Dogs have always been considered man’s best friend, but current research is showing that dogs might be the expectant woman’s best friend. Turns out that there are many benefits to owning a dog during pregnancy, besides the obvious fact that they’re fluffy, cuddly and adorable. Dogs, if anything, are fiercely loyal and loving.
They adore their owners and although they may not understand exactly what pregnancy is all about, they have great instincts and become very sensitive to the fact that momma to be is in a more vulnerable state and may need a little extra cuddle time.
Dogs can prepare us for motherhood or parenthood, or perhaps some women prefer fur babies exclusively. Either way, we can’t deny that pets make us more nurturing individuals. Animals have this uncanny ability of getting under our skin, in a good way, we can’t help but fall in love with them and we can’t help but adapt our lives to make room for them.
This is exactly what occurs when we become parents, we adapt to make sure that baby transitions into our lives seamlessly.
Having a dog during pregnancy or even after the baby arrives can be a bit daunting to some, but today I’m going to outline a few reasons why a woman might want to reconsider. Some people fear that they’re adding another child to the mix by having an animal along, well maybe so, but this one is easier to train and will never talk back to you, so there’s definitely that bonus!
It’s been proven that having dogs around can benefit mamma and her unborn baby as well. Well, keep on reading and I will show all 15 reasons why…
15 Helps With Allergies And Asthma
It was once believed that while pregnant, pets should be shown the door! People believed their fur and dander could hurt the baby and produce allergies. Turns out, just the opposite is true. Having a dog in your home is one of the best defenses against developing allergies and asthma.
When it comes to pet dander, allergy sufferers everywhere will tell you that it’s pure torture to be in a home filled with dogs, but there may in fact be a link between allergies and asthma, and people who never grew up with pets. Recent studies are showing that pregnant women who have dogs are having babies that show no signs of allergies towards them.
In other words, these babies are building up immunity due to the dander through their mommy! It’s crazy to think that an unborn baby has already begun to build up immunity to those allergens through you, but they get a lot of good things from mommy don’t they!
14 Helps Mood
Need a pick me up? Then pick up a puppy! With hormones being absolutely all over the place during pregnancy, it is important to find reasons to smile, and sometimes ice cream and pickles just isn’t enough!
I know it can be hard to feel bliss, especially by the third trimester, you may have even forgotten what it is like to feel happy by this difficult and most uncomfortable stage. Pregnancy is full of ups and downs, but with a dog by your side, it's the pick me up you might never have known you needed.
Many studies have shown that having pets around can improve your mood. You have to admit, it’s hard to feel down when there’s a cute fluffy creature by your side craving your attention and giving you lots of doggie kisses. So until baby arrives to bring you some much needed joy, Rover will take-over!
13 No Need For Bassinet
Worried what will happen after the baby arrives? I’m sure all mama’s to fur babies worry how the dynamic between baby and fur baby will be, but have no fear in most cases your dog will feel the same surge of nurturing energy that you do!
Animals are very instinctual and when they smell baby, they have this natural tendency to protect it and spend a lot of time watching it to make sure it’s okay, so it’s fair to say you’ll have a babysitter of sorts. Another thing that dogs can provide is comfort for your baby, baby will love being placed up against your family dog, it’s furry and baby can hear its heartbeat, which is what they find so soothing about laying on mommy or daddy’s chest.
It’s a break from holding baby and some excellent bonding time for babe and pup. You also can’t deny that dogs are cuddly, baby might actually prefer sleeping on the dog instead of in its cozy-coo!
12 Makes Baby Stronger
It may seem strange to think that a pet could help your baby grow, but if you think about it, their desire to interact with their surroundings is what helps them develop. This is why we buy all the colorful toys that make sounds or sing songs, a dog works in much the same way, it stimulates play and play is what helps baby grow.
Baby can hear you while still in the womb and baby will also hear your dog barking, it’s a relationship that can grow before they even meet! It’s even been proven that a dog can get your baby crawling faster. Baby will see their four-legged friend getting around quickly, which will only make them crave movement more!
They’ll want to chase the dog around the house and before you know it, baby will be army crawling all over the house just to keep up with their furry bestie!
11 Helps Baby Interact
Back to baby, dogs also teach little ones how to interact, maybe in a very basic way, but it's definitely healthy for baby to have a companion that is always interested in playing, and guess what mom! You get a break! Because I guarantee you, baby will prefer playing with the pooch!
The first lesson baby will learn is all about relationships, they will learn that interaction with mom and dad will differ from their interaction with friends and even their dog, baby will learn that the dog needs a lot of help from mom and dad too, it will also teach baby how to care for something else, thus teaching baby about compassion and empathy.
By simply having the dog around, you can feel at ease throughout your pregnancy knowing that baby will have an immediate companion who will teach baby so much more than we could ever do on our own. Dogs are hands on learning at it’s very best!
10 Teach Sharing And Patience
Dogs teach us all about sharing and patience. From the moment your furry friend enters your home, it’s no longer yours and yours alone, it becomes a shared space for pooch and family. During pregnancy having a dog can sure test your patience, especially when you’re tired and the dog won’t leave you be!
This is actually a great initiation into parenthood. Kids will be exactly the same, always demanding your attention and if you thought a dog was exhausting, just wait! Not to scare you though, there’s a whole lot of love that comes with the territory! You will learn to divide your time between all those that you love, and you will never regret giving your child or pooch as much attention as they desire.
Your baby will also benefit once it arrives, because who better to teach baby about sharing and patience than the dog that will not only share their space, but most likely all of baby’s toys.
9 Great Companionship
Thank you for being a friend! A dog can’t help but be your friend, you feed them, you walk them, you love them, and they’re yours for life! They are such loyal and loving companions that it can bring you to tears sometimes. It’s these big hearts that melt ours, so why wouldn’t we want to be surrounded by such affection while pregnant?
Being pregnant can feel a little lonely at times, especially in the weeks waiting for labor to commence, being at home and waiting for baby can feel like some sort of quarantine, but with your dog by your side, you have a cuddle buddy while you relax, while you eat and maybe sometimes when you want privacy too, but at least they’ll give you a much needed laugh.
It’s nice to have someone who’s always there, it’s like a hug that never leaves you. As someone who grew up with dogs, there’s nothing better than the way they snuggle up to you on the couch when they’re ready for a snooze, best nap buddy ever!
8 Stress Relief
With the amounts of information that people throw at you during pregnancy, is there really any wonder why moms to be feel so overwhelmed? If you are looking for some easy stress release, look no further than pet ownership! It has been proven by many scientific studies that petting an animal calms us, soothes us and takes away the stress of the day.
It is almost like a form of magic that these dogs secretly possess! Also, if you just so happen to own a puppy during pregnancy, then you’ll know that puppies tend to sleep a lot! They might even coax you to have a few extra naps, because their cute little snores are oh so contagious!
We all need to rest up during pregnancy and having a dog definitely won’t hinder that or be more work. On the days you feel overwhelmed by pregnancy, you can always count on your dog to sense this and run to your side for extra cuddles.
7 Staying Active
We all know that dogs need daily exercise to be healthy, and although it might be hard to get around some days while pregnant, dogs can be an excellent motivator to stay active for as long as you can. As tempting as the couch and your bed are, it is actually extremely important to keep moving during pregnancy.
Taking your dog for walks will not only help you maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy, but surprisingly, it will also help with a lot of the soreness you may feel along the way. There are definitely a lot of restrictions placed on women during pregnancy, especially when it comes to exercise.
Right at the start of your pregnancy Doctors will warn you that heavy lifting and many forms of exercise can be dangerous, but one form of exercise that is always guaranteed to be safe is walking! So walk that do and feel good about it, it’s great for you, and baby, and your favourite pup!
6 Controls Weight Gain
Worried about gaining too much extra weight during pregnancy? Then there's a perfect and simple solution for you and it’s all about taking the dog for a walk! As mentioned above, taking the dog for a walk is a sure way to stay active and maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy, it’s also a fun way to stay fit and a reason get out of the house!
Any mom to be can confirm that we can sometimes feel a bit claustrophobic during pregnancy, we tend to want to stay close to home especially as we get closer to our due date and don’t tend to go too far, this also means doing a lot more sitting at home, which doesn’t really help speed up labor either!
It is important to keep moving during pregnancy because it will also help your body bounce back after pregnancy, which is a nice bonus!
5 Prepares Women For Mommy Routines
Having a dog may not be exactly the same as having a baby around, but it can’t be denied that they need a similar routine and schedule. Babies tend to eat, sleep, play, poop and repeat, and dogs, and especially puppies, aren’t really all that different when it comes to that very short list of needs.
If you are looking for a way to practice mommy-hood, owning a dog can definitely be your starter kit! Puppies will usually have difficulty with night time sleeping at first, it’s a new space for them, so you’ll have to sleep train them just as much as you’ll need to sleep train your baby to be in that new space.
Puppies tend to take comfort in soothing sounds that remind them of mommy’s heartbeat, and babies will love that too! The fact that their demands are so similar will make you pro before baby pops out; the main benefit though is that you can skip the diapers for now!
4 Good Distraction
Think happy thoughts! Think puppy thoughts! Every pregnant mom has that moment when pure panic sets in, and some of us even have it multiple times during pregnancy! All mothers, and especially first time mothers, will feel moments of anxiety about becoming a parent, it’s normal to worry! We ask ourselves, will we be good mothers?
We panic about the nursery or all the things we still need to get for baby, and who can block out the fact that we will eventually have to get that baby out someway somehow? There are lot of things that run through a pregnant woman’s mind, and rightfully so!
I can however recommend a way to distract yourself from all those scary and stressful thoughts, and that’s to have a dog around! A dog will not only distract you from your thoughts, it will also keep you busy tending to it so that you think about your dog rather than the countless other things about pregnancy that can drive you mad!
3 Flex Those Nurturing Muscles
Dogs will need you just as much as baby does, so it goes without saying that you will need to nurture your fur baby just as it were your actual baby. Dogs need love and attention, a routine, cleaning, feeding, and above all your patience! Nothing about being a mom is easy, but you’ll still love every moment of it, why?
Because there’s something heart-warming about a small little person, or pooch, who needs you. Being needed brings out our nurturing side, and a dog can definitely bring out the nurturer in almost anyone!
Dogs are so innocent and there’s so much they don’t understand about safety or common sense, much like a baby, for these reasons we feel a natural responsibility to guide them and protect them from their world until they are more capable of making better choices for themselves. There’s something about those big puppy dog eyes looking up at you that just melts your heart and quite honestly changes who you are.
2 Builds Immunity
Animals tend to carry around just as many germs as kids do. Having an animal around the house is equivalent to exposing kids to a daycare’s worth of interesting bacteria. I’m sure the thought of this will terrify many parents, it terrified mine, so much that my mother banned animals from the house during her pregnancy and up until we were well into toddlerhood.
I have to say that banning them from the home didn’t save me from getting sick all the time; in fact I was always sick. Recent studies have shown that allowing children to have pets in the home can actually make their immune systems work better; in fact exposing them to germs is what allows them to fight them off.
When kids are kept away from germs, they don’t have the same opportunities to build immunity. Dog or no dog, eventually kids will be placed in a situation where they will encounter germs, so having a pet might be something worth thinking about if it could save you a few trips to the doctor.
1 Baby Has A Bestie
If there is any reason to have a dog during pregnancy, it's also so that you have it after! There is nothing cuter than the love between a baby and the family pet. It is almost as if animals instinctively know that the baby in the household needs more attention than anyone else, they gladly flock towards baby's unlimited amount of energy, perhaps their temperaments are more similar than not.
One thing is for sure, if dogs can be man’s best friend, then they can certainly become baby’s best friend. I urge you to watch a baby as it encounters a dog, they seem to examine one another, almost as if they understand each other, and maybe they do on a certain level. Babies and dogs have one important characteristic in common, and that is their curiosity.
As baby and pup explore the world around them together, they are bonding through their tiny adventures. They don’t need to speak to communicate, their bond, much like your bond with them, goes beyond words, because love is its own language.
Sources: Fit Pregnancy, Dog Tipper