Most people like routine, and many people thrive on one. I’m one of those people. I don’t follow a strict schedule since I work for myself from home, but I still have a daily routine that I enjoy following. Not only does having a routine help me through my days, but it makes them much less stressful. Did you know that it’s the same for our pets? Cats and dogs prefer a routine just as humans do. In fact, if your pets aren’t on a routine it can cause serious anxiety and stress. Not sure how to go about setting a schedule for your dog or cat? Here’s how to make a schedule for your pet, and why it’s important to do so.
How to Make a Schedule for Your Dog (or other pet!)
Start a potty schedule immediately: For dogs, a potty routine is most important. Based on your schedule, decide which times you are going to take your dog out to go potty. Begin this habit right away. If you get home at 6pm and take your dog out at 6:30pm, try your best to stick to that everyday. The same should be done for the morning, or whenever is best for you. This helps your dog to know when they will be able to go out and do their business. It reduces anxiety and chances of a potty accident in the house. Remember that the younger the dog is, the more often they will need to go out.
Feeding schedule: I feed all of my animals twice a day – once in the early morning and once in the afternoon. Let me tell you – pets can tell time…or so it seems! Khloee is typically the one to remind me that it’s time to eat. She will come sit next to me at my desk at the exact same time everyday and stare at me until I feed everyone. Like a potty schedule, a feeding routine reduces stress because your pets know that they will get a meal, and when.
Stick to habits and cycles you create: Once you start a routine for your pet, they will catch on quickly. It will be easier for everyone involved if you do your best to stick to it. If you have to change the schedule, that’s totally fine. Your pets will catch on again, but try not to switch things up often if you don’t have to.
Write it down: If you are creating a new routine or have trouble sticking to your current one, write it down! Put it on your fridge, in your phone or somewhere that you will frequently see it.
Daily walks: Whether you like to walk your dog in the morning or at night, try to keep the times consistent. We take our dogs out in the late evening, so all three of them do their business while we’re out, then they are good to go for the night!
Why a Schedule is Important
- Reduces stress and anxiety for everyone involved.
- Decreases the likelihood of potty accidents.
- A feeding schedule helps with your pet’s weight management.
- Helps you stay organized with everything else going on in your life.
- The consistency of a schedule builds trust between you and your pets.
- Helps you plan daily/weekly activities.
Sticking to a schedule is great for me because I know what the day ahead is going to look like. For example, I know that my dogs nap between 2pm-5pm, so I can count on getting a lot done during that time.
If you’re a new pet parent or you’re looking to create a new routine, don’t be afraid to experiment to find what works best for you and your pets. Just remember – repetition is your key to success with setting a schedule for your dogs and cats!
Ready to make a schedule for your dog, cat or other pet? Below is a weekly pet planner you can use!