Pets and babies

**Specifically the house roamers like dogs and cats…

If I knew then what I know now I don’t think I would get a dog or cat until the kid(s) were beyond baby stage. I don’t know how the rest of you do it but combining the two, keeping separate areas, having to clean more etc is so much harder than i would have imagined!

But since I believe that pets are “friends for life” I just have to deal with it. How do you all handle the combination of babies and pets?


oh, and in case you’re wondering why *now ***since my “baby” is now 16 months old… let’s just say there was an incident that involved our DD and our cat that also included poop:p… blech

I have a big 90lb Golden Retriever. I have never tried to keep them separate. They are all best buddies. The only thing that I have done since having kids is get Jack, my dog, shaved every 4 months so that there isn’t so much dog hair. My girls lay on him when they are watching TV. They play school bus with him. He is the bus and they sit on him. My oldest likes to cover him with a blanket and read him stories and sing him songs while I am putting my youngest down for a nap. Jack is a part of our family. HIs food is downstairs where we donot spend much time, but that is mainly to keep the girls from making “stew” out of his food and water.

We have had cats and a dog (and rabbit, guinea pig, and assorted rodents and water tank inhabitants) forever.

Cat litter boxes with a cover that can be placed in an out of the way corner are wonderful. Not only do kids not get in it, the dog can’t have little kitty snacks either!! (although our new puppy still finds these particularly delicious for whatever reason).:confused:

For many years, we had a covered litter box in an back closet with the door left partially open. The opening faced towards the back wall so the cats had to go around the back. We had to stop using this when our senior cat could not longer squat down far enough and squirted over the top of the box everytime:shrug: , so we had to get a high sided rubbermaid container that works great for her, but not so good for a cover!

Each cat picks a different human to sleep with every night. The puppy is still kenneled at night, but loves to romp with everyone and everything. Our old black lab was great with the kids and would lay right next to them when they were little.

I don’t quite get the pet culture. People today spend more on their pets than our parents did on us and yet they claim they ‘can’t afford’ more kids.

What’s up with that? You can’t afford another kid, but you’ll buy a purebred lab for hundreds of bucks, pay thousands more over its life for routine vet and food bills, often pay thousands for specialized vet treatments and surgeries, sometimes plan extra expensive vacations to allow the pet to come along…

We decided to have an extra kid instead. I suppose the 10 gallon fish tank counts as pets, but they’ll never see a vet and vacation just means I drop a food pellet in!

**Um…before you go ranting about this. Please rest assured this is certainly not the case for everyone.

Why did we get another dog? Why do we have three? Because we CAN’T have ANY kids. And I am sure there are lots more like us who can’t have any, or can’t have many.

Our dogs were all adopted at less than $100. We only provide the basic care they need. We don’t get anything specialty or frivolous. Just basic food, shots, medical attention if needed, and lots of TLC.

Just think please, before you post. Not everyone who has multiple dogs is in the same boat. And not everyone who has a dog is avoiding another child in place of that dog. And many times that pet will help the existing children to grow up strong and healthy. I’m sure that those who can have children, and get a pet, will still have more children. It’s not an either or, but an addition to.


**I feel for you Malia. It’s hard to keep up house without kids or pets. And hard enough to separate our foster pet from our regulars. I can’t imagine what you must be going through.

But rest assured that pets really are very beneficial to children growing up. Your child with grow up healthier and happier because of it.

God bless your efforts. :thumbsup:

Most assuredly I did not intend for the word or implication ALL to be in my posts. But what I posted DOES apply to an awful lot of families I know. And I’m just curious about it.

w have two cats never kept them in a seperate area of the house…they can go wherever they like (except on the kitchen counters). Their litter boxes are kept out of the reach of small children in the basement (so no one plays or eats poop).
As to cleaning no extra effort really…same as usual. Each day broom the floors (have wood floors) and once a week dust.
we do bush our cats regularly so perhaps that is why they dont shed as crazy anymore.
As a side note…I do think that teenage boys are dirtier (in general) than a cat or a dog:D

**We are on the same page here. Yes these couples are out there. I agree with you. I’ve seen couples who purposely don’t have ANY children so they can have more pets. And until I have suffered through the pain of not being able to have kids, I thought/presumed this applied to far more people than I do now.

Pets offer a great source of companionship. They can teach children responsibility, to love, and actually help them stay healthy (physically and emotionally.) While certainly not a replacement for children, they can be a good substitute for a couple who can’t have children, a great companion for a child whose parents can’t have a brother or sister for him, or a great addition to a several child family.

Without my three dogs (and the small animals I have too) I would be in the midst of suicidal depression. My pets help me with my depression. I cannot be around people right now, due to the psychological problems stemming from the pain and loss of infertility. So, fostering and caring for my pets allows me to help the world, while being greatly enriched by their love and presence in my life. They help me get out of myself, and have another reason to keep going. They really are wonderful creatures, and I know they help many a sick, disabled, elderly, lonely, infertile person in ways we can’t imagine.

As for why get a dog and not another child? Well I am very thankful to my parents that I could have pets. My only sister graduated when I was ten. My mom had several miscarriages between us. There were no other children. Had I not had pets, it would have been a VERY, VERY lonely existence. Pets have always been a part of my life, and a great source of companionship. Even in a multiple child family, there is nothing wrong with having a couple of dogs. They really are great for the kids, and their emotional and physical development.

But you are certainly right in that a pet (or the care of that pet) should never be chosen over a child, or having another child.

I hope this helps explain a little why some may choose to have a pet, or another pet.

By the way, aquariums DO count. Especially when you have to clean them. I have a small two gallon tank, and trust me that is enough work. I can’t imagine a larger one. ;):stuck_out_tongue:

Well, I don’t think anyone here can answer your question :D. Many of us don’t spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a pet but we do have multiple pets. We are currently a three cat, one dog, two guinea pig, male Betta and hermit crab (singular) family. We spend only what is necessary to keep them healthy including inexpensive toys. We don’t take special vacations that cost lots of money in order to include the pets, we do take them with us when we can otherwise we get a friend to watch them.

My oldest daughter has become an unofficial house/pet sitter for people. She doesn’t charge a lot and spends the night with the pets so they aren’t lonely.

The people I know don’t choose to get a pet instead of have another child. They don’t spend tons of money on their pets either like you are describing and I certainly don’t doubt there are people out there like that - just looking at what is available at the pet stores to “pamper our pets” is ridiculous although I will put a cute t-shirt or scarf on my dog (I do it to the cats too but we have new kittens and are having them get used to their collars first). My little poodle currently has a $5.00 t-shirt that has a Christmas theme on it and he had a more expensive one with a pirate on it for the month of Oct.

Pets are known to help children in many ways, they are a good way for a child to learn responsibility, compassion, empathy. For many it is their first experience with death.

Now for Malia’s question and the subject of this post;). I can’t help you honey as I have never had any really big dogs. The biggest we have ever had was under 100 lbs. otherwise we have always had small toy size breeds - none pure breeds unless they were at the pound. Fortunately all my dogs have been good with children and babies so I didn’t need to separate them from each other and every child who lives in a house with cats will have that experience with the kitty litter:eek: - my children are adults now so it obviously didn’t hurt them but of course, we didn’t let them continue with this, umm, habit! This is where if you can put the litter in a small room with a gate across it so the cat can still get at it but the baby can’t is ideal - is it possible that you have a closet you can do that with?

To answer someone else’s question about puppies and kitty litter - cats don’t digest their food completely so, to a dog it is like getting a meat treat! Eeeew, I know. One time we had a “large” dog (remember he was under 100 lbs.) and a new cat, I thought the cat had a problem because all he was doing was peeing, I never had to clean out the litter otherwise until one day I caught the dog helping himself to… well you get the picture! I don’t remember what I did then because that was 25 years ago but I do remember that was when I learned about cats and not digesting all their food!

Brenda V.

**I guess by not getting graphic enough I caused a misconception… Lily did not get into the litter box. We keep that safely in the basement and always have.

Lily was playing with Maggie (the cat) and got pooped on. Well, not poop exactly. Do cats have the same kind of anal glands that dogs do??? But whatever it was she was covered in stink:eek:. It was so gross…ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…

I have to keep our dog separate because of two things: his skin problems (which are gross and stinky) and his temperment. I will never fully trust him around her. He is ok when supervised but I’d never let them alone together. Sad, i know…it is not how I imagined it. But he has been with us for over 8 years and is as much of a part of the family as any of us.

Also, maybe other people don’t worry about it, but I don’t want Lily playing, sitting, and eating off of a floor where my dog has walked with his dirty feet that have been on his “potty rocks”. I don’t have the energy to wash the floor each time he comes in…

the cat (other than putting butt juice on her:p hasn’t been much of a problem…)


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