Raising a puppy: Here’s why puppies are harder to raise than babies in 2023

‘Twas the day after school broke up, and we excitedly brought back our 9-week puppy Millie. We were reveling in the sweet yet slightly disgusting smell of puppy fur and hilarious yet hair-raising antics. We were in seventh heaven….or so we thought! But much as the joy of welcoming a newborn into this world soon wears off with the seemingly endless nights, so do the raising a puppy rose-tinted glasses fall off your face and smash.

I thought that nothing would compare to a baby that didn’t sleep for eight months and a toddler that raged for weeks on end. Oh how wrong I was! Notwinto our 16th week with puppy, I’m starting to get that same sinking feeling I did on entering motherhood. Namely, by God…why did nobody tell me how hard this would be???! And when on earth will it all get easier?

Much like motherhood, there are so many amazing things about having a puppy, but raising a puppy is damn hard work and utterly relentless. Also, there is no motherly instinct or bond, or hormones to help you out here. You are basically raising an alien. A completely different species to you. Yes, they need to eat, sleep, piss, s***, and have cuddles. But that – my friends – is where the similarities end.

When you see those cute photos and videos on Instagram and Facebook of your friend’s new puppy conked out on their sofa…do not be fooled! This – as with all things on social media – is just a tiny snipped of their daily life. The rest of life raising a puppy is utter pandemonium! Let me break if down for you here….

12 reasons raising a puppy is harder than having a baby

  1. A new puppy will cry longer and harder than any baby, trust me.
  2. They will crap and pee all over the shop and there is no nappy to save you.
  3. They will bite and tug on everything and anything, and will shred your hands and legs in the process with their shark like teeth.
  4. They will have psychotic fits that make a toddler’s tantrums seem like a tete-a-tete with the Dalai Lama.
  5. They need to be constantly trained from the minute you bring them home.
  6. They are not born helpless like babies – and in fact, make you feel utterly helpless as you try to contain the shitshow you have just released on your home and family.
  7. They are literally into everything and everywhere within seconds. You will be chasing them round the house with your grooming equipment like a bleary eyed speedy gonazles, falling over yourself to contain the constant calamity. Prising their jaws apart due to yet another illegal chewing episode. And don’t even get me started on the chaos of bath time!
  8. Babies need to be held and can therefore be quite easily contained. Hold a puppy for 5 seconds and they will wriggle free into their next escapade of chaos and distruction operating at a million miles per hour.
  9. There is no dummy or rocking your baby at 2am to ease your crying puppy at night. Just you lying down next to their crate on a cold kitchen floor, pleading with them to settle down to sleep, or standing outside in the torrential rain at 4am while you will them to elimate thinking FML.
  10. You can take babies out and about and they will generally just sleep in their pram or carrier. Puppies need to sleep a bajillion times a day and the chances of them sleeping while you are out of the house are precisely zero.
  11. You are from a totally differet species. You are basically looking after a mini wolf, which last time you checked had very little to do with the human make up!
  12. Raising a puppy is like raising both a baby and toddler all at the same time! Utter carnage during the day. Complete neediness and sleep deprivation at night. Only crazy fools would wish that upon themselves. That will be me then.

The only saviour in all of this? Is that the raising a puppy phase goes fast! But if someone asked me if raising a puppy and having them as part of your family life is harder than a baby I would say HELL YES! It’s fast and furious, like being on the craziest rollercoaster ride at the funfair while subjecting you to sleep deprivation. Its nerve-shatteringly exhausting. Both are hard work but in my humble opinion, puppies win hands down!


  1. Raising a puppy is no joke! They need constant attention, haha. My brother and his wife got a German Shepard puppy and ultimately had to give him back, they didn’t realize how much of a handful it was going to be. And I think partly it was because her aging mother was going to go live with them too.

  2. My daughter keeps asking for a puppy and the answer is no. Before having kids we had dogs and although we loved them it was rough because it was a handful.

  3. I love puppies and I love babies. I don’t know if raising a puppy is harder, however, I’m convinced that raising a baby comes with far more responsibility.

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