Before Chris Lane and his wife Lauren were parents to their two boys, 20-month-old Dutton and 4-month-old Baker, they were pet parents to two rescue dogs, Cooper and Chloe.

In fact, pets are so important to the singer that he included a line about them in "Ain't Even Met You Yet," a song he wrote before Dutton was born.

"I wonder what the dogs will think / The day we bring you home?" Lane wonders in the second verse.

These days, he's got his answer: The singer says that ever since that first day home from the hospital, Cooper and Chloe have doted on their fur-less baby brothers.

"You know, early on, [Dutton] didn't understand that you don't pull their tail, you don't jump on top of them. And I think the dogs were very patient with him for quite some time, which was great," Lane explains during a conversation in which he and Lauren were promoting their new partnership with Hill's Pet Nutrition's annual End Pet Obesity campaign.

The Lanes still have to remind Dutton to be gentle, but in recent weeks, the dogs' patience with him has started paying big dividends, the singer continues.

"Even in the last three or four weeks, he can now say the dogs' names. It's the cutest thing in the entire world," he gushes. "His nicknames for them are Chlo-Chlo and Coopy."

Lauren nods in agreement, adding that the dogs are "little protectors" to Dutton and Baker.

Both Cooper and Chloe originally joined the Lane family as foster dogs, Lauren explains, thanks to a friend of hers who runs the Nashville chapter of adoption nonprofit organization Wags & Walks. Lauren first brought Cooper in while Lane was out on tour, planning for it to be a temporary arrangement until he could be placed in a forever home. But after spending time with him, the Lanes knew they wanted him to be a permanent fixture in their family. A few years later, Chloe joined the family the same way.

"I'm a double foster fail. I've been cut off from fostering," Lauren jokes. "... I truly did not have the intention of keeping either of them. I was just trying to help out. With Chloe, there was maybe a little bit more openness to a second dog, because we really wanted Cooper to have a friend. Which, fostering was great for that, because we could see if the foster dog, A, fit into our family, but B, got along with Cooper."

The country couple's partnership with Hill's came about after a routine vet visit yielded some unexpected results. "We learned that Chloe was just a little overweight," Lane remembers.

"We were told by him that she should probably lose a little bit of weight, so we had to make some changes," adds Lauren. "Actually, more so me. I had to make some changes. I was guilty of giving her lots of table food."

But by that time, they were already parents to two young kids, and the prospect of crafting a drastically altered diet for their dogs was overwhelming.

"We were thinking, 'Oh no. We have two young kids. There's no way we can put her on a special diet and do all this extra stuff,'" Lauren remembers. "But it was actually incredibly simple. Hill's stepped in and really helped our family a lot when it came to our dog's health. It was something as simple as switching their food."

Even Cooper — who's notoriously picky about the food he eats — welcomed the change.

"We have to put stuff on top of his food to get him to eat it. Cheese, whatever it may be," Lane says. "But he absolutely loves this. It's the first food we've found that he has not had to have cheese on top."

Their next challenge? Getting Chloe to eat just a little bit slower. "I've never met a dog that can eat as fast as she can," he says with a laugh. "So we're currently trying to find one of those [slow feeder] bowls that can slow her down."

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