Why is establishing a daily routine so important for dogs? A question that most of us dog owners have thought about at least once, and whether we actually follow a schedule or not, we ought to know just to what extent having a routine is important. Needless to say, adhering to a daily routine is largely a personal lifestyle choice of the owner. Most opinions assert that having a schedule is best for your dog while others disagree so let’s take a few minutes and think this out loud.
Pro having a daily routine schedule
Those in favor of having a routine claim that dogs are creatures of habit, meaning that they like things to be as is each time, and are not in favor of changes. These changes can vary from different feeding times to new ground rules. They also say that dogs need a routine so that they know what to expect from their owners and their lives in general. Dogs that don’t follow a predetermined plan are more prone to feel stressed, anxious or depressed, and when they do feel these they most certainly will act upon it.
But having a routine can sometimes be disturbing. Say for example dinner is to be served at around 8 and you happen to be out. Your dog might act upon not being fed and maybe chewing a rug. Another example is the morning walk before work because dogs simply don’t understand why you are not walking them on a weekend morning. This sort of thing somehow could allow your dog to rule you and have some power over you. That’s why we are introducing the other side of the coin.
Against having a daily routine
People against routines claim that dogs who are on a routine schedule disturb their owner’s life, meaning that they actually run their lives. The owner who runs a strict schedule often plans his/her daily activities around their dog’s life, which is exactly what they don’t want. Heavily rooted routines are said to lead to separation anxiety.
Having a schedule or not is definitely your choice, but we feel that we need to be moderate when it comes to scheduling. Our dogs need to know that they will be fed two times a day, will have a walk in the evening at whatever time, and will be let out to pee during the day, whether we need to stick to a specific time or not. This way we can achieve the best of both worlds.
Lets remember and say that if you are on a strict schedule it is absolutely fine but beware of any changes in the routine. If you need to change anything you will need to make the change gradually. Don’t make drastic changes all at once, or else this could lead to troubling your dog.
Written by Farah Khaled
Sources: Vet Street , Pets 4 Homes , The Dog Daily