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Should You Own a Dog if You're Trying to Conceive?

Sheila finds that being a pet parent is a great way to stay healthy and happy.

Could he stop you and your significant other from conceiving?

Could he stop you and your significant other from conceiving?

Having a Dog While Trying to Conceive?

When you’re contemplating whether you’re built to be a pet parent, it is first essential for you to do your research so that you can absolutely understand what you’re getting into. This is especially true if you and your partner are also trying-to-conceive (TTC) and start your own little family.

Previously, I shared my thoughts and enumerated the advantages of adopting a dog, particularly for TTC couples, in my article, 5 Reasons to Adopt a Dog: For Trying-To-Conceive (TTC) Couples. This time, let me go through the disadvantages of having a dog.

And yes, I’m organizing my thoughts while an adorable little fur ball plays with my toes as if to discourage me from sharing these drawbacks. I've used great human strength to avoid the pleasant distraction, and here’s what I’ve come up with.

1. The Shedding Fur Will Haunt You Even in Your Sleep

This may be an exaggeration, but then again, that could be your reality. If you are eyeing a furry breed, its adorable fluffy self comes with the problematic shedding of fur. As a pet parent, the furs in your shirt, on the couch, all over your living room, under the bed, and even the fur in your bed, is typical.

Dogs love to lounge freely in unwelcome places, and the couch or the bed will never be completely off-limits. Maybe that crazy dog movie showing a wild pooch partying on the bed celebrating world domination behind your back is actually based on a true-to-life story. You are then left to deal with the aftermath. To help address the issue, regular grooming of the dog is adequate. A good fur cleaning rake or gadget, which can easily be purchased from your friendly neighborhood pet store or online, would also do the trick.

2. There Will Be Loads of Poop and Pee

Having a dog in the house is similar to having a toddler in the house. And just like taking care of a toddler, a dog, especially a pup, means loads of poop and pee. This is unavoidable, particularly if you will allow the dog to sleep inside the house or until the dog becomes trained. In the first few weeks, the pungent aroma as you approach your living room will no longer be a surprise. The small smelly chunks scattered all over your living room floor will also be a normal spectacle.

Doggie poop is toxic and cannot be used even as a fertilizer. It can also carry lots of bacteria and diseases. If you’re trying to conceive, keeping yourself and your partner healthy is a must; hence regularly cleaning and disinfecting your house is critical. Fortunately, this problem is not hopeless and could be solved through proper waste management and disposal—with a good dog waste bag—and behavioral training. Make sure to prepare treats for the trainee!

What's he doing?

What's he doing?

"Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more."

— Agatha Christie (author, Death on the Nile)

3. Expect Tons of Doggie Drool

Some would find this disgusting, but it's what most pet owners are accustomed to. Dogs are generally sweet creatures. Licking is just one of your dog’s various ways of showing love, but can you even imagine where that doggy mouth has been before slobbering you with kisses? Oh my . . .

There is this myth that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human mouth. That’s what it is, a myth. Do you really believe that anything that could lick its own body and genitals has a clean mouth? Then, is this something you and your trying-to-conceive partner should worry about? Why do pet owners still turn out perfectly fine?

According to Dr. William Craig, a former president of the Texas Academy of Veterinary Practice, dogs lick germs off themselves and anything they get their mouths into. Apparently, a dog's mouth is full of bacteria and infections that can jump back and forth from dog to human and vice versa.

However, note that most human upper respiratory illnesses are caused by viruses and not bacteria, and most viruses are species-specific. So, all those wet loving from your dog could actually improve your immune system and help you fight off common diseases. Isn't that awesome?! With that worry out of the way, you can just get your pet a good oral care kit to make them more kissable, and you're good to go.

4. Beware of Your Dog Dander

According to American Lung Association, “pet dander is composed of tiny, even microscopic, flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals with fur or feathers.” These particles, mainly because they are tiny and lightweight, could spread and stick anywhere, become airborne for a long time, and get inhaled by you or another person.

These could trigger or cause various allergic reactions similar to upper and lower respiratory tract infection symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, coughing, and wheezing. It could also cause skin reactions like rashes and itching. As a pet owner, regularly cleaning the house might lessen these allergens, but if you or a family member are suffering from a medical condition that could be triggered by the dog’s dander, the idea of bringing home a dog is something you should reconsider. This could also cause unnecessary stress, which could negatively impact your reproductive health.

5. Having a Pet Comes With Expenses

Assuming responsibility for a dog will entail you regularly spending cash on dog food, dog shampoo, vaccines, scheduled vet check-up, and doggie treats. These are just a dog’s basic needs that a responsible owner should be aware of. There will also be unscheduled vet visits and medicines in cases when your dog is not in perfect health. Other pet parents even choose to spend on doggy beds, outfits, and accessories.

If you’re trying-to-conceive, especially if you’re already spending resources on medical procedures to assist you with conceiving, reassessing if you could handle the additional cost should be done before deciding if a dog is for you. If you can still handle the extra expense and decide on sharing your life with a fur baby, go ahead and expect your love to be reciprocated. Believe me; every single cent will be worth it.

6. A Dog Could Make You Lose Focus of Your Trying-to-Conceive activities

Trying-to-conceive couples these days could do a lot to encourage conception. These include a healthy diet, proper exercise, monitoring ovulation, timing the baby-making, taking fertility supplements, etc.—the list goes on. None of these could guarantee pregnancy, but being focused would absolutely help.

It would be a slightly different scenario if you also have to juggle pet parent responsibilities together with your other daily tasks. Time needs to be spent taking care of the dog; it needs to be fed, and it has to be walked daily and bathed maybe a few times a week. Managing your baby-making activities together with your other life concerns whilst taking care of the pet could be overwhelming and stressful.

Furthermore, some couples, exhausted from the stress and difficulty of conceiving, along the way could find themselves just settling with loving the dog and would just consciously decide to stop trying. Thus, a dog in the house could at times turn out to be a distraction. Nonetheless, if you really want something so bad, a likely distraction could turn into motivation and inspiration. Having a dog could even help by lowering your stress hormones. It's just a matter of priorities and determination to keep your eye on the prize.

These are just some of the disadvantages of having a dog, especially for those trying to conceive. Feel free to share in the comments below if you have more in mind.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.


Shey Pornan (author) from Manila, Philippines on August 27, 2020:

Thanks for sharing this, Rachael!

Rachael Liu on August 26, 2020:

Miniature Schnauzers shed hair even less than humans! Miniature Schnauzers are also hypoallergenic. That means that they produce less dander than other dogs. Like the poodle, Miniature Schnauzers have hair, not fur. Miniature Schnauzers don't like to drool. But the poop and the pee can be solved just by potty training. That can take a week or 2, but for the rest of the dog's life, there is nothing else to worry about except for the expenses. If you are willing to let a piece of love into your heart, but you don't want too much trouble, the Miniature Schnauzer is right for you. It is fit for elders and people who are mostly busy. I hope you take my advice. Thank You!

Samiksha Rani on June 21, 2020:

Excellent i really liked it a lot ☺

GalaxyRat on April 01, 2017:

Happy to help, Sheila. You learn something new everyday!


Shey Pornan (author) from Manila, Philippines on March 31, 2017:

Interesting, Trinity/TheFancyRatVet. Now you gave me something new to look up. Thanks.

Shey Pornan (author) from Manila, Philippines on March 31, 2017:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sally Branche.

GalaxyRat on March 30, 2017:

Well, I dunno if this happens with dogs, but CATS can give your infant (if you're pregnant) something that causes deformities. BTW, this is TheFancyRatVet (under a different name.).

Sally Branche from Only In Texas! on March 24, 2017:

Anyone who can't handle having a dog certainly should not be trying to have a child.