Adopting a new puppy is a huge, time-consuming commitment. However adorable, they need constant monitoring, training, and discipline to get the hang of the house rules. They'll try your patience as they chew on everything and pee on anything, but they're also adorable and irresistible and can without a doubt make life better. But how do you know if you, and your family, are ready for a fur baby? How can you be sure your baby can handle a puppy in the home? Turns out, there are a few telltale signs that will let you know your newborn will adjust to having a furry sibling around.
I had three cats and a very curious baby when my partner and I considered adopting a dog. I wasn't sure I could handle the added responsibility of caring for another living thing, especially as a new mom attempting to make her way through postpartum depression and anxiety. I was also struggling in the breastfeeding department, recovering from childbirth, and attempting to adjust to the whole "new mom" gig. I love puppies and the idea of my baby and a family dog growing up together was almost too cute to handle. But, in the end, I knew that if we brought a puppy into the home I wouldn't be able to handle it. And neither would my baby.
But if you know you have more love to give and could handle a puppy in the house, it's important to observe your baby to be sure they're ready for a puppy, too, and way before you go ahead and take the puppy plunge. So with that in mind, here are some signs he or she is ready for a furry friend, too:
They Leave Other Animals Alone
According to the New York Post, one sign that your child can handle a furry friend around the house is their willingness to leave other animals alone. "Age is just a number — it's your child's behavior around canines that really counts." So if your baby is all about pulling puppy ears and chomping down on puppy tails, now probably isn't the right time for you to introduce a dog to the fam. But if your kid gives other animals their space and doesn't seem all that into wrestling the family cat, a puppy might just be in the cards.
They're Not In The Middle Of Potty Training
I don't know about you, but I am not about training two living creatures at once. So, if you want my humble opinion, either adopt a puppy while your little one is in diapers and not even close to being potty trained, or long after they've mastered the "big kid" toilet. I can't think of a more excrutiating hell than potty training a child and a puppy at the same time.
They Don't Have Any Pet Allergies
According to Healthline, your baby could be allergic to dogs if they experience swelling and itching in their nose and around their eyes, a redness on their skin after being licked by a dog, coughing, shortness of breath, or wheezing within 15 to 30 minutes of being around a dog, a rash on the face, neck, or chest, and/or a severe asthma attack. Obviously, your baby can't handle a puppy in the home if that puppy will be detrimental to their health.
Your Baby Isn't Mobile
Again, in my opinion it will be easier to introduce a dog to the family if your baby can't crawl and/or walk around the house. If your baby stays in the very spot you put them, you won't have to worry about someone getting their hands on the puppy food or keeping your eyes on two mobile little ones at once. It will be much easier to supervise your pup around your baby if at least one of them is immobile.
Your Baby Respects Their Baby Safety Gate
A safety gate kept my curious daughter from falling down a steep staircase. A well placed, properly used safety gate can also keep baby and puppy separated, so they both have their own space to play and learn. If your baby is too big for a safety gate and/or some kind of Houdini-in-training, it might be a good idea to wa
it to adopt a puppy until your baby learns the word "no" and, you know, respects it.
At the end of the day, only you can decide whether your baby's ready for a puppy and whether or not you're capable of dividing your attention between the two.