A dog quickly becomes an intricate part of the family it joins. Leading many to feel as if their dog is as much of a child as the two legged variety. Consequently, as a responsible pet parent, you of course care about your dog’s happiness and their health. Just as you would your human children. Therefore, you need to learn all you can about taking care of your fur baby, and if you had to perfect just one “parenting” method it would be to learn how a dog routine can enrich your dog’s life. Read below to learn more:
The Importance of a Routine:
A dog routine is comforting to a dog just as it’s comforting to a newborn baby. When a dog learns what they can expect at what time and from whom, their world becomes a safer place. They become accustomed to doing certain things at certain times. This creates a pattern or routine that they can then learn to depend on and expect. In the same way this brings comfort to children and helps them establish proper sleeping and eating habits. This can also enrich a dog’s life. As Kate Delano Condax, author of “101 Training Tips for Your Dog: Learn the Experts Way to a Happy Well-Behaved Pet” says, the essence of your dog’s happiness is expectation. They should learn what to expect and you should always be faithful to follow through and meet that expectation.
How to Establish a Routine:
We have covered the importance of a routine in your dog’s life; now let’s look at the elements that should make up your dog’s daily routine:
- Food: Feeding your pet at the same time each day is an important aspect of creating your dog’s routine. Having them eat at the same time each day also helps their metabolism, ensuring they are as healthy as possible. It is a good idea to set aside a specific area in your home where your dog will know to go when it’s time to eat. Of course, there are going to be days that you miss feeding time by an hour or so, just get back on track the next day. No one is a perfect parent. Just start again anew the next day, and don’t let one day’s slip up become a new pattern.
- Quality Time: We know you are busy, so carving out quality time can be a challenge, but make sure you incorporate at least a few minutes each day to just spend time with your dog.
- Activities: All dogs need some activity, but again, your busy life makes this task difficult, which is where a good dog walking and/or pet sitting service can become beneficial. Of course, how much each requires will depend on the dog’s breed and general energy level. When possible, schedule a walk each day at the same time. Eventually, your dog will begin to expect and look forward to their walk or trip to the dog park.
- Bathroom Breaks: Another important element of your dog routine should be their potty break. Of course, you can combine this with their activity or outing if possible. Be sure to take into consideration your dog’s age when you are scheduling bathroom breaks. A puppy will have to go much more often than a full grown dog. Establishing a pattern for bathroom breaks is another reason why a feeding schedule is so important. When you establish when your dog eats, you can somewhat predict when they will need a bathroom trip.
- Sleep: When you first get a puppy, it’s a good idea to determine where you want your dog to sleep. Parents who are stuck sleeping with a restless toddler or bony kneed child will tell you that they regret ever letting their baby sleep with them in the first place. You as a pet parent don’t want to make this mistake with your puppy either. Don’t let them sleep in your bed as a tiny fluffy puppy if you don’t want them to sleep there as a big, slobbering dog. Suffice it to say, it is so much easier to establish a routine from the beginning than to change bad behavior that has already become ingrained. Therefore, determine where you want your dog to sleep, and begin to establish a bedtime routine that tells your dog when it’s time to go to sleep each night.
We are all creatures of habit including your dog routine. Each and every person is happy when their life ebbs and flows in rhythm, and your dog is no different. A dog with no routine tends to develop behavior problems, because they don’t know what is expected of them or what to expect from you as their owner. Therefore, we recommend you create a routine that you can commit. Allowing your dog to become well adjusted and happy.