5 Things That Happen When Your Fur Baby Becomes a Big-Sister

new baby and pets getting along
Image via Julia Pelly

Five months after my husband and I got married, we fulfilled a life-long dream and adopted a dog from the local shelter. Our puppy was a ten week old ball of fluff whose sweet and playful attitude quickly won over our neighbors and friends alike.

In her first three years of life, she was pampered. She had clothes for every season, treats with every meal, and presents for every holiday. We took her to puppy play groups and obedience classes at the local pet shop. We admired her intelligence and frequently (over)shared her photo with friends and family.

When I got pregnant with my son I was thrilled, but nervous about whether she would feel displaced once my baby was born. When we brought my son home, her life changed quite a bit. Though she still got a walk every day and a cuddle each night, we no longer had the time or energy to shower her with the kind of attention and affection she was used to. We did however develop a deep appreciation for her role in my son's life. Below are five things that happen when your fur baby becomes a big sister.

Baby in blue shirt crawling with a puppy trailing behind
Image via iStock

They lose out on presents but win big on scraps.

Though you'll still love your fur baby with all your heart, it's likely that you won't have the time or energy to make sure they're always well stocked on their favorite treats. Lucky for them, there's someone new in their life that will be dropping scraps from the high chair and sharing snacks from the bumbo.

{ MORE: What to Do When the Family Pet Dies }

new baby and pets getting along
Image via Julia Pelly

They learn to share all their toys.

As you browse the baby toy aisle you might notice that many of the toys recommended for infants look very similar to the toys your been buying you pup for years. Chances are, your little one will notice too and take sharing into their own hands. Be mindful of loose pieces but enjoy watching your two favorites play together.

new baby and pets getting along
Image via Julia Pelly

Their pictures become even cuter.

Thought your pup was cute in their Halloween costume last year? The sweetness doubles when there's a little one in the shot. Pick out the matching outfits, set up the timer, and get ready for a cuteness overload.

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child with dog
Image via Flickr/ mekirilloff

Their walks get quite a bit slower.

If you make it a priority, your pup will still get their daily walk. Once your baby is out of the stroller though those walks, even if they remain the same distance, will start taking a lot longer as your tot stops to smell the flowers, pick up pebbles, and splash in the puddles.

new baby and pets getting along
Image via Julia Pelly

They develop a patience and caring you didn't know was possible.

Even if your dog was off the wall wild before their baby came, it's likely that they'll know instinctively that babies are fragile and will act accordingly. As your little one climbs aboard for their fifth ride of the day, or your furbaby lets out a long sigh as your babe races their trucks along their back, you'll swell with pride that your babies get along so well.

{ MORE: Service Dogs: Too Distracting for the Classroom? }

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5 Things That Happen When Your Fur Baby Becomes a Big-Sister

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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