Today, more than ever, humans are BUSY! Whether it’s work, running to the grocery store to grab ingredients for dinner, or picking up your kids at school, we’re always on the run. But what about your pets? You can’t forget them...or they might end up getting into trouble!
Having a pet is somewhat similar to having a child, and it’s important to create a routine for them so that they can be on a schedule that fits with your lifestyle. Let’s think about routine in four categories: feeding, bathroom, exercise, and rest. All of these are equally important and necessary for having a healthy and happy pet!
It’s important to feed your pet at the same time every day so that they stay on schedule. Depending on the breed and age of your pet, they might eat a different amount of meals throughout the day. Most adult dogs will eat first thing in the morning and at dinner time. Make sure to talk to your vet about your pet’s personal feeding schedule. Feeding a high quality diet is equally as important as the schedule to ensure your pet lives a long, healthy life. Make sure to consult with your vet to choose the best, balanced food for your pet.
Cats and dogs (obviously) have quite different bathroom needs. If you’re a cat owner, consider yourself lucky that you don’t have to take your dog out throughout the day. All you have to worry about is making sure the litter box always stays clean! Dog owners - bathroom routines are incredibly important, especially in the puppy stages. For a more comprehensive dive into potty training, check out our ‘Housetraining’ blog post. Dogs cannot relieve themselves like humans (or cats), so it’s important to teach your pup when potty time fits into the day to avoid any accidents. As a rule of thumb, always let your pup out first thing in the morning and before bed. Throughout the day, create a schedule that works for you, and make sure to stick to it! Most dogs will go outside around four times per day.
Your pet needs to get enough exercise during the day to exhaust energy. Otherwise, you’ll be left with a hyper dog or cat who won’t leave you alone. Dogs need to get their energy out during the day in order to meet their mental and physical needs. A great way to get your pup’s energy out is by hitting a dog park once per day. Playing with other dogs will exhaust your pup, while also helping with socialization. Cats, on the other hand, are often less energetic, but some do require a level of activity throughout the day. Scratch pads and toys are great items to keep your kitty’s mind stimulated.
Rest is equally as important as exercise. By implementing rest into your pet’s routine, they’ll be more comfortable when you’re not around. If you have a puppy, try crating them sporadically throughout the day so that they get used to settling down. Similar to daily rest, it’s important to have a consistent bedtime schedule so that your pet gets a good night sleep. Pets need proper sleep, just like humans!