Throughout my pregnancy, I had so many people tell me that I had to get rid of my pets because I was about to have a baby.
And yes – it is true- I don’t have as much time to devote to my pets as I used to, but that does not mean that they are not taken care of or being deprived attention.
I would like to dive in a little deeper as to why society thinks that you have to give up your fur babies because you are about to become a family of three.
- Ignorance. I don’t have any statics, but I’d wager that the average person isn’t taking their dog in for training or exercising them properly. So it is ignorance in that people believe that the dog will act out or attack the baby. I get it! These are valid concerns, but if a dog is trained, these situations can be prevented.
- They don’t view pets as members of the family. The trust is that not everyone views your four-legged or two-legged in the same regard as you do. For some, pets are accessories or assets that can be changed out at whim or given away when they become less appealing and more financially exhausting.
- It happened to them. Maybe they grew up in an environment where their parents didn’t work with the family pet and they were destructive or were always escaping. Somewhere down the line, there was some type of trauma, and animals to them are just another headache – which they can be, but so can our children.
The way I look at is that my pets are helping to shape my son into the great man that he will become. Animals are work, so our children can learn responsibility from having to take care of them. Boundaries are another huge skill that our children and some of us can learn from animals. Most pets do not attack just cause, there is usually some type of warning beforehand – everyone has something that makes them tick. From an early age, I am teaching my son to not pull or throw toys at just not us ( his parents) but also his pets. Commitment, dedication, and discipline are all traits that we look for in ourselves and in others.
What if I told you that your pet can help instill those traits.
It’s easy to just give your older dog to a shelter – out of sight out of mind- but it takes commitment and dedication to that dog to stick with them until the very end. This helps to show your child that you do not give up just because life is getting hard – there are obvious situations where you do need to throw in the towel, but that typically comes after you have exhausted all other options.
So my plea to you, is that you reconsider re-homing your pet because of the new addition in your life or future addition. Exhaust all of your options – training your dog will help you to have more patience, and hopefully your child will grow up and have so many examples of what responsibility, commitment, and dedication looks like.