Let’s start by stating the obvious: a baby changes everything. Now, let’s pose a question: “Whose life changes when you have a baby?” That’s also obvious, right? Mom’s and dad’s. But, have you considered that four-legged creature in the corner? The one that begs for your attention, only to be pushed aside as you run to see your new baby after a hard day at the office?
Life used to be different for poor little Fido; or, poor big Fido, if you happen to have a Labrador Retriever. Fido used to be the only child, remember? You played together an hour every day; longer on the weekend. You used to serve Fido a mix of dry and wet food, with a little sweet potato on the side. Now, he’s lucky to get the dry food, when you remember to feed him at all.
Well, it’s not too late to fix things. Fido is just as much a member of the family as your new baby. Granted, you may feel a different level of responsibility toward your dog, but he’s still your responsibility. He deserves more than just two meals a day and an occasional pat on the head or swat on the rump. So, why not try activities that involve the whole family, including your canine kid?
When the dog food container is running on empty, don’t just dash away in the car to Petsmart by yourself. Make it a field trip. Kids of all ages love seeing new and colorful things, and the pet store is loaded with them. If your baby is not walking yet, ask mom to come along so one of you can carry the baby and the other can handle the dog. Dad can walk around the store or outside with Fido while mom shows baby the puppies, kittens and fish. You can easily spend an hour at the pet store.
Or, how about a trip to Chatfield dog park? Fido can run around off-leash while you and mom enjoy a stroll with baby. It’s a great opportunity to get out of the house and, while you’re at it, teach your child about nature. There is a fee to get into the park, but if you go often enough, an annual pass is worth it. Take advantage of those 60 degree Colorado Winter days; the ones usually followed by a 12-inch snow storm.