Navigating your postpartum emotions can be extremely hard because you’re just trying to get back to a sense of “normal.”
Sometimes it’s your spouse getting the backlash from your mood swings. And sometimes it’s your dog.
Let’s be real. Everything from your body to your tastebuds changes.
So — can we be honest for a minute (and don’t hate me)?
It shames me to admit my postpartum emotions made me hate my dog.
This post is all about postpartum emotions.
I hate this feeling of disliking my dog, after giving birth (particularly after my middle child, Mariah was born).
My pup Cody, who I tagged along with before I gave birth to my oldest, had become a burden.
Collecting poop, hearing him lick, and keeping up with its molting was irking me to the core.
And it didn’t stop there.
Every time my baby started to catch up on some sleep, my dog will start this hysterical barking that won’t stop!
All I feel is guilt that I had these negative feelings towards my dog.
I had to try to learn how to overcome all these newfound distaste towards a creature I longed for just as long as the little humans I birthed.
Because rehoming my dog was NOT an option.
I can attest that my furbaby had good qualities everyone would wish to have in a dog.
Cody was house-trained. Trick training was easy, and he was an extremely devoted and protective dog.
He was literally my best friend.
His fur was a non-issue, more so when he grew old.
Napping on the couch together was my favorite hobby.
Here comes the baby—
After welcoming my second child, all my priorities changed [again].
All I have to concentrate on is caring for my baby.
Long ago, my dog’s drool or poop was a non-issue; however, after welcoming my baby, all these seem to be health hazards (and subtle aggravations).
The time that I would use to take my dog for short walks has now been occupied by diaper changing or other tasks.
Amidst all this, I managed to be calm, and with the help of others, I managed to erase all these negative feelings I had for my dog.
Mending The Relationship With My Dog
Putting Everything into Perspective
I felt that it was my dog in the wrong all the time.
However, after meeting with some of my best friends, they helped me realize that the dog has done nothing wrong.
In reality, your dog has not changed.
He is the same dog you liked playing with or cuddling with on the couch.
But more importantly, he was the dog I longed for as a kid when I had terrible allergies.
Each Christmas, I topped my list off with “dog” or “puppy.”
But never got one…until my senior year in college.
I needed that reminder.
I had to accept it’s me who has changed- and that’s okay, come a baby, and various physiological changes had to occur.
After accepting that, my sudden disgust toward my dog decreased drastically compared to the last few months.
Asking For Help While Navigating My Postpartum Emotions
The responsibilities of feeding my dog, daily exercise, and the new baby duties took a toll on my postpartum emotions.
Seeing my dog’s fur on my couch made me feel like pulling my hair out.
I had to ask my husband to help more in caring for Cody to cope with that.
With the shared responsibility, I felt a certain burden eased off my shoulders.
That gave me the time to make baby food without worrying that my dog would trail at my feet waiting for a piece of food to fall.
But mostly, when my baby was taking a nap, I could still find time to bond with my dog.
Training My Dog Came in Handy
Training my dog with some of the basic commands, like come, and sit, was one of the best decisions I made.
With such training handling my dog, more so when misbehaving, was easy.
Training your dog’s basic commands will be crucial if you are in such a position.
For example, anytime I found my dog holding my baby toys, I would just let out the word ‘drop it’ or ‘leave it.
Secluding A Few Minutes To Spend With Your Dog Help
I never knew how much it would help if I secluded a tiny bit of my tight schedule to stay with my dog.
And these few minutes of uninterrupted playtime were SO important in mending my relationship with my furbaby.
We both got to enjoy the original bond we had when it was just the two of us.
Oftentimes, Cody just loved lounging in the sun on the back porch with me because lounging around was a favorite pastime of ours (he honestly thought he was a lapdog/cat all in one).
Walking My Dog with My Baby With A Stroller/Carrier
Getting a stroller for my new baby was a benefit as I managed to walk my dog during this time.
And boy did we walk! In order to maintain a normal nap schedule so I can also get work done, we took about three walks a day!
And that helped me realize my dog’s uneasy nature was because he had lots of pent-up energy.
Other Tips That Are Helping Me Love My Dog After Having A Baby.
Dog Proofing The House
The baby diapers become his new favorite toys.
That had to change, and that was by puppy-proofing my house.
All diapers are now disposed of correctly; that’s where dog-proof trash can come in handy.
I recently got a dog gate that keeps my dog away from my baby (let alone knocking her down when she first learned to walk).
Address The Problematic Behavior
The doorbell or a subtle sound of someone at the door, and my dog went into an overactive bark (far more ever before).
Of course, every single time, his barks woke the baby just after I laid her down for a nap.
Training your dog to bark silently is hard, but once you crack it, your dog will be easy to handle.
Admittedly, we are still working on this with my [new] dogs, Avera and Takoda.
Teaching Your Dog To Sleep In Another Room
Most dog moms are happy to sleep with a dog in bed (as was I).
However, after welcoming a baby, it might be different.
The dog’s unorthodox sleeping style, fur, and smell will deepen the disgust.
Most moms will encourage the dog to sleep in another room.
After bringing home each of my babies, I stopped letting the dogs on the second floor for the first few months.
That way, it’s never hard for you to cater to your baby during late-night baby checks.
And I didn’t have to worry about the dogs’ fur flying into brand new diapers, or mixing up their chew toy for a teething ring.
This post was all about postpartum emotions.
I was not prepared for postpartum emotions.
I never thought that I could hate my dog after welcoming my baby.
Let me tell you: you can still love your dog back after having a baby.
Especially if giving up is not an option for you either! It will take time if you’re currently feeling unexpectedly similar.
But, I hope these tips helped you to navigate such an awful feeling that will honestly pass in time.
It will not be easy.
Sometimes you will find everything not working, but don’t give up.
Be patient, and within the next few months, you and your dog will be back as friends forever as it should be.
For more awesome dog mom content, make sure to check out these posts below or follow our life story on Instagram.