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Before our twin boys arrived, we had considered our dog, Oly, our baby. We had adopted her as a puppy and she did absolutely everything with us. I even took her to work with me, so she wouldn’t be lonely throughout the day. About a year ago, I gave birth to twin boys and suddenly all of our lives changed, including Oly’s! She was no longer the center of attention, but I was certainly afraid that she would feel confused or left out. We wanted to make her still feel special, even though she was sharing the spotlight.
To do this, my husband and I have tried our best to prioritize Oly’s needs. We thought this might keep her from feeling jealous, or acting out. I wanted to share with you all just a few things that we’ve done to ensure that our “original baby” still feels important. Maybe this could help someone out there who is expecting, or even someone who just wants to show their fur-baby some extra love!
1. Have a “spa” day!
You don’t actually have to take your pup to a spa, you can pamper him/her at home! Oly loves baths or showers, or maybe just loves the attention from them (and I like when she smells nice)! I remember seeing the Westminister Dog Show on TV when I was younger and thinking the dogs looked beautiful. So, I like to make Oly feel just as wonderful! If you’re a big fan of dog shows, I wanted to share with you how you could win a trip to the 2018 Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show.
2. Daily brushing
This takes such a small amount of time! Not only will you keep your dog looking wonderful, but it’s a simple way to have one-on-one attention. Oly always gets a treat after getting brushed out, because sometimes these little sessions can be difficult. In poor weather, her hair tends to get matted a bit easer, which isn’t fun for us to deal with.
3. Provide a quality meal.
We decided that we would step our game up with her food. If we’re trying to give our babies the best nutrition, then of course that should include Oly! Purina® Pro Plan® brand DOG FOOD from Petco has been a huge upgrade for her.
When we first tried Purina Pro Plan Focus- Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach Salmon and Rice Formula, she gobbled it right up. While choosing foods or treats for our pets, we try to find brands that offer real food as the number one ingredient. We were excited to find that salmon was the number one ingredient in our selection, and that the formula included oatmeal and rice that are easily digested. The Omega-6 fatty acids and zinc have been an added bonus for her coat. As a collie-mix, her coat is a big deal to us, and living near the Windy City has had us worried about her skin getting dry like ours!
After learning that Purina Pro Plan has fueled the last 10 Westminister champions, we’re pretty confident with our decision!
4. Include your dog in activities with family.
Although our twins are still pretty small, our original baby just likes to share space with them from time to time. Since she was a puppy, she has thought that either of us laying on the floor was a cue for play time. So, when we’re all hanging out on the floor, of course she wants to play too! If your pup is good with your kiddos, let him/her in on the playtime if possible! If your babies are scared, or your dog isn’t quite so good with the new arrivals yet, then you might want to ease into this.
5. Create a “me” space.
Babies can be overwhelming. They can be quite a handful and just because I suggested sharing some space and having everyone together, you don’t need to do that ALL the time. Your dog will probably appreciate a special place to go relax. Oly’s bed usually stays behind our couch. It’s out of view from the playroom, yet still right next to us, because it’s between the living room and kitchen area (where we spend most of our time). She hangs out there often, so I like to think that she appreciates “her spot.”
6. Doggy date to the dog park/yard.
Don’t forget that your dog still loves to play! And no, I don’t mean just playing with babies. I mean throwing balls, sticks, sniffing other dogs, and so on! If you have a big yard, then take a minute to toss a toy around. If you have a dog park nearby and some nice weather, take your dog to socialize! Oly is more of a people pup, and tends to like people better. However, she’s still friendly and enjoys running with the pack!
I’d love to hear how you all have made your fur-babies feel special after your families have expanded! Feel free to leave any further tips in the comments below. Don’t forget to check out Purina Pro Plan Focus at your local Petco as well! They also offer Sport, which has a 30% protein and 20% fat ratio for active dogs, as well as Bright Mind, with enhanced oils to help mental sharpness and alertness!