Pet Routines

Jan 13, 2020   Tracey Aston   Health & Wellness

Your cat is in the kitchen sitting next to the food bowl at 6 sharp watching you intently. Every night at 10:30, your dog gets up and heads to bed. It's almost as if they can tell time, and this is even more evident during a time change when they seem genuinely confused. Don't rush out and by your pet a wristwatch just yet. The truth of the matter is that our beloved pets can't tell time, but they do thrive on routine! 

This is most important during training and especially so during house training. Being consistent with schedules and routines during potty training will help eliminate the chance of accidents in the home and will let your pet know what is expected of them.

Routines help give a sense of security and build confidence in your pet as they know they can depend on getting food, being able to relieve themselves, have exercise and spend time with those they love. A pet that knows dinner will be coming soon, will feel more secure in their environment as they have trust in their caretaker to provide for their needs. 

Pets like predictability and knowing what comes next reduces their stress and anxiety levels. Similarly to knowing their needs will be taken care of, they can prepare for their day without worrying about what is needed beyond their survival needs. This also opens up more time for training and mental stimulation as your pet has the mental energy and attention to learn to new things.

Routines can also helpful during feeding time. If a pet knows they are getting a small meal in the morning, a meal at night and a few treats through the day, they are less likely to get into the garbage or beg food from their humans.  Remember, less likely doesn't mean ever and a bored pet will still find something to amuse themselves, even the garbage. Having a routine will help during training but a pet will still need to learn what is expected of them. 

A healthy adult pet will benefit in many ways from daily exercise but it also gives a pet something to look forward do during the day. A pet may know that when the school bus pulls up they will be getting a walk, or after dinner their pet parent will be taking them outside. Dogs love to explore, use their noses and get a good romp to burn off energy. A pet will look forward to this while waiting at home for their family to return from their day.   

Routines will not only let your pet know what to expect but the pet parent as well! If a pet stops eating meals, wanting to play, no longer looking forward to going on their walk, start having accidents or missing the litter box, these could all be signs something is medically wrong with your pet and a trip to the veterinarian is in order!  Being in tune with your pet will allow you to know what something is wrong much quicker. 

When setting routines, consistency is the key. Pets can be very sensitive to change, so it's important to help set a routine for your dog that will be easy for all family members to adhere.  Before you know it, you're pet will be keeping a better schedule than you! Our pets are so in tune with our daily lives that sometimes we forget they don't understand time as we do, but they do understand routine, schedules and the dependability of their pet parent.  

 
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