would she like to play and would it give her new life and spark or would she be really annoyed and stressed? Can you introduce her to a puppy to see how it goes? I would just consider her in this equation also. I know you said she'd be a good influence, but many older dogs get very annoyed by puppies. I have an almost 2-year-old Miniature poodle and I find it somewhat amusing when he gets annoyed by my parents Shih-Tzu puppy since he annoyed a fair number of older dogs in his "youth." Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

DON'T get a puppy!! Get a dog that is a little bit older. I adopted my last dog from the shelter, he was about 1 1/2 when I adopted him and he is the BEST dog ever!! Plus, I didn't have to try to potty train him and he didn't chew anything up.

I honestly don't think I will ever adopt another puppy - I will always chose to rescue a dog that is still young but out of the "puppy" stage.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Don't get into that mentality of likening kids to pets. Big, big difference! A puppy will not be there for you when you're on your death bed, a puppy is not a family legacy(the puppy will be carrying on the blood line of other dogs, your child will be from your bloodline), a puppy can not love you the way a human can.

Furthermore, puppies, dogs, any pets are as expensive, if not more than raising a child or caring for a human. There is definitely no affordable insurance for pet care, and if they should get sick it costs the same to treat a dog/pet as a human. Even palliative care (hospice/euthanasia/death) is outrageous for pets. Don't forget food, maintenance (vaccinations) and daycare (boarding) if you need to travel or go away for an extended amount of time. And dogs especially need constant human interaction, exercise and care....even after they're grown up. They can't do chores or help contribute to the household like an older child can. They do make a lot of mess with hair, poop, pee and vomit that only you can clean up. Even a well trained dog warrants getting a well made and expensive vaccum and shampooer to keep the house smelling and looking presentable. Don't even get me started about lawn care and having a supply of baggies and a scooper for daily walks to the park.

I say, put things in perspective. If you want a child, have one. There's nothing wrong with bunk beds if your home is small, and with creative budgeting a child doesn't have to be expensive. I think it's how you look at it. Children are work and cost money, but the rewards are boundless and there's a payoff in the end that goes well beyond warm licks from a creature who operates on only instinct versus reason, and with smelly breath to boot. :)

If the biological clock is ticking...listen. I have many friends in their early 40's who mistakenly believed they could have kids if they wanted to until they were in their mid-40's. Guess what. Only two of them have been able to do so. The others have resigned to the fact they will never have a child without adoption, and one other has gone into debt doing several rounds of IVF before she could have her baby. Don't wait. If you are blessed to have a child, everything else will work out.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Well...I definitely don't want anymore kids (we have two and that is plenty) so I can't help you with that one - but a puppy? Yes - puppies are the biggest bootie pains EVER. Yes - they are unbelievably cute but they are as naughty as the day is long.

Our dog died right before I got pregnant with our second kiddo - and of course we had to get another dog right away. It was alright but I really did not grow to love this dog until she was at least 2, possibly 3 years old. Don't forget about housebreaking, chewing, training - all the things you take for granted in an older dog cause you forgot how difficult it was to do it the first time around. lol

Good luck

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I just told my fiance the other day that about 6 months after we get our house, we either need another baby or a puppy. Lol

DO IT!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I got a puppy when I was having a huge baby craving but knew that 3 would be too many. Yes puppy was a pain in the butt but now he is part of the family and I feel complete. So is everyone else. I almost got another puppy (a big one this time) my friend was trying to sell him so we pet sat for one week and I realized that no way in heck did I want another puppy so it really made me realize that my household of 4 people and 2 dogs is perfect. One more either way would totally throw off everything.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I hear ya'!

No more kids, & I am NOT ready for grkids.

A puppy would be the answer, BUT we have 2 80lb dogs who are eating us out of house & home. It's $30/month just for their heartworm/monthly meds. It's $50/month just for their food.

Hey, how about a talking bird? They're messy, but certainly entertaining!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

Right there with you!
We want more kids, but for one or other reason we are not having more, yet.
I soo want a puppy, my older daughter and my husband want a cat, the little one would take ANYTHING.
The other day I went to the Pet store to bring some towel donations. They had the "adopt me" dogs out that day.
I saw a sad dog sitting there, my daughter went and took a dog toy and star to play with the dog, awww!
Not sure how I made it out of the store without the dog.
But the idea to get a dog has stared to grow on me a lot.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I totally get where you're coming from. I may need to get one soon too!! We have three kids and the baby is 2.5. It's always right about this age that I start getting baby fever and boy do I have it right now! I'm dreaming about newborns and driving myself crazy trying to imagine if we could have another one. It really would NOT be the best decision for my family, but I still have this urge. A puppy might be the solution!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

DON'T DO IT!!! Argh! I thought puppy was SO MUCH HARDER than baby. There's the training (toilet, walking, no biting, eating, sit, stay...bleh) there's the added expense, there's the walking two or three or four times a day, there's the bathing, the brushing, the cleaning of the ears, the vet and shots, the puppy classes, training you CHILDREN to behave around the puppy.
I will never get another dog when I have young children in the house. In fact, I will never get another puppy...period.
What about getting a dog that's a bit older and trained?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Fort Wayne on

we have been trying for #2 for awhile but my body is not cooperating. so now we are hatching chickens and selling/raising them selling eggs and such we already have 3 dogs and 1 dd right now we have 16 chicks at different stages, cant wait till we finish the run and get them outside,lol. If you think having a puppy will quinch your baby thirst then by all means do it, the puppy stage is only like 8 months and the potty training should be quicker with your older dog around also. Just take your time in picking one out find one that suits your family. gl

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I don't think it is a crazy idea. But you should think about it for sure, and not rush into the decision. How do you think your older, sweet mutt would adjust to a new puppy? Would you be content with the idea that SHE might be really stressed out by it? What is her health like? Since finances are always an issue (unless you are ridiculously absurdly flowing with cash)... what would a new puppy do to your financial situation, if say--your older dog developed a chronic condition that required vet bills and regular medications? Could you swing it? Can you afford to add another routine vet visit and heartworm preventatives and flea/tick treatments on an ongoing basis?
What about vacations? What would be the additional expense of boarding TWO dogs, instead of just the one? Or if you don't board, would your pet sitter person be willing to do both? For the same price?

The other side is, if you do get a puppy, don't wait around too long. If you are about to embark on a heavy/intense school schedule, you will want to have most of the potty training issues dealt with beforehand. Some dogs that doesn't take that long. Some it can.

Puppies are not a total pain. But they are a lot of work, as you know. They are also loads of fun and totally worth it. You could feasibly have the "hard work" part done before Xmas, depending on when you get one (IF you get one). But how does that fit with the rest of your schedule? Who will miss out if it drains you? The older dog? How guilty would you be feeling if that happens?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Puppy! Get a puppy! Or a dog. If you all want one and will love it to pieces, why not?


answers from Chicago on

If you are not able to care for another baby and are struggling to care for your houshold now what makes you think adding a puppy into the mix is going to be a good idea? I am sorry but its' true they take just as much work, effort and family time as any child.



answers from Seattle on

My answer may come out of left field, but I think it should be considered... if you're already having difficulties being a "kinship parent" and providing enough attention to both children, how do you think adding a puppy will help anything?

Regardless of how much your kids may love the puppy, they will naturally feel left out when the puppy requires you and your husbands constant attention -- just as they would with a new baby. But it's much easier for a child to take out their frustrations on a puppy, and not get caught. I've seen it happen and the results are not pretty. Mean animals, dog bites, cruel children.

Now obviously that's worst case scenario, but if you're already thinking about adding school/stress to the mix of a blended family, why add more chaos?

PS. I have nothing against dogs. I grew up with dogs, and love them, but I would never add one to a family that can't devote a lifetime commitment toward them.

Good luck!

Oh, and one more thought -- could you get your baby or puppy fix another way? Volunteer at a shelter (only if you can stop yourself from bringing home an animal every week) or volunteer to teach a toddler class at a church, or teach a baby music class or something, or start a baby meet up for new moms, as a way to share your experience while giving new moms a chance to meet other moms? Be creative.

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