Getting a Puppy Versus Having a Baby :: Are They Really That Different?

getting a puppy - Boston Moms Blog

I am sure most “seasoned” parents have had a giggle at the expense of a newly pregnant parent-to-be claiming they are prepared for parenthood because they have a dog. I know I have.

And yet, here I am. A new “puppy parent,” thinking, I have had five human children. I am prepared for puppy parenting.

Because, you know, keeping five human babies alive must be more difficult than training a tiny puppy, right? 

Bueller? Bueller?

Yeah, I get it. Wrong. I am totally wrong. Puppy parenting isn’t exactly easier than human baby parenting.  It is just a different kind of hard. Or is it?

Ways puppy parenting is the same as human baby parenting:

They have very sharp claws

Sure, parents of human babies may call these “fingernails,” but that doesn’t change the fact that any kind of baby has claws that will slice you like Edward Scissorhands in a buffet line if you don’t watch out!

They put everything in their mouths

You don’t want them to chew on it? Into the mouth it goes. Thousands of dollars on Baby Einstein and squeaky squirrels, and I spend my days prying sneakers out of drooly mouths. And if it is small enough to pose a choking hazard? Move quick, mama — because that thing looks delicious.

They never stay where you put them down

Set up as many fun play areas as you want. They will be wedging themselves under couches for reasons only they know (and then crying that they are stuck there). 

Their emotions are loud

There’s crying, there’s whining, there’s barking, there’s general “learning to use this thing called a voice box.” It is loud, it is constant, and it may leave the neighbors thinking you are housing at least a dozen other small beings in your home.


On everything. All the time. Everywhere.

Just because you know how to handle an older one doesn’t mean you have a clue what to do with a baby one

Yeah, that. “I babysat in college” is a great saying, but it doesn’t mean you will have any idea what to do with a crying newborn at 2 a.m. when you haven’t slept in three days. Likewise, even though we had an amazing dog for a decade, we adopted him after the puppy phase. Thus, my experience with a dog we got as a previously potty trained, past-the-teething-point, 7-month-old pup doesn’t hold a candle to the 11-week-old shelter pup we just welcomed into our home. She is beautiful. And clueless. And a BABY.

They can be notoriously difficult to potty train

OK, so maybe just mine are. But there will be pee. Everywhere, at all times. The only differences I have found in potty training puppies vs. potty training humans is a) it is socially acceptable to diaper a small human when you give up (um, I mean when they aren’t quite ready for potty training), and b) it is socially acceptable to put a puppy outside to potty. Flip those two things around, and you may end up with a thrilled toddler, a confused puppy, and a mom still mopping up pee.

Sometimes you need a break

Whether the baby is furry or not, sometimes you need to plop him or her in a playpen or crate and take a breather from the crying/barking.

There’s nothing better than snuggling a sleeping baby

getting a puppy - Boston Moms Blog

And at the end of the day, it is all totally worth it.

Deanna is a mom of five (yes, five) children, who lives in Brockton with her small circus of kids, her husband, their dog Penny, and a few cats. Her life is loud, energetic, mostly fun, often gross (did she mention four of those kids are boys?), and she wouldn't have it any other way. In between carting kids to school, baseball, gymnastics, guitar, dance, track and field and every other kid activity known to mankind, she works as a school bus driver for the city of Brockton, and is the Director of Religious Education at the Unity Church of North Easton, a Unitarian Universalist congregation. Deanna also holds degrees in Elementary Physical Education and Dance Education, which she plans to put back into use one day. At parties, Deanna can often be found hanging out with family pets. She follows her children around with a camera like the paparazzi, is pretty sure that 97% of her blood stream is made of coffee, and her laundry is never done. You can also find her blogging at