Baby Gatsby turns 1 this week!  Ahhh! My wee little puppy is now a beefy 100 pounds and still as cute as can be. I gotta say, having a puppy has been a challenge at times and taught Carl and I a lot as a couple.  Looking back on our months with Gatsby, it makes me glad we had a dog before children.  I’m not saying dogs are exactly the same as children, each come with their own unique challenges, but I feel much more prepared for having children now.  I didn’t think a dog was an appropriate baby step before having babies (baby step, get it) but now I’m an avid believer. (Also, know that I don’t think you’re be a bad parent if you didn’t have a dog before kids.)

Why puppies should come before babies

1.  Having a puppy forces you to evaluate parenting methods and compromise opinions.

2.  A puppy makes you share and/or divide responsibilities.

3.  They costs money.

4.  They require disciplining.

5.  They require LOTS of attention.  

6.  Dogs poop and pee. A lot. And have to be house trained.

7.  They will destroy something of value at least once.

8.  They will cramp your social life.

Do you still want a dog or children after reading that?  I admit I didn’t know what I was in for even after fostering pets for years.  Gatsby has been a big challenge but has given us so much in return.  I can’t even begin to express how much I think people should have a dog, or a pet in general for that matter.  So don’t let that list get you down, because there are so many benefits.

1.  Your heart will hold more love for your dog than you ever thought possible.

2.  You will discover it’s not too bad having your floor or favorite shoe completely destroyed.

3.  Having to leave events early to go take care of your dog is a relief (and actually the best excuse ever to have to leave).

4.  Coming home will always be a joy because there is going to be someone there that literally missed you and loves you more than anything in the world. 

How has owning a dog or other pet changed your life?


  • Brittany

    I totally agree with this. 100%. When I was in a relationship we got a dog and she would literally cry all night long. I always got up with her. Always. You are so right with this post. Spread the word!!! Its the truth!

    • katiewinn

      Getting up in the night with the puppy was the worst. Fortunately Gatsby started sleeping through the night pretty quickly. I don’t even imagine what it’s going to be like once we have a baby to get up with.

  • People hate to hear it–but I’m not an animal person at all! I definitely recognize how much work and expense they are though–I’ve always said if I was going to do all of that I’d rather have a baby than a pet!

    • katiewinn

      I feel you! I grew up on a farm, so I was going to like animals whether I was meant to or not haha. Some people are just not pet people and that’s just how it is. At least you know it and stick by it, I’ve known people who’ve had pets and they just really really shouldn’t.

  • Kristen @ Treats and Travels

    This post is too perfect – I’ve been dying for a pet (kitty or puppy – I don’t discriminate) and my boyfriend is the one holding out. I think he should read your post and maybe it will prep him for our future 😉

    • katiewinn

      My fiance (boyfriend at the time) and I were back and forth about committing to a puppy. Whenever one of us would decide they were all for it the other would change their mind. We finally just fell in love with one and ended up taking it home not quite sure what we were doing. It was definitely a learning experience but I’m so glad we have our Gatsby. I hope he changes his mind! Thanks for reading!

  • I think this is such a good idea. I don’t know why people want to jump right in to havin babies. But our dog is like a baby and he is more than enough for now. BYW you have a pug that weighs 100 lbs???

    • katiewinn

      Haha no I have a labrador mix that weighs a 100 lbs! Sorry, maybe I should do some editing to that post haha. I just hate when people think what they expect out of their tiny dog is acceptable for a larger dog. There are so many things you can let a little dog get away with and it wont really affect anything, but if you let a large dog do it you’re gonna regret it! Little dogs aren’t going to cause many problems if they jump on someone, but my big ‘ole lab sure could cause some problems!

      I’m definitely glad we have our dog and not a baby. I’ve learned baby fever most certainly exists, but for now our dog more than satisfies our baby needs.