If you are planning on having a family, get the right pet for your changing lifestyle

I thought a lot about this topic before, during and after my pregnancy. Why do people give up their dogs when they have a baby? I know I am different but why does having a child have to be the end of your family life, the one that your dog played a part in?

As you may know, Dusty and I walk every day. I think our walk is about two miles long and we do it first thing in the morning. I believe in regular exercise and Dusty and my daily commute (10 miles round trip on my bike) kept me fit during my pregnancy and fit for the delivery. In fact, the midwife said it was good to be active because it generally makes labour shorter and easier. I was unable to run for the past few years due to injury and my IVF treatment but we always kept up with our walks.

Dusty doesn't require much more individual attention than that. I have always had an approach with him and Baby A2B to be inclusive in what I am doing. You see the posts about "where to take my 4 month old?" My answer is "with you!" Not all activities have to geared towards them, they both learn from experience. So I like to walk two miles in the morning to keep fit, guess who is coming with me? That is right, Dusty AND Bug! It is good for the dog, the baby and me so it might take us longer to get out of the door than it used to but we still go out together. It is not healthy to stay indoors once you have a child, you need to get out and about.

Also the regular activity for the dog and baby together teaches them both how to treat one another and can help prevent jealousy from the dog. I bring Dusty with us everywhere I can. I have trained him to walk off the lead which is very helpful when you have a pram in tow. But in general we all get to enjoy being out and being together.

It is well known before getting any dog, you must do your research about the breeds that suit your lifestyle. If you are unable to take your dog out for a daily walk or two, a highly charged dog like the Siberian Husky is probably not the right fit for you. We got a Golden Retriever because we always knew we wanted a family of our own, they are good with children and I grew up with one. Mr B did not have pets growing up  but I have forced a cat, dog and now a baby on him ;)

Just please think about your long term goals. "A dog is for life not just  for Christmas" (Dog Trust).

All the Best!

American to Britain