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19 Ways Having A Dog Will Prepare You For Kids

Fur babies can change your life.

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1. Dogs awaken your maternal/paternal instincts.

It'll surprise you how loving and nurturing you are toward your new best friend.

2. They teach you responsibility, too.

There are a lot of things you can't do once you're a puppy parent, like stay out until all hours of the night because you've got a dog at home waiting to eat and be taken to the bathroom.

3. You have to pick up their poop.

Parents have to deal with a lot of gross things (cough - blowout diapers - cough), but they won't seem quite as yucky after this.

4. They make messes.

Stumbling across doggie disasters like these will help you keep your cool later in life when your kids lay even more wreckage to your home.

5. You have to feed them.

Getting used to being someone's sole food source is harder than you might think. Most new dog owners experience that "I forgot to feed the dog!" moment, but have it down like clockwork by the time they have a baby to feed.

6. You don't sleep as well as you used to.

Dogs bark in the night, sleep in all of the good spots on the bed, and need to be taken out first thing in the morning. You'll still sleep better with a dog than a baby, but dogs teach you that some things are worth losing sleep over.

7. Dogs demand your attention whether you want to give it or not.

You know that moment when your dog wants you to keep petting them long after you've had enough? It'll serve you well when your kids are tugging at your sleeve at the end of a long day.

8. It's your job to recognize their birthday.

Doggie birthdays are low-stress practice runs for your kids' birthdays.

9. You pick out all of their outfits.

The better your dog looks, the better your kid will look.

10. You pick out their Halloween costumes, too.

Okay, so you might not put your dog in a Halloween costume, but if you do it'll make finding your kid the right costume that much easier.

11. You worry about their well being.

You want your dog to be healthy and safe, and go crazy with worry when you have to take them to the vet... much like you will when you have a baby.

12. You have to buy a lot of stuff to take care of them.

In addition to food, dogs need a microchip, grooming supplies, flea treatments, collars, toys, and more. Kids require even more stuff, but new parents who are used to caring for a dog won't be caught off guard by it.

13. Dogs ain't cheap.

Dogs cost $1,100 - $3,500 per year on average, and that's without any unexpected veterinary emergencies. Kids cost even more, but dog owners have an idea of what they're getting into.

14. You can judge how a potential partner might be as a parent based on how they treat your dog.

If a potential Mr. or Mrs. Right is cold to your dog it just might be a sign that they're not the right person to have kids with.

15. There's no leaving town without finding a dog sitter.

Preparing for a trip is a lot more complicated after you have kids, but if you've had a dog, you're way less likely to feel overwhelmed.

16. You have to potty train them.

Potty training a dog can be an exhausting and frustrating experience, but once you've done it you'll have an idea of what's in store for you when you try to potty train a toddler.

17. You experience anxiety over whether your dog will be accepted by the other dogs.

You suffer through your first dose of parental anxiety at the dog park. "Like him, you stupid Schnauzer. Like him!"

18. You have to discipline them.

Dogs, like kids, need discipline or they can run amuck. Disciplining kids can be hard (especially when they look up at you with their cute little faces), but you'll be able to do it because you've got plenty of experience discipling other cute little faces.

19. Finally, you get the priceless experience of having a living creature rely on you to take care of them.

And you'll find that you're more than up for the job.

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