While nothing can prepare you completely for having kids of your own, I must say that having a dog is a pretty good introduction to the rigors of parenthood. I always said that my high-maintenance need-beast of a pug was preparing me for the two-legged children of my future, and I was right. The similarities between babies and man’s best friend are endless.
1. Your sleep will never be the same. When my pug was little, she’d wake me up at 5 a.m. to eat and go out. When she got older, she’d wake me up whenever the heck she wanted to eat and go out. We went through a stage over the summer when she’d wake up at 3 a.m. during one of my pregnant potty breaks to eat breakfast. This was just a preview of my daughter waking me up at 1 a.m., 3 a.m., 3:45 a.m., and 5:15 a.m., to eat.
2. They will let you know when they want something. The dog will literally get in my face or paw at me until she gets what she wants, whether it’s a meal or a potty break. Likewise, my daughter makes it known when she’s unhappy, whether she wants a meal or has had a potty break in her diaper.
3. They both stink. Dogs stink sometimes. That’s a given. But I always thought babies smelled so good. That is, until I had one of my own. Their feet are perfectly capable of getting odorific, trust me.
4. So many bodily fluids. So much pee. So much poop. So much vomit and spit-up. So much drool. So many tears. So, so many bodily fluids.
5. The noise. A squirrel outside? BARK. Alone in the crib? CRY. There is no peace.
6. Forget alone time. The dog tries to steal toilet paper when I need it most. I’ve soothed a crying baby while peeing. The dog tries to get in the shower with me. I’ve bounced the baby in her bouncer while showering. It’s bliss when I get a few minutes to myself.
7. They love to snuggle. As I type, the dog is under the covers at my feet. My daughter refuses to sleep most of the time unless she has a human body next to her. I guess I should be happy that they think I’m just that awesome.
8. You’ll deal with butts a lot. This needs no further explanation.
9. They’ll get everything dirty. The dog’s fur is everywhere. The baby spits up, drools or poops on me constantly. I could clean all day and not keep up with these two.
10. They’re always hungry. My dog could eat a full meal and still feign starvation and beg if I’m eating a meal. My daughter ate nonstop for a month straight. Likewise, they both put things in their mouths to explore the world.
11. They’re great workout companions. My dog is always up for a walk. My daughter loves to laugh at me while I do workout videos. She’s also great resistance for squats and loves to be bench pressed.
12. They’re both so worth it. No question about it.
Now when childless friends say something like, “Oh, that’s like my dog…Not that a dog is the same thing as a kid,” I say, compare away, my friends, compare away. —Erin