Rehoming dogs for new baby? Opinions and advice?
First off, I want to make it clear I'm not just getting rid of my dogs in favor of my baby. I want to make sure I'm doing what is best for everyone, including my dogs. To start off, I have a chihuahua and a cockapoo. Once my husband and I found out we were going to be having a baby, we didn't even entertain rehoming them, we only worried slightly about what people had told us about babies + chihuahuas, but thought we could make it work.
The pups were still young and largely untrained, so I made it my goal to make sure they were up to snuff before the baby arrived. I have worked very hard with them throughout my pregnancy getting them totally house-broken, and even walking with me without a leash to assist with easier stroller walks. Got them used to and loving their crate in case they need to be put away, and got them to spend time with younger children. We got our chihuahua neutered to calm his aggression and territory issues.
Now that the baby is only a few months away, I am feeling increasingly overwhelmed and stressed out by having these dogs, not just for my sake but for theirs.
1. Not enough attention/energy to go around: When we first got our dogs, my husband was a regular nine to fiver. Now he has started in with the military and is gone for 10 -12 hours of the day and mostly burnt out when he comes home. On some weeks he is gone completely mon-fri so now the responsibility of caring for the dogs is 95% my job, which gets harder and harder every day/trimester. I am often too exhausted to keep up their regular schedule and I know I am not giving them nearly enough attention and stimulation as they should get. That in itself makes me feel very, very guilty. My cockapoo humps because she is so bored, and it seems that no matter what I do, long walks, tug time... etc. its not enough. I cant imagine being able to do more once the baby arrives, especially since my husband will start being gone more long term and the dogs will be 100% my job + baby. Again, its not just about me, I look at my dogs every day and feel so overwhelmingly guilty that they are not getting what they need. I KNOW my chihuahua no longer gets his fair share of attention.
2. Also, my husband being with the army means I am not near family which makes things difficult in two ways. I do not have the ability to have family/friends come help me out with the dogs, and if I am feeling like I need support and want to visit family while he is gone long term, I can not do so without planning some care for the dogs such as a sitter or kennel. My family is so far away, that any visit would likely be an extended one. Finding a kennel or sitter for these times is just another added expense to those that already pile in with a new baby. Also, no dog is happy to be in a kennel or with a dog sitter and out of their regular routine. I feel like I wont be able to pick up and go and get the support I need from my family once I'm minus my husband and plus a baby while having the dogs.
3. The dogs still have some training left that I'm not sure I can handle in the time I have left. They are still bad about jumping, sitting on me whenever they want, often tripping me up when I walk or just deciding to sit/sleep on me while I watch tv. I have tried working on this and they have become a lot more obedient in getting down when I tell them, but they still don't just stop, and I'm sure it's often because I'm too exhausted to do anything about it.
I dont want my dogs to suffer because I can't admit they need more than I can give them. I love them and I would rather them be somewhere they can get what they need, rather than be with me and neglected.
I really need advice and opinions. Everything I have read online says I can make it work, but I don't feel like I can. Am I right, or simply overwhelmed and making a mountain out of this because I'm emotional & pregnant? I've tried talking to my husband, but because he's not here, he doesn't understand fully the work they take. I've tried to talk to my family, but they offer little or no real advice because none of them own dogs.
I'd like to hear from people who own dogs, love their dogs, are in a military family with pets who might have an opinion, or even just mothers whose husbands are gone a lot. How did/do you cope with your pets? Do you think it's a good idea to re-home my dogs, or am I just missing some vital information?
Thanks for reading and your help! :)
I asked for advice. That means helpful information and suggestions. I dont mind someone saying Im wrong just actually give advice. If baby and dog worked for you, what made it possible? Thank you. :)