The multiple times that I brought up getting a dog, my husband completely shot me down. To be honest if he had his way, we would not have gotten Coco. Even though he has come around and loves her too. When my mom got me my puppy for Christmas, I was completely overjoyed. Really, I had no clue what it would take to be a dog parent. I did know that after having two kids, I knew how to take care of someone else, so it couldn’t be that hard. There are so many things to learn when it comes to a puppy, but some of the best things are the life lessons you learn becoming a dog mom.
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1. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
As a parent, you teach your kids unconditional love. Yes, they will give it back. However, with kids you will experience their ups and downs, and their anger, when you don’t do exactly what they want. With a dog you always get complete unconditional love. This will help teach you to give that back to others.
2. TIME MANAGEMENT
No more days of sleeping in! When you get a dog, especially a small dog like mine, it’s like getting a baby. In the beginning, I had to get up in the middle of the night to take her out. Now she sleeps through the night, but I don’t need to set an alarm clock anymore. Coco gets me up on the dot at 6:30 am and off we go for her routine of pee, then eat, then a walk to poop. She also completely knows her schedule on when she should be fed three times a day. I know I have to manage my time through the day to stick to her schedule and that way if I have to leave the house, I’m back by the time she needs me.
They always say that communication is key in any relationship. Well when you can communicate with someone who doesn’t even speak your language, then that’s some great communication. Dogs teach you the patience to learn to communicate with others. I have trained her to tell me when she needs certain things, and I have learned over time her queues for when she wants to eat, go outside, or play.
4. PUTTING OTHERS FIRST
You learn putting others first not only by having children, but dogs are people’s furry children. You learn becoming a dog mom that you can’t be selfish. If you are too selfish then your dog won’t eat, won’t get potty trained, and won’t be a happy animal. I put my puppy first by not going out if I know I will be gone for too long, or I have to find a way to take her with me. I spend less money on myself and more on her, so that I can buy her extra toys, and fit in the extra monthly expenses like her food, her vet plan, and any medications. If you want to practice on those parenting skills, then definitely get a dog before you decide to have kids.
5. ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS
I have to be so organized after getting Coco. I was pretty good with my organizational skills already, but becoming a dog mom has made me even more so. If I take her somewhere, it’s like I have to have a whole diaper bag together. I also have to make sure I am keeping the house organized. Dogs tend to get into everything, so I have learned what I need to keep put away, doors that have to stay closed, and how to keep her area organized with toys and everything she needs.
I am totally type A; I like to have a plan and stick to it. Having a puppy really teaches you to be more flexible. Sometimes I have to drop what I’m doing because she’s barking at me to go outside. If I plan on traveling, I have to be flexible enough on the trip to bring her with me, or I have to make sure to hire someone to watch her and if need be come home earlier than planned. Having another person who depends on you, means that they need to come first even if it mixes up your plans a bit.
Are you a pet parent, and do you feel like your pet has changed your life forever? I am so grateful to have my pup that gives me so much love. Is there anything additional that you feel you have learned becoming a dog mom?