Daily Dog Schedules: A Guide to Establishing a Routine for Your Dog


Dog Daily Routines Every Dog Owner Should Consider

Congratulations on your new furry family member! Now that FIDO has found their forever home with you, it’s time to think about what your new life will look like together. One way to build and strengthen your bond with your pup is to establish a daily routine. Dogs thrive on having schedules and some predictability in their day. Having a schedule can also help new dog owners make sure that their fur baby’s needs are being met on a daily basis. However, every dog is unique so there isn’t a standard schedule for daily care that works for all dogs. You will also need to consider your own lifestyle and be honest about what you can consistently provide for your pup. It is important to understand basic dog walking safety tips, figuring out what works best for both you and your dog and building a regular schedule that you can maintain in the long run.

The First Step Towards The Schedule for Your Dog

The first step towards building a schedule is to establish the individual needs of your dog. Your dog’s health, age, level of socialization and breed should all determine what sort of schedule you need. For example, a senior dog and puppy schedule will require more potty breaks as they need to relieve themselves more frequently than an adult dog. A puppy would also require more basic obedience and house training than an adult or senior dog. Regardless of the age of your dog, you should be mindful to schedule a potty break throughout the day and space them appropriately to prevent accidents and ensure the health and wellbeing of your dog. As for the length of walks, it might be best to have longer walks in the early mornings or late in the evenings if you have the time. Those times of day are usually cooler and ideal for the summer months. If your dog is leash reactive then these times might be tweaked so that you are walking your dog when there are fewer triggers on the street. For instance, some dogs are not comfortable around children so it might be best to not walk your dog when school is out and children are around who can accidentally have a run in with your dog.

The Importance of Having a Dog Feeding Schedule

A feeding schedule is another important factor to consider. Most dogs should eat twice a day, roughly 12 hours apart, while some younger and/or smaller pups might need lunch to keep their metabolism in balance. Little snacks are OK too, so long as they don’t become excessive or are rewarding poor behavior. Mealtimes should be spaced out appropriately so that pups aren’t too hungry in between meals and so they don’t have to “hold it” too long in between potty breaks outside. Another factor to consider is that very young puppies will need to go to the bathroom shortly after eating, or else you’ll be gifted with a little “surprise” on your carpet. You will also need to consider timing the meals around walks and playtime. Feeding your dog right before bed or any intense exercise should be avoided. If dinner is too close to bedtime, your dog might need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Meals before exercise or play can lead to bloat for certain breeds, especially deep chested large dogs. Bloat is a very serious medical condition that is oftentimes fatal for pups and often requires immediate surgical intervention. You should consult your veterinarian about a meal plan to make sure you keep your pup happy, healthy and satiated.

One’s home can also be a factor in determining a daily routine. Those who live in an apartment without yard space might need to make more trips outside or plan for some rigorous playtime inside in order to exercise your dog for proper weight management and overall health.

In Your Dog Daily Schedule You Should Have Dedicated Quality Time

Quality time is another important aspect of the schedule. Carving out time to spend with your pup every day helps establish your bond. If your pup is alone most of the day and doesn’t have another furry friend at home to keep them company then you should try to create an enriching environment. Invest in some dog toys that can keep your dog entertained, like treat puzzles. Scheduling some mentally stimulating playtime is essential for your dog’s happiness. Hiring pet sitters to visit your dog while you are gone can help to keep fido from getting too bored or lonely while you are away for the day. Regular walkies provided by a certified dog walker can help set the pace for your pup. Enrolling in training classes to learn how to train your dog to be a good pupizen is a great start to early pet ownership. From there, you can schedule a daily training session at home to help practice tricks, like sit and stay, walking on a leash as well as reinforce basic good obedience skills in your pup. Just remember: idle paws and idle minds can lead to chewed up furniture!

A good sleep schedule is also imperative for your pup. Your days shouldn’t be so jam packed. All dogs need to have some nap time. Purchasing a quality dog bed will ensure that your pup has a comfortable place to call their own and relax.

Below we will give a general outline for a single day schedule for your dog:

6-7am: potty break and walk
7:30am: breakfast
8:30am: another potty break for puppies
Allow time for digestion before playing with your dog or exercise
If you are crate training your dog, now would be a good time to crate your dog before leaving for work.

11am-1pm: potty break and walk. If you are unable to be home, hire a dog walker to take care of your dog. This is an excellent time for your dog to get some exercise and socialization. Playtime, like fetch, can help get out some excess energy. This game is also an excellent opportunity to reinforce some training skills by helping your dog to learn basic commands like “drop it”, “stay” and make sure they do not develop any resource guarding.

5:30-7pm: Time for a longer walk. Evenings can often be the best tie for this, especially during hte summer months when midday is too hot to be outside for very long.

7:30-8:30 Dinner time! Make sure your pup has had some time to decompress after walk. The evenings can now be spent winding down together and relaxing. Use tis time for pets, cuddles, grooming, etc.

9:30-:10:30 One last quick potty break before bedtime!