11 Ways My Dogs Prepared Me for Motherhood

11 Ways My Dogs Prepared Me for Motherhood

Oh, the similarities between dogs and young children! Some joke that dogs prepare us for kids. Many parents scoff at the idea (after all, how could we compare our precious children to canines!?). But, in my experience, there are some striking similarities between dogs and young children. Not so sure? Let’s look at a few examples, you know, just for fun.

Crates and Cribs

How are they not the same thing? One is enclosed, while the other is open on the top, similar, right? But, let’s take it a step further. Some parents have nets over the top of their toddler’s crib so they can’t climb out, which essentially makes it a crate. Both cribs and crates are intended to keep the dog or the baby in one place. They both are a place to sleep. You can get a time out from a dog or a baby with a crate (or a timeout for yourself while they’re in a safe enclosure). So, cribs and crates are essentially the same things. I just wish I could get my kids to play in their cribs like they do the crates! Life would be so much simpler! Or would it?


Both dogs and kids benefit from walks, as do we, but it can be a lot of work to take kids or dogs on a walk. You need to keep track of them. Make sure they don’t run in the street. They are easily distracted by bushes and balls. And birds and anything else. They attract a lot of attention. Have you ever noticed that more people talk to you when you’re out with your children or a dog than they do when you’re out walking by yourself? (Or, wait? Do we ever go out walking by ourselves after becoming parents?). Dogs might be walked on a leash, and kids pushed in a stroller, but both ways of maintaining control and keeping track of them. And, there are people who push dogs in strollers and people who put their kids on leashes. So, again going for a walk with children or dogs are pretty similar.


Have you ever tried to sleep with a dog? Are they not always in the way? They sleep perpendicular to the way we do. Guess what. Kids do the same thing! Cover hogs? Dogs and kids. Waking you up at night? Dogs and kids. Ever sleep so close to the edge of the bed that you feel like you’re going to fall off because of a dog or a child? Yeah, me too. And, no one wants to wake a sleeping baby. Depending on the dog, waking the dog could be just as bad.

11 Ways My Dogs Prepared Me for Motherhood

Early wake-up calls

Ever since I got a dog, I haven’t needed an alarm clock on weekends. Even house sitters are woken up at approximately the same time by the border collie. Babies? Toddlers? Preschoolers? Kids? Same thing. Ask any parents if they really need an alarm clock to wake up. Odds are, their children serve as alarm clocks. Unless of course, they have somewhere to be.

Poop, pee, messes on the floor

Dogs and kids, both! I tell ya, it’s the same thing. They both make messes. And, we’re the lucky ones stuck cleaning it up. I’m not sure which is worse- potty training a dog or potty training a toddler… And, while we’re on the topic of nasty messes- what’s their fascination with the toilet? (We’ll skip over the barf and let you draw your own conclusions on that one. You’re welcome! 🙂


They either love them or hate them, right? They hear the water running, and they run and hide. Or, they hear, “it’s bath time!” and make a beeline for another room or suddenly can’t hear you. Wait, am I describing kids or dogs? Hmm…

Visiting the doctor

Need I say more? The kicking, screaming, crying, refusing to walk, hesitancy to get in the car to even leave… Not fun! And, while you’re waiting your turn- which is worse? Waiting with a nervous dog or waiting for the pediatrician? Tough call! And, even the simplest tests can take a TON of effort to get done. I mean, what’s so bad about getting your temperature taken? It’s not like they stick it up your butt or anything! Oh, wait. For dogs they do (sometimes kids, but not usually). Getting a urine sample? Oh, boy. It’s the worst! The jury is still out here if that’s harder to do with a potty training toddler or a dog.


You finally get a moment of silence and time to sit down and relax. So, you do. Then, you get up to pee and it’s dark. And you step on something. Was that a dog bone or a Lego? It’s hard to tell! Both hurt like hell. Just ask my husband. You’d think he’d just given birth!

Personal space

Is there such a thing? For dogs or kids? Like, do YOU have any personal space when you’re around your kids or your dog(s)? I sure don’t! Someone is always touching me. If I’m lucky, it’s only one someone. However, that’s usually never the case (hint: it’s always more than that.).

Going home

You gotta go home to let the dog out. Gotta go home so the kid can nap. The result of not doing either is not pleasant. But, going home after a long day to wagging tails and open arms and squeals of joy that you’re home is awesome. There’s nothing like it. So, there’s certainly a plus side to it here.

Bring us joy and purpose

Dogs and kids are a lot of work. There’s so much they can’t do for themselves, and that they rely on us for. But, they both bring so much happiness to our lives. They give us purpose and make life worth living. They’re what make our family a family. They make life more fun and enjoyable. They’re totally worth it.

So, there you have it. 11 ways that dogs and kids are similar. On the fence about having children? Get a dog. Seriously. Get a dog. A border collie is a good choice (don’t ask me how I know…). Or, get a puppy who crate poops. That’ll help you get used to cleaning up nasty poop messes. The stench. The poor thing covered in something messy and nasty… A baby learning to feed him/herself gets pretty messy (at least it’s not poop everywhere!).

In all seriousness get a dog. It’ll help you take care of someone other than yourself, which is great practice for children. True practice? No. There’s nothing like actually HAVING a baby for that, but at least you’ll know what it’s like to have another living thing depend on you 24/7. And, while you’re teaching your new dog, teach it to be nice to kids. You don’t want to have problems when you do bring home that little bundle of joy!


Connie Deal
Connie DealContributor
Connie Deal spends most of her time helping her children learn, discover, play, and explore the world around them. Her goal is to empower parents and caregivers with the tools needed to incorporate learning into their child’s day, so Connie shares her ideas and anything related to teaching toddlers and preschoolers at Lessons and Learning for Littles.Find her on Facebook and Pinterest or check out her website, Lessons and Learning for Littles at http://conniedeal.com.
By | 2017-07-07T23:14:21+00:00 July 10th, 2017|Mom Life|1 Comment

About the Author:

Hi! I'm Kristie! I am a mom of three and wife to an awesome gaming nerd. I love all things pink and sparkly. I blog here at The Mom Life Chronicles and at The Official ceoMom. I strive to help other mompreneurs achieve their goals and create a life of freedom!

One Comment

  1. Shauna July 22, 2017 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    Great comparisons and makes a lot of sense. I often tell Newlyweds to start with a dog to learn how to share resposibities and learn about each other more ❤

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