a peek inside the fishbowl

01 May, 2010

26 reasons why owning a puppy is the same as raising a toddler

Posted by andrea tomkins in: dog stuff

Puppy feet

Piper is just over four months old now. I’ll tell ya, it’s been one huge déjà vu. Having a puppy is exactly like having a toddler in the house again. They both:

  1. 1 … demand your attention.
  2. 2 … eat and poop a lot (the where and when of which can be quite unpredictable at first).
  3. 3 … are cute.
  4. 4 … inspire conversations from random strangers. Ownership is an open invitation for unsolicited advice and feedback, whether it is welcome or not. It can be a whole new world of judgement on your parenting skills! e.g. Collar v. harness? Pacifier v. thumbsucking? Co-sleeping.
  5. 5 … are very fun to shop for. Snacks! Gender-specific fashions! Tiny beds! Squeaky rubber toys!
  6. 6 … have toys which have the potential to take over the living room.
  7. 7 … look adorable in sweaters.
  8. 8 … are unlawfully photogenic and make your heart melt.
  9. 9 … don’t need expensive things to keep them amused. Ice cubes, toilet paper tubes, cardboard boxes provide hours of entertainment.
  10. 10 … have small teeth that fall out.
  11. 11 … chew things. And many times they are chewing Those Very Things You Don’t Want Them To Be Chewing.
  12. 12 … slobber.
  13. 13 … sometimes need to be put behind “bars” for their safety while you make dinner.
  14. 14 … won’t let you brush them if they don’t want to be brushed.
  15. 15 … give you a nip every once in awhile.
  16. 16 … test their boundaries.
  17. 17 … misbehave.
  18. 18 … need to learn how to play with nicely others (otherwise you’ll be breaking up fights at the park forever).
  19. 19 … need to nap.
  20. 20 … need to learn to communicate. And a major part of our communication with them has to do with cajoling or consoling: “Don’t do that.” “Eat your dinner.” “Give that to me.” “Come here.” “Did that big dog scare you?”
  21. 21 … may be afraid of the vacuum cleaner.
  22. 22 … won’t take their medicine (the taste of which needs always needs to be disguised as something else i.e. bacon or bubblegum flavour).
  23. 23 … have selective hearing. Take, for example, the word “cookie” and the response that comes with it when you’ve whispered it to your spouse in the basement.
  24. 24 … need to be housebroken. (“Housebreaking” and “potty training” are essentially the same thing, aren’t they?”)
  25. 25 … can be very vocal, whether it fits the situation or not.
  26. 26 … love their parents and look to them for guidance.

(Got any to add?)

9 Responses to "26 reasons why owning a puppy is the same as raising a toddler"

1 | Ginger

May 1st, 2010 at 8:34 am


And this is exactly why whenever my brother or cousin suggest that the boys need a puppy that I very adamantly say NO! :)

2 | Betsy Mae

May 1st, 2010 at 10:31 am


ginger, it’s all in the timing! when the time is right it seems parents can get through the toddler/puppy stage!

andrea, i’m so glad you are loving your pup.

3 | @WannabeMomErin

May 1st, 2010 at 7:19 pm


extremely hilarious, especially number 23 … have selective hearing. Take, for example, the word “cookie” and the response that comes with it when you’ve whispered it to your spouse in the basement.

4 | Kirsten

May 1st, 2010 at 10:04 pm


Wow, I can really relate to this since I have a toddler AND a puppy in the house right now. Well, our yellow lab just turned 1, but I think she still has at least a year of naughty puppy in her. Thanks for the laugh!

5 | Jennifer

May 3rd, 2010 at 5:34 am


27……you just don’t get how much love and happiness they can fill you with until you have one.

PS you don’t ‘own’ a puppy. She’s not livestock, or something you could sell. She’s part of your family. :-)

6 | DaniGirl

May 3rd, 2010 at 6:34 pm


LOL, don’t even talk to me until your puppy’s favourite new trick is crouching on the kitchen table saying “ribbit ribbit” and you have to fish sodden facecloths out of the toilet. And that’s just since 4pm! :)

7 | Piper the puppy is a puppy no longer >> a peek inside the fishbowl

December 19th, 2010 at 11:03 am


[…] in my heart, but in hindsight it turned out to be the best decision we ever made. Even thought it was a lot of work. […]

8 | A year with Piper >> a peek inside the fishbowl

March 17th, 2011 at 10:45 am


[…] was a lot of work at first. But without a doubt, dog ownership (or should I say, companionship), has made me a happier person. […]

9 | Pup links! « Doggerel

October 18th, 2011 at 9:01 am


[…] 26 Reasons Why Owning a Puppy Is the Same as Raising a Toddler. A funny list, but it certainly emphasizes what a serious commitment we undertake when we bring a puppy into our lives. (A Peek Inside the Fishbowl) […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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