8 Reasons Every Family Should Have a Dog

Reasons To Get A Dog

At the height of our baby-denial, my husband and I had four cats and two dogs. For the record, that’s a shit-ton of animals, and I wouldn’t recommend that strategy as a birth control method for anyone. That many animals is a lot of work. And money. And work. (It’s still not as much work or money as one kid, though.)

All that being said, I would recommend getting a dog as a parental sanity saver. Seriously, if you have kids and don’t already have a dog, go get one. Now. Right now. Just one will do. Don’t go too crazy.

What?! You’re worried about the extra work? You’ve never had a dog? You’re a cat person? I promise you, a dog will make your life much easier. A dog will save your sanity. Trust me; I have first-hand experience. Here are 8 reasons every family should have a dog…

1. When you’re feeding the baby, a dog is a great companion. A dog will lay by your feet while you nurse/bottle feed, even in the middle of the night. Or she will keep your spot on the bed warm. Brandy used to nudge me gently when the baby was crying to let me know it was time to feed the baby.

2. A dog needs exercise, so she will force you to take a walk everyday. Exercise and fresh air are so therapeutic for both you and the baby. They can help you get your body back in shape and fight the baby blues.

3. The dog won’t judge you when you pour another glass of wine and cry inconsolably wondering why in the world you ruined your perfect kid-free existence. The dog will simply lick up the crumbs from the cookies you shoved down your gullet trying to make yourself feel better.

4. When the dog starts sniffing wildly around the baby’s butt, you know it’s time to change the diaper. There is absolutely no need to put your own nose there or risk your fingers getting dirty by taking a peek. The dog knows. (And may eat the diaper if you’re not careful.)

5. Dogs genuinely appreciate every ounce of affection you give them, unlike those screaming, inconsolable, milk-sucking poop sacks.

6. Dogs clean up spilt milk (breast or formula—they don’t discriminate) and spit-up. Before you think, “ewwww, gross,” remember that you now don’t have to clean it up yourself. (As a bonus, if you have a cat, the dog will clean up cat puke— or “hot lunch” as we call it.)

7. Can’t figure out what that weird smell is? Don’t want to crawl around on the ground sniffing the carpet? If you have a dog, you don’t need to. Just set Fido free in your car or the kid’s room or your kitchen. This is not cruel—dogs actually like foul smells and will find the source of them in record time.

8. But—by far—the best reason to get a dog comes when your kids start to eat solids. Feeding babies solid foods is a fucking disaster—food gets everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Your child is a mini-Jackson Pollock, and the medium is food.

Honestly, I don’t actually know how parents survive the high-chair phase without a dog. Dogs will do all of the clean up for you. No sponges, brooms, or special floor mats are necessary. My dog was so efficient at cleaning the high-chair and the floor and the cabinets and the walls and the mini-blinds…

Heck, she even cleaned the baby. Now, you can skip bath time and go straight to the wine.

Trust me, just get a dog.

Related post: 10 Reasons I Think Dogs Are Better Than Kids

About the writer


Kathryn Leehane loves to laugh and tell stories that make you spit out your drink. She pens the humor blog, Foxy Wine Pocket, and has contributed to several anthologies and over a dozen popular collaborative web sites, including Redbook Magazine, In the Powder Room, The Huffington Post, and Scary Mommy. In her down time, she inhales books, bacon, and Pinot Noir, and her interests include over-sharing, Jason Bateman, and crashing high school reunions. Follow the shenanigans on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Amy 3 months ago

This piece doesn’t really seem to have anything to do with having a dog when you have a family…but when you have a baby. How do you handle a dog when you’re juggling two preschool/elementary school kids, their schedules, 2+ jobs, etc. etc. etc.? We’ve thought about it and cannot possibly see how it will make our lives easier, even though we know our kids would love it.

Alesha 6 months ago

We had 2 dogs and 4 cats when we moved in to this house, too…I put my foot down and said NO to another critter, but my husband rescued a cat from a tree and we wound up being Snow White, Prince Charming and the 7 dwarves. Fast forward, had one kid and now we are down 1 cat, 1 dog but have gained one goldfish.

Yes, it’s crazy and there’s way more fur than I want to deal with, but that’s ok. I love them all to death, but when they’re gone, my husband says no more. Unless our daughter somehow sweet talks him into one. Or he rescues one. Or whatever.

Number 4 made me laugh the hardest…get rid of the diapers immediately. It is unfortunately true.

Sarah (est. 1975) 1 year ago

Congrats on yet another Scary Mommy piece!

WilliamMundy 1 year ago

I greatly appreciate your post! I do agree with your point that dog is very helping pet for house safety as well as for your baby care. But with these reasons dog health is also very important. I prefer regular checkup of my dog health from AlphaPet Clinic to keep always healthy.

Cathy George 1 year ago

Dogs are angels in disguise. When you need encouragement, understanding and pure love–just look into your dog’s eyes! Cathy George

Kylie 1 year ago

I don’t clean up the poop of more than one other living being at any given time…so no dog for at least two more years for us!

Jana 1 year ago

(As a bonus, if you have a cat, the dog will clean up cat puke— or “hot lunch” as we call it). Oh, Kelly – you are hysterical. I need to get a dog, because right now I’m the designated cleaner of “hot lunch”. However, if it has been deposited in out of the way areas, I’ve been known to ignore it until it becomes crispy and can be beaten into submission and then vacuumed up. Much easier!

emilie 1 year ago

I have actually uttered the “how do parents live without dogs to clean their floors” statement hundreds of times. Dog drool is sanitary, right???

Sarah (est. 1975) 1 year ago

A typical tour-de-force from Foxy Wine Pocket herself. I laughed! I cried! (From laughing.) I read it again! And laughed and cried some more! Brava! Bravissima! Or whatever.

Emily Ann Sole 1 year ago

Love it!

Mary Reichter 1 year ago

I laughed for hours after reading this.

Jill Evanson McKnight 1 year ago

That last one…our dog passed away last November, and I have bemoaned ever since the fact that I no longer have a helper to clean under the kitchen table after meals (I also miss him terribly, because he was my first baby).

Lydia Lettrick 1 year ago


Denisse Lee 1 year ago

Awww i LOVE this thread!!!! We are picking up our first fur baby this saturday!! We are soooo excited!! ☺️

Angela Bilbrey 1 year ago

Ugh. #6! Now I have a name for it.

Kathleen Shook Grall 1 year ago

I was always sad to feed the baby at my parents’ house because they didn’t have a dog to clean up

Stephanie Delorme 1 year ago

My dogs are trained to go upstairs and wake the kids up in the morning. It’s most appreciated when you’re the first one up and have to make the coffee.

Suzanne Mills-Houlberg 1 year ago

Hot lunch lol

Dottie Thomas Dittmar 1 year ago

My dogs are great vacuums and unconditional lovers.

Kim 1 year ago

Since we have no kids and instead have three cats and two rats, I’ll stick with the furry ones. The cats are assholes on occasion but they’re incredibly low maintenance. I just don’t have the patience for most humans.

Susan Neale Hoefer 1 year ago

This is SO true; it even works when the grand kids visit!

Angy Magar 1 year ago

Damn, and I waiting until mine were both out of diapers…. Still good things to be said about dogs around older kids, still clean up dropped food, split liquids, and help find smells, plus my fabulous pitty is my kids best friend.

Nicolle Monoxelos 1 year ago

I love my dog and she loves our 11yr old and almost 11mo she is amazing puts up with ear pulling tail chewing and gets feed like a champ! wouldnt have it any other way

Missey Green Goodrich 1 year ago

Number 8 alone is worth the dog

Judy Jones 1 year ago

I love my dog and yes, he does all of this and even licks up infant spit up (don’t judge), but do not get a dog, especially a puppy until your youngest child is at least 5. You so do not need to be dog training while trying to be a mommy to a baby or toddlers. It’s a lot of work and too many dogs end up in shelters because of this reason. Getting our dog 2 years before thought we were going to (and did) start our family was and is wonderful!

Drama Queen’s Momma 1 year ago

I wish we COULD get a dog! But we live in an apartment AND I am allergic. Damn allergies. I want a companion that doesn’t judge me! LOL

Adrienne Ross Manninen 1 year ago

When I take my kids out to eat now, they’ll drop food on the floor and say “it’s ok, their dog will get it later!!”

Ayla Ervin 1 year ago

Hahaha! I need at dog.

Heather 1 year ago

I’m pregnant with my first and honestly, the thing I’m most excited about is watching the relationship between Gus (our labX) and our daughter grow. He’s going to love her so much and she’s going to think he’s the best thing ever. I can’t wait to see how he is with the baby.

And the eventual floor clean-up. That’s gonna be super helpful.

Maggie Draper 1 year ago

A dog doesn’t judge! Enough said! :)

Ashley 1 year ago

I don’t have a dog but when my inlaws visit with theirs, I totally see the benefit of having one! You sold me…this was hilarious!

janice 1 year ago

This list has just convinced me that I should be giving dogs as housewarming gifts instead of vacuums.

Kristy Edwards 1 year ago

My mom had several Boston Terriers when my kids were little…Toby, the oldest (and dad to the pups she kept) was very attached to my daughter when she was little…even though we weren’t able to visit but once or twice a year. He would play with her very gently, snuggle next to her when she was sleeping and never move an inch, and of course (even though he didn’t get “people food” as a rule) she’d give him “treats” from her high chair when she thought mom or I weren’t looking lol :) Toby passed away about 6 years ago, and we lost my mom 4 years ago, but she took so many pictures, and my daughter remembers very well her little buddy :)

    Kristy Edwards 1 year ago

    And our own dog now, a rescued pit bull mix, would crawl under the bed with the kids when they were little! Now both my kids are teenagers, and our puppy is a senior…but she loves to cuddle up to the kids still or steal their blankets and water bottles lol and makes sure she makes the rounds in the kitchen after every meal lol

Leigh-Mary Hoffmann 1 year ago

Yes x 8. Perfect.

Vanessa Hempton 1 year ago

I’ve got one grosser than #6…if you have cats the dog will clean out the little box…gotta love the kitty mocha crunch!

Angela Weight 1 year ago

Love, love, LOVE my dogs and cats, and the rabbit we rescued. This piece is spot on with multiple benefits of canine companionship. Unfortunately, my last blog post is about the marital strain when you’re an animal person but your spouse isn’t. It’s a tough hurdle to overcome.

Maggie Keffer 1 year ago

Love number 8, I had no idea my kids were such messy eaters till I went to my in-laws. We joked that the next dog would be names “Hover”.

Foxy Wine Pocket 1 year ago


Leticia Haro Noack 1 year ago

Hahahaha, yep!

Foxy Wine Pocket 1 year ago

I LOVE the bandana! My current dog is too big to pick up like, but I love hugging them! Thank you for being a foster mom! That’s so important.

Nuru 1 year ago

I gave DH a choice of a puppy or a baby he chose the one that would meant less work for him…our son is 1.
We are one of the few people in our neighborhood without a dog and our little guy has no fear of them and someday when he is old enough to convincingly lie to me about how HE will feed and walk and clean up after it I will consider a dog but I’ll pass on ever getting a puppy.

Steph 1 year ago

Yes to all of these! Especially #8.

Also, don’t forget that they help build baby’s immune system! Awhile ago, my daughter was eating some puffs while I cleaned up the kitchen. When I looked over to check on her, I saw her hold a puff out to our dog, let him lick it, and then she ate it!! So yeah. Dog germs. Delicious. At least she’s learning to share?

Kristen Dacey 1 year ago

Yes– #8!!

Crystal Ponti 1 year ago

I, too, love #8! Great post!


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