It’s 6pm and your dog who knows exactly it’s their walkies, or who brings you their bowl at precisely 7pm every evening? Then you’ve got a dog who loves their routine.
Routines are good for dogs. The predictability means your dog lives a far less stressful life which can have a huge impact on their behavior.
As life starts to get back to normal such going back to work, your dog’s routine is going to be interrupted. With a little planning, you can make the adjustment as easy as possible for your pup.
Routines for puppies
Having a clear schedule might be one of the best things you do for your puppy. It’ll help with house training, making sure they get enough rest and with their behavior. Consider setting regular and consistent times for them to play, eat, sleep, and go to the toilet, from the moment they come home.
As they get older, it makes sense to change their routine occasionally. This will help them adapt to changes without developing anxiety. You want their day to be structured, but not sticking to a strict routine. You could mix up walks with a play session, modify their feeding times or leave them alone for longer or shorter periods of time than usual.
Keeping track of routines
Keeping track of your dog’s routine can be tricky if your dog has several people looking after them. And while we’re sure your pup isn’t complaining about a second breakfast (winning!), they might not be so happy if they’ve not had enough exercise today. There are some awesome apps out there to help keep track of your dog’s routine such as Doglog.
Going on holiday
When you go on holiday without your dog, you want to make sure it causes as little stress for them as possible. When you leave your dog in kennels or boarding, their routine is usually turned upside down and cause major stress. Boarding facility will only report the good days and when they seem to be having fun.
That’s why having a buddy or another pet parent to help you can be the best option. Not only does your dog get to stay in their own home or a familiar environment, but you can also work with your buddy to ensure their routines are maintained.
When discussing your dog with your buddy / pet parent, don’t forget to give them information about their routine, such as the times they will normally wake up, when they get food and walkies and more.
This way, your buddy is fully prepared to ensure your dog is relaxed and happy whilst you are away.
Going back to work
If you’re heading back to work as restrictions are eased, you’ll need to consider how the change in routine will affect your dog. Whether they’re going to be heading to doggy daycare, joining you in the office or staying home alone, you need to make sure their needs are met and that they are relaxed and comfortable.
Start planning as soon as possible and introduce the new routine slowly. You need time to see how they adapt to their new routine and adjust it to suit them.
There will always be unplanned events that mean your dog’s routine needs to change, and that’s completely fine. By helping them adapt to changes whilst keeping a clear structure to their day, you’re setting them up for success.