Creating a viable dog schedule for your canine: A guide for busy pet owners- January 2024

Bringing home a pet can benefit the family, and the best part about it is seeing them become a tightly-knit member of your household. It is essential to know that a pet is not just a gift or a temporary member; in fact, they are a responsibility for the time they are with you, including medical care, food and even training.

Juggling with work, family, and responsibilities can be a big burden on you. Adding a pet to this busy routine can become even more challenging because of the required attention and care. You can ensure your canine companion receives sufficient mental and physical stimulation by planning a well-designed dog schedule even if you are absent. 

Read More: Understanding cat behavior: How to decode cat cues for better communication- June 2023

Let us discuss how you can create a viable dog schedule that fits your busy lifestyle. Furthermore, we will also discuss how you can keep your dog entertained, prevent pups from feeling bored while you are at work and plan the ideal daily routine for your canine friend. 

Signs your dog feels neglected

Understanding what your dog needs is essential before creating a dog schedule. Dogs are known to be highly social animals that require physical exercises, social interaction as well as mental stimulation.

Neglecting the dog’s basic needs can lead to anxiety, boredom and other behavioral issues. Some of the signs that show if your dog is neglected include:

  • Excessive barking
  • Destructive behavior
  • Changes in appetite
  • Withdrawal
signs your dog feel neglected
Turkish local stray dog with sad eyes looking at the camera on the street

How much attention do dogs need?

The time that any dog requires from their owner or any other dog cannot be generalized based on breed, age or even health. Some dogs get used to spending time alone much more quickly than others. Considering this, a general guideline says that dogs must have at least 2 hours of social time to interact with humans or other dogs. This duration can be broken down into smaller chunks of time during the entire day.

Creating a dog schedule to keep dogs entertained while at work

Leaving your pet alone at home during the work day is inevitable for those who have a very busy schedule. However, there are multiple ways to mentally stimulate and keep your dog entertained while you are away from home. Here are some ways to keep your dog from getting bored;

Toys

You can easily find interactive toys at pet shops or online, which can keep your dog engaged throughout the day. Puzzle and treat dispensing toys are the most mentally challenging ones that you can find in pet shops.

Daycare

Enrolling your pet in any doggy daycare facility a few times a week will increase their socialization skills. Daycares also provide your dog with professional supervision and care whenever you are at work. 

Dog walker

Pet sitters or dog walkers are professionally trained to visit your home and provide companionship. They take your pets for a dog walk schedule where they will not feel bored.

Read More: Traveling with a cat? Do’s and Don’ts of traveling with your furry friend that you must keep in mind- May 2023

Dog TV

Certain dog TV or music shows help calm your dog and reduce boredom and anxiety. Soothing and relaxing music can also set the mood for your puppy when they are alone at home. 

Creating a dog schedule for your canine’s daily routine

A dog thrives on structure and predictability, which can only be provided by keeping them on a consistent daily routine. Here are a few tips that you should keep in mind when creating a dog schedule for your canine friend:

Organize yourself

A good, organized start to the day will help you save much time. Organizing your pooch supplies in one place also helps keep track of your inventory. 

Read more: Dog Training: Ten Essential Commands Every Dog Should Know

Buy baskets and cubbies for important pet supplies such as grooming, waste bags and toys. Hang leashes by the door and place pet attire appropriate to different weather in a separate basket.

dog schedule for your canine
Full-length shot of pretty healthy african young lady walking in the morning in park with white beautiful dog

Preparation for feeding

A haphazardly placed feeding supply will consume much time for a busy dog owner. Dedicate a kitchen feeding area for your dogs to organize their supplies. Use storage bins for dry food. 

An ideal place to keep these supplies is near a cabinet or dishes. A food and water bowl are essentials for a feeding area, and a mat underneath to clean any spillovers easily. Keep a small dustpan nearby if you quickly need to clean something up. 

Morning exercise

Start your dog’s day with a play session that provides physical and mental stimulation. You can also take them on a brisk walk instead of a play session. This morning exercise should be for at least thirty minutes. 

Interactive games

Engaging your dog’s mind with interactive games, puzzle toys, and training sessions helps to prevent boredom and keep their brain active. Include a dog play schedule in the afternoon to keep them occupied.  

Read More: Ideal Daily Dog Schedule

Solitary time

Making your pet spend a short period of alone time helps to make your dog accustomed to loneliness. A little bit of alone time every day helps to avoid separation anxiety. Start with a few minutes every day and increase the duration gradually.

Midday breaks

Hire a dog sitter to take your pet for a midday break so that they get some exercise to relieve themselves of boredom.

Exercises and play for the evening

 You need exercise, and so does your dog, so why not make a routine to do activities and exercise with your furry friend? Start with simple exercises such as walking, jogging or even yoga. If you are big on activities, you can run or cycle too. 

Include a dog play schedule and prioritize spending time with your dog in the evening, when you can take them for a long walk. Adding evening sessions will burn energy and help promote a good night’s sleep. No matter what you do, follow this daily routine without any breaks. 

how much attention your dog needs
Funny happy beagle dog walking, playing in morning park.

Tackling separation anxiety

Leaving your dog at home alone can be an easy and smooth process only, if you learn how to tackle their separation anxiety. Enrolling your dog in classes or even hiring a dog trainer will greatly help in the long run. 

You can also help them understand the concept of separation anxiety. One method is to pop in and out of the pup’s sight while you leave them in a room for a minute or two. Practicing this activity helps to build the thought process that you will eventually return after a moment and remove the fear of abandonment. Soon they will learn that their owners will return and that it is completely fine.

Add quality time

Like any other human being, your dog friend is your family, and they want your love and affection. Add plans for quality time in your dog’s schedule, which should only be between you and your pet friend. 

Read more: This is an Ideal Daily Dog Schedule, according to Veterinarians

Setting up a grooming day every few months will help them stay clean and hygienic. Veterinary checks and flea prevention are some basic veterinary care they will need monthly. Try to do these visits yourself instead of depending on someone else. 

Tips for New Dog Owners

An experienced owner needs help to maintain a proper dog schedule, which can be even more difficult for someone new to pet keeping. Hence, these new dog owners may require additional tips to make the process easier. 

Gradual adaptation

Gradual introduction will help your dog to adapt at a much quicker pace. You can slowly add one to two activities to build up to a full-day dog schedule. 

Puppy proofing the home

Puppy proofing is essential for busy pet owners. Loneliness and separation anxiety can make your pup eat things and get into spaces they shouldn’t. Therefore, safety is of utmost importance. Ensure you switch off electrical appliances and stoves before leaving home. Creating a checklist will help you ensure you don’t skip any step. 

Stability

Maintain a calendar and follow the same exercise routines, feeding time, and time spent with the dog in solitude. Once you repeat the same dog schedule regularly, you will notice your dog is more confident and secure. 

Rewards and Treats

 Positive reinforcement in the form of treats will help promote good dog behaviour. Rewarding them will also help them stick to the schedule and repeat the desired behavior. 

dog rewards and treats

Adding a companion

 Some pet owners prefer having more than one pet, which is beneficial for the owners and the pets. It allows both pets to engage with one another without feeling bored. Even vets recommend keeping some dog breeds in pairs since they tend to develop separation anxiety when left alone. These breeds include chihuahuas and Yorkies.

Read More: Puppy-Proofing Tips for Your Home And Yard

Don’t give yourself a hard time

The most important tip is to not feel guilty for having a busy schedule and not giving your pet the love they need. Dogs are considered to be a man’s best friend. These great bundles of joy reduce your stress levels and increase physical activity. Everyone can work full-time and have a canine friend too. Remember, if you feel anxious when leaving home, your dog will pick up on it and feel the same way.

Ask for professional help

 Consulting a professional dog trainer helps if you are struggling with establishing a routine. These experts help in addressing behavioral issues and provide additional guidance and support. 

Takeaway

Creating a stable dog schedule is important for all busy pet owners who want their friendly canines to get the attention and care they need. Understanding your dog’s needs helps keep them entertained, while at work. Establishing a daily routine will help provide your dog with a structured life. 

Remember that consistency and professional help will help you to enjoy precious moments with your canine companion. Maintaining a healthy and happy bond with your dog can only be possible with a properly balanced dog schedule amid your busy lifestyle.

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