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How do you make sure to make time for all your pets?
Just something I've been wanting to ask for a while...
Those of you with multiple dogs/pets... how do you make individual time for them, and keep them from feeling left out?
Most of my life I've only had one dog. I'm only 21... and my older dog is 9 years old... so she's been my only dog.
And now I have a puppy, a cat, and a horse in addition to her. My cat loves attention, but he doesn't NEED it, and my horse is happy as long as she has a buddy and plenty of grass/hay... so it's really my puppy that eats up my time. She gets to go more places with me since she's also my Service Dog in Training...
But I feel bad because I leave my baby girl, my truly heart dog, behind. I sleep next to her every night... but often, due to work and school schedules, can't take her on individual walks or do a lot of individualized stuff with her.... and her eyes when I take Arya somewhere and leave her behind... I'm probably anthropomorphizing way too much... but it makes me feel horrible.
So... how do y'all make sure you make time for all your babies?
I have four dogs and they each like doing different things so I'll rotate spending time with them doing what they like... And when I have to leave some behind I'll make up some frozen peanut butter kongs and once they have them they could care less about where I'm at, lol. I'll possibly be adding a fifth next year too but me, I love the chaos, work involved and busy house... having that many is DEFINITELY not for everyone!
I'm also a young adult who has for the most part had one dog at a time most of my life. I have an 8yr old & a brand new pup. I still haven't figured out a great way to train & work with my pup without making the old girl feel ostracized. One good thing is my father lives close so I can let him take the pup outside to exercise & work with her while I stay inside with my old dog.
Sad thing is my pup now needs to sleep with us as well so I don't get those one on one cuddles anymore. I try to often reward my older dog with treats I wouldn't normal give her. I will now let her sit in my chair with me so she feels like she has more privileges than before. All the little things I can think of to reassure her she still holds my heart & she hasn't been put to the side.
Not much help I know, but I wanted to let you know your not alone in this matter. I also wanted to comment to help stay in the loop of your thread so I can check out some advice others may give you as well. I'm sure your girl knows you still love her very much, she just may not show it as well as before because of your new pup but she will come around eventually.
Hmm, with a Service Dog in Training, that does make it more difficult. I have multiple dogs/pets as well, but none for Service Work.
What 'I' do with mine is make sure when I get home from work is to greet everyone by name - even when I get mobbed at the door I make sure to single out each and every one. I make excuses to take at least one guy with me where ever I can, even if it's just a walk to the mailbox or out to feed chickens. I have one that likes to ride the lawn mower with me (he's a toy poodle) but doesn't like car rides - go figure. So, Turner 'mows' the yard, while the dogs that like car rides will go with me to feed the mare (she lives 1.4 miles away lol). I take turns on who goes to the feed store and who stays home with a fresh raw bone.
I do have a large fenced back yard so I can also allow them to run while I call individuals back for treats and send them out again. (good recall training and it singles them out to make them feel noticed/special lol)
I don't think it's necessarily the amount of time you spend, but the quality of time. I also make an effort to spend multiple times per beastie each day for one on one time, even if only for 5-10 minutes, but several times a day - like when OB training a pup.
Your mature girl would probably appreciate the one on one time just to walk to the mailbox and get a treat, maybe learn an easy new trick (keeps mind active), sneak a cuddle session in for just the two of you. Maybe an extra 5 minutes of 'special grooming' time - I have one that I sneak in grooming with play because she HATES brushing, she gets petted with a brush while chasing/tugging a toy.
Just get creative and stop feeling guilty. Make the time you do have for her and just her very special, even if it seems too short.
Tasha (my older girl) hates brushing... she desperately needs a good furminator session, but yeah...
Thanks. For the longest time Arya was in her crate, so from about 10 PM to 10 or 11 AM it was just me and Tasha time... and in the past couple of weeks that has changed since I'm keeping Arya more out of her crate so she can sleep with me as well, since, when she gets to the point of actual task training, she needs to be out of her crate and able to actually be able to get me... so that threw a wrench in Tasha and my normal time together.
Tasha loves car rides most of all... not so much walks... so maybe take her with me anytime I go for a car ride just to a drive through, or to feed my horse in the morning or evening, something like that... and leave Arya behind... since my disability does not require my Service Dog to be with me 24/7 unless I'm in an episode.
I do try to give her special treats that Arya doesn't get... but then Arya gets a lot of training treats... that I try to include Tasha in with as well...
It's just hard... since, while Arya is still too young to really be able to work for me, I'm still training her to maintain closeness with me and be more in tune with me... she's a great dog... but not my heart dog. And my older girl is my baby... my heart dog... that I am planning on getting a tattoo of her footprint. We've had so much time apart... from boarding school to college... and I don't want to miss any more of her life.
But... yeah. :p Just be more creative.
Thanks guys. :)
I had another thought, it's what we did for my 12 year old that seemed to make her happy, at least she tolerated it nicely. She got her one on one time while I watched my favorite tv show and gave her a gentle massage. Relived stress for both of us. Maybe your gal would enjoy that?
May help relieve a little guilt on your part as well along with loosening up tired mature muscles. (I hate using the word 'old' as I am creeping up on that age too lol)
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