What Does A New Mom With A Dog And Baby Really Need?

Do you have a friend or family member who’s a new mom with a dog and a baby? It can be a fun and exciting, yet exhausting and overwhelming time. As a friend or family member, you look for ways to help without overstepping. What does the new mom need? Is there anything I can easily do that won’t break my budget? You will be shocked at this one. There are many easy ways to help a new mom with a dog and baby. Today let’s dig into these great “gift” ideas.

Having a child is life-changing no matter how much you think you prepare. Everything changes, not that it’s bad. It’s a new normal and learning to navigate it can be challenging. 

Do you know that according to Postpartum International Support, 1 in 7 moms and 1 in 10 dads suffer from postpartum depression? That’s huge! That means they need a great support system to help them. 

mom with a dog and newborn needs help
disclaimer note
Budget tip:

While baby clothes and toys are fun, sometimes the most useful gifts aren’t always tangible. But they can bring a huge impact to a dog and a new family. With a little bit of time, you can help your friend and her dog. Often you don’t even need to spend any money. But the money you do spend for your friend, her dog, and her family can be life-changing. It may just keep the family together. That’s a wonderful use of your money and your labor.

What are the signs of postpartum depression?

While hormones are surging, emotions can be extreme in a short amount of time after a new baby. Of course, symptoms can be different for each person. But a few of the main symptoms a new mom can experience during postpartum can include:

  • Sad or depressed
  • Irritable or anger
  • Anxiousness or panicky
  • Disturbing thoughts of hurting yourself or others
  • Out of control type feelings
  • Difficult time sleeping (more than just baby keeping you up)

Get help from the Postpartum International hotline

1-800-944-4773 Call or text “HELP” to the same number

Can I actually help my postpartum friend, her newborn baby, and her dog on a tight budget?

Of course! Most of the help your friend will need won’t cost anything but some labor and maybe a bit of time. And who isn’t willing to put in a little labor or time for a friend a need? Even if you need to spend a couple of dollars on gas or boarding your friend’s dog in your home, don’t do more than you can handle.

The solution is to ask other friends, family members, and her dog community to help out as well. Most often they will be more than willing to lend a helping paw. When you spread the help over many the expense won’t be much.

Additionally, your friend most likely has all the supplies such as dog food and treats already. Although if your friend has a new puppy or young puppy, you will need different supplies, like puppy food, chew toys, and maybe even a kennel if they are doing crate training.  

How can I help a new mom with postpartum depression and a dog?

Of course, you can always offer to watch the baby while the new mom takes a nap, showers, or simply goes out to eat. All of those can be much appreciated. But something a bit out of the ordinary is to offer to also take care of the dog, which is often overlooked. How you ask? Here are a few great ideas that will be gratefully appreciated:

  • Walk the dog
  • Wash the dog
  • Take the dog to the groomer (you’re the escort or cab service)
  • Pick up yard dog poo
  • Wash dog bedding (be kind and wash the baby’s and parent’s laundry as well)
  • Give the dog a mental toy to keep him or her occupied when mom needs quiet
  • Buy a gift certificate for a dog walker or doggie daycare (this shouldn’t be more than $20-30)
  • Provide the dog with a calming bed (can be as low as $25)
  • Set up an escape zone for the dog in a separate room with toys, food, water, and a bed
  • Take the dog to scheduled dog training classes
  • Offer to take the dog for a few days (if mom is very stressed)
  • Take the dog to the vet if needed for a checkup (you’re simply the escort and pet insurance or the pet parents should cover the costs. If not, then ask the mom’s friends, family, and dog community to pitch in to help. When the cost is spread over many, it’s not as much.)
Henry is always willing to help a new mom with a dog. He's got lots of toys he doesn't use, but would be happy to share.
Henry is always willing to help a fellow dog or pet.

What if my friend is thinking about surrendering her dog?

This is often contemplated by new moms. It’s because moms and parents are overwhelmed. What can you do? First, don’t be argumentative. That won’t help. Instead, offer solutions. One option might be for the dog to do a round-robin of house stays with her dog community, family, and friends until she becomes more adjusted to her new life. Keep in mind this might be a few months. But it can be absolutely worth it and ultimately will keep the family together. 

NOTE: Always have your friend and participants in the round-robin fill out a simple disclaimer stating that the dog stay is only temporary and not permanent. You can even do this by writing out your intentions clearly, having everyone sign it, and giving the mom, and sitters a copy. This should prevent anyone from claiming the dog as their own at a later point. Additionally, make sure to supply the new mom with everyone’s personal information so she can get updates on her dog as she desires. 

Make sure that the dog is in “good” dog health before introducing the dog to other dogs. This means ensuring the dog is up to date on vaccines. A puppy who has not had all his or her shots may not be able to be in a home with other dogs until fully vaccinated. But you might be able to isolate the puppy in a different room from any other family dog or pet. 

Is there a silver lining for my postpartum friend and her dog?

Yes! This is a good one and one that should put your worries at ease. According to a recent study in Japan dog ownership actually helps with mental health issues. So, once your friend is up to taking care of her dog, even part-time, encourage it as it will help her. 

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Summary of what a new mom with a dog and baby really needs

Perhaps you’ve been worried about your friend with a new baby trying to juggle her new life. Often we don’t know how to help. But sometimes we can complicate things too. Doing the simple things a new mom with a dog and baby needs like basic dog chores such as walking or grooming the dog will be a huge help. If your new mom friend is overly stressed then do more and offer to board the dog. If the dog needs to be boarded for an extended period of time, then try a round-robin with others until she can more easily handle her new life. 

While dogs are great and will help a new mom in the long run, sometimes us dog parents (and surrounding support system), need to help out more. I know Henry, my dog, is always willing to have a playmate in the form of a temporary dog border. 

new mom with a dog gets help from her pup

Did one of your friends recently have a baby? Have you offered to help with the dog chores? Will you now?

About Terri Rodefer

Terri Rodefer is the founder of Tail Wag Wisdom, a blog focused on affordable pet care. She likes to say helping pet parents afford and love their animals even more, makes her tail wag. As a lifelong lover of all animals with a background in economics, biology, and marketing, allows Terri to bring a unique spin to pet care. 

6 thoughts on “What Does A New Mom With A Dog And Baby Really Need?”

  1. I did not know Dad’s can suffer from post partum depression too, that’s a new one on me! These are great ideas, having a baby can be overwhelming enough but with a dog it can be even more challenging. Helping to walk the dog or take him out for the day a few times a week is a huge help – my brother did that for his daughter and it was a huge relief for her.

    • Yes, the fact that dads can suffer postpartum depression was new to me as well. It’s good to be aware as it allows support systems to step up even more. That is so lovely that your brother was able to help his daughter by walking her dog. It’s amazing that the little things make a big difference. Thank you for your insights and continued support!

  2. Really interesting post, I never knew Dads could suffer also. Without over stepping boundaries it always great to have the support from family and friends as it relieves the stress also when it comes to dog care

    • The support systems for new parents are critical. That includes dads. New moms and dads can become overwhelmed and stressed with their new life and the ability to help with simple dog chores are easy and a lovely idea. Thank you for your continued support. I greatly appreciate it!

  3. Aw, this was a very nice post. In concept I wish to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and on no account seem to get something done.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed this article on how to help a new mom with a dog. I hope it allows you to help someone in your life with a new baby and a dog. Thank you!


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