Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BrightMind #CollectiveBias
We have a new addition: meet Leia! Everyone else is having babies and we’ve decided we needed one too–a senior pug kinda baby! If you follow me on social media, you know how obsessed I am of taking photos of this little lady. She is great with kids and pretty much sleeps all day. Leia just needed a loving family who could spend quality time with her!
Did you know a dog is considered a senior at seven years old? Now that Rambo is seven and Leia is ten, I figured it was time to do some research on feeding older dogs. Since we’ve adopted both dogs a little later in life, I want to make sure we can enjoy as much time with them as possible. Before these two, we had a senior English Bulldog named Izzy. I like to adopt dogs instead of getting new puppies, especially when they’re older.
Purina Bright Mind is a formula exclusively for senior dogs. After seven years old, the glucose metabolism in a dog’s brain begins to change, which affects memory, learning, awareness or decision making. Purina discovered a way to promote alertness and mental sharpness in dogs 7+ through nutrition and has introduced BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ formulas! After hearing that, I couldn’t wait to try it with my pups. There are two varieties: small and large dog.
We love to make family trips WITH the dogs to PetSmart. The girls think it’s hilarious that dogs can shop there and I love to browse the toys and fun goodies I can find. Purina Bright Mind had a whole row in the dog food aisle! There is a little computer with facts about ProPlan, which was very informative. Leia got a little too excited while shopping, we were quite thankful for the clean up stations! Not only did we pick up the food for both dogs, Ricky spotted a Chicago Bears leash and collar on sale for Rambo. Score! (Or probably not, if The Bears have the season we’re expecting….)
Since neither dog had Purina food previous to buying Bright Mind, we had to take some time introducing the new food. As recommended on the bag, you should slowly mix old and new food for 7-10 days, increasing the amount of Bright Mind each day. Leia loved the smaller sized bites of food, compared to her old variety. Before it would take her all day to eat a single serving and now she gobbles it up each meal. Since Rambo scarfs down his food in record time, we recently bought a divider bowl to slow him down. It has been helping quite a bit! He loves the food, too!
The minute I came home with Leia in July, the girls became obsessed. They treat her like a baby, dress her up and I’m constantly reminding them that she isn’t a little puppy! Before we owned her, Leia had a torn ACL and hip problems, so we have to carry her down stairs. Those injuries don’t stop her one bit, though! She hops around the yard and can keep up with Rambo’s long legs.
Rambo took a bit longer to warm up to her, especially since she can be quite a diva. Most nights, you can find Leia laying on Rambo’s HUGE dog bed, stretching out, almost taunting him. He’s too nice to make her move, so he will lay elsewhere. I have found them snuggling more often now!
Introducing a new dog into a household can be challenging at times. I have FIVE tips to keep in mind when you are looking to add a new dog into the household, especially a senior one!
- Lots of LOVE! Many adopted dogs just want lots of love and snuggles. Give them as much attention as possible, keeping in mind there might be certain areas they don’t like to be touched. Leia is quite ticklish, but doesn’t like by her tail touched. Gentle petting can help you figure out which areas to tell the kids not to touch! (Obviously, pulling on the tail is a no-no…Gabby likes to do that!)
- Keep Active. Taking your new dog on walks with all family members makes them feel included, plus helps burn energy. Brushing after walks is a great bonding experience too. Since Leia can’t walk too far, we take the wagon along with us on longer walks so Rambo still gets exercise.
- Give them a special space. Having a special bed, crate or area your new dog can go to feel safe is very important. There may be times when they want to sleep or get overwhelmed with the new environment, so having a bed, blanket or special area is essential. Leia came with two beds and she likes one of hers under the end table–it’s her place to escape!
- Remember they have a past. The dogs have lived a long life before you and they may have certain fears or triggers. Leia is afraid of closing doors, loud noises (which we learned when we got her JUST before 4th of July) and other little things. Learn as much as you can about your dog and try to avoid anything they might fear, especially before they are comfortable in the family. I was so proud when there was a loud thunder storm the other night and Leia didn’t even shake! I feel like she is completely comfortable with us now.
- Be Patient. Not everything will be perfect at first! Your dog will be excited to be in a loving family, but they might continue some bad habits from their past. Be patient and try to kindly fix the problems. Leia doesn’t like when she can’t find me and will have intentional accidents in the house. We are teaching her to stand by the patio door when she has to use the bathroom. Although things aren’t perfect, she really is learning. If you’re not sure how to fix any problems, your vet will be a great source of information!
Do you have an adopted pet? What tips do you have? Be sure to check out the Bright Mind or other Purina Pro Plan varieties for your dogs at PetSmart!