As a pet sitter, dog walker and dog trainer, when I meet with new clients one of the questions I ask them is the pet routine. What do I mean by pet routine? Well what time are they eating, when are they going potty, etc. Why is a routine important for any animal?
When animals have a routine of when they are going to eat and go potty and train etc. It keeps them on schedule that is both good for the health physically, emotionally and mentally. It also improves the bond between human and fur family. Now that everyone is home with their pets, most animals may have a schedule that may be slightly out of sync. Extra walks, different feeding times, more cuddle times, more attention than they are used to. This is great but is consistent with what they are used to?
I will give you an example of my fur family. I have 3 dogs to keep trained and out of trouble, which is not an easy task. We have a time that we go for our walks, a route we walk (which some of the dogs even spots where they go). The other day, I went a different direction and my dog Jackson was all out of sorts on where to go potty. However, he did have some new smells so it worked out. Now for my dogs I have added extra training and enrichment for them as they are going a little stir crazy. However I also think they are not getting enough sleep. Yes I said sleep. Dogs just like people need a certain amount of sleep. My dogs follow me everywhere though out the day so they aren’t getting the sleep they would if I was gone. Is your dog doing the same? Are they getting the same sleep that they would normally get but getting a lot of exercise? Exercise is great but sometimes too much exercise isn’t.
As a trainer it is my job to ask the hard question to prepare, what happens when people leave their pets and go back to work. When everything changes and your pets lose those extra walks, all of that cuddle time and attention that they have been receiving for months? Are you, your family and your pets prepared for the separation anxiety, the depression and the possible reaction to them having to get back out of another routine?
Eating times, walking times, training times, all of these things are important because they provide consistency and routine which keeps them happy. If they are happy and then I am happy. If we didn’t have these systems in place, there would be chaos. Chaos for dogs doesn’t help their mental stimulation and well would it help you?
If you have any questions on setting up a healthy routine for you and your pet(s), please feel free to reach out to me. You can also watch some of my live videos on my facebook page for ideas and tips for your pets.