Routines and schedules: Why they are so important for your dog

Routine is important to our lives, so it’s not surprising to learn that it’s also vital to our dogs’ well-being. Here are the reasons why you should incorporate routines and schedules into your pet’s life.

dogs routines and schedules the keys

We are animals of customs and habits. We get up at the same time every morning, we always choose the same route to work (many times you go without realizing it, as if on “automatic pilot”). And every day we try to set aside at least some time for our favorite hobbies (whether it’s grinding out at the gym or binge-watching TV shows until you fall asleep on the couch). Almost every day, at least from Monday to Friday, we follow the same routines.

These routines and our schedules provide us with a sense of calm, stability or protection in our day to day. So Are you surprised that your dog needs something similar? Our pets crave that same kind of ritual. For a dog, having an established routine reaffirms that his primary needs (food, water and rest) will be available whenever he needs them. The simple fact of knowing that these needs are covered generates balance in the animal, thus avoiding anxiety or stress.

No matter how well a dog is treated, Without the positive reinforcement that comes from a regular routine, anxiety and stress can set in. and causing him to act in ways that may include incessant barking, irritability, chewing on furniture, … and endless unwanted behaviors neither by your pet nor by you.

What should we do to avoid it? Whether it’s a newly adopted pup or dealing with a veteran dog, nothing will work better than a clear and strict routine of meals, walks and rest. Establishing an effective routine not only helps provide your dog with a sense of stability, it gives him confidence and peace of mind, even when you’re away from home. Because he knows that you will come back to feed him, play with him and take him out for a walk… like every day.

here they go a few guidelines to ensure that routines and schedules help you have a balanced and happy but:

Regular meal times

Feeding your dog at the same time each morning and evening is an important part of his day and something he will really look forward to. Think about the last time you had a craving for something and couldn’t wait to put it in your mouth. (Did someone say chocolate? Pizza? What if we order Chinese food at home?). Every mealtime is like this for our dog.

dogs routines and schedules the keys

And of course, when you change him or decide to feed him later, it becomes a matter of concern for him: Has my owner forgotten me? Have I done something wrong and is he punishing me? Am I going to go without eating? Imagine what goes through his head. Keep in mind that it depends 100% on us to feed itself. It’s not something he can control.

Establishing a fixed time for each meal is key. Do whatever it takes to always stick to it. A structured lunch hour it can help reinforce positive behaviors and also help keep excess weight at bay. That is why there are few who already recommend leaving food or dispensers available throughout the day, since they are fatal for dogs with a tendency to be overweight.

Strategic bathroom breaks

If you regularly walk your dog first thing in the morning, shortly after eating and/or just before going to bed, you will help him understand that he can wait to do his “things” until that time of day.

As he knows that the time to get better is going to come, it is one less concern for him. In fact, it’s not only good for him, because that way we too can stop worrying about whether we’ll find a “little gift” on the new carpet when we return home. Dogs happily await their exits to go to the bathroom. Do not forget. That these are regular will give regularity to his mood and also to the cleanliness of our home. He won’t mind waiting, even if he feels like it, because he knows that the time will come. That is the key to the regularity of the routines.

exercise you can wait

Few breeds of dogs reject a minimum of activity, even the most sedentary and not very active. Even the most lying-loving dog looks forward to the mental and physical stimulation that it entails. for him to go outside.

dog treats

Remember that it is not only a relief for your dog, it is his need to burn energy, to clear his mind and even to socialize. Walks can become your favorite time of day if we approach them properly. Since he is the moment they share with the leader of their pack: You.

A couple of daily walks are perfect to keep yourself and your pet in shape. It helps you burn energy and thus you will be much more balanced. So it will help us combat destructive behaviors with furniture or other objects. If we turn walks into something fun, taking the opportunity to play with him, teach him some tricks, or take him to a park where he can socialize with other dogs… we will have a happy and mentally rested dog upon arrival home.

Anticipate rewards to less fun tasks

There are certain tasks that are necessary and that may not be as stimulating or appreciated by our pet. We talk about baths, brushing or the correct inspection of his body when we return from the field or from a park where there could be ticks or other dangerous parasites for him.

If these tasks are regular and we repeat them every time it is necessary, the dog will get used to them and will be more cooperative. But if we also reward them with their favorite treat… they can become “sewing and singing”. If the animal knows that after the cumbersome brushing, that long-awaited piece of sausage awaits… believe me, it will be much more docile. There may come a time when he will even look forward to bath day if we reward him properly after bath day.

dog treat

Let’s face it, not all routines are something your dog will want, but many, like the vet, are more than necessary. The routine and the prizes will make things easier for both of you…

The most important treat

We all know that treats, chews and cookies should never be part of our pet’s regular diet, nor should other prohibited foods for dogs. That’s why it’s essential that you never, ever, ever give him one of these treats inadvertently or randomly.

It is essential to accustom the dog to that type of stimuli they only arrive when they have carried out a certain action that you are going to reward. You don’t have to do a bridge handstand, obviously. It is enough that he has heeded your call or a command such as “sit”. Or that he has not pulled the collar or barked during the walk even though you have come across another dog that was barking at him. You can and should reward these good behaviors regularly. Like another routine. Although it should not always be with treats. I guarantee you that his best treat is a caress and a congratulations from you. So combine them.

As necessary as walking: Rest

As in our own lives, not all of your dog’s routine has to be time for going out, scheduling, schedules… Is it that many times your favorite moment of the day is not when you finally abandon yourself on the sofa? As well, for him it is also important to have his rest or his refuge from the madding crowd. Having a place for him at home is crucial. His bed or his blanket, always in the same place. The place where he can be comfortable without being bothered by the children of the house.

timing is key for dogs

Having that place to take refuge and rest will once again give us a balanced dog. For he himself will seek his place when the time comes when he needs rest. It’s the fact of having it if he needs it that makes it so important. Make sure no one disturbs him when he’s there.

Effective and consistent training

As we said above, there is no better way to get the best out of your dog than by adopting a consistent and routine training approach. By giving him simple commands that he can follow and then rewarding him with a reward of his choice (treats, petting, or praise), you establish a positive routine and expectations that he can understand and reciprocate.

The fundamental key is none other than perseverance: Don’t confuse the dog with different commands for the same action. Always reward compliance (I repeat, not always with treats). You have to be consistent with the dog. That absolutely all the members of your family educate him with the same commands. “The paw” is not the same as “high fives” or “say hello”. So don’t make him dizzy. Make sure of consistency in your training.

Establishing any routine with your pet takes time and patience, but the rewards will be worth it. I assure. Who doesn’t want a pat on the back or a plus of objectives in your office? Well, your dog too. When he does a good job, give him proper praise!

dog veterinary insurance