Daily to-do’s: establishing a routine for you and your pooch

by Kira Garrett | February 18, 2014

Developing a daily routine for you and your pooch is essential to both his wellbeing and yours. Having a schedule creates structure for Fido—structure that comforts him.

Pets don’t necessarily understand the concept of time; instead they react to events. For example, if you always let your dog out the moment you return home from work, your pet will expect to be let out immediately after you return, even if you are early one day.

Diverting from routine can bore, confuse or stress out your pooch, which leads to misbehavior. Simply knowing when he will eat dinner, go outside or play each day, will make Fido feel relaxed and secure.

We love our pets, they’re part of the family. But it’s important to recognize that they are animals—animals that don’t thrive on spontaneity. Instead, spontaneity frightens them!

Here are some things to consider when building a routine for you and your dog:

Bathroom breaks

Letting your pooch outside to relieve himself sometimes can’t be planned—when he’s had a little too much water or isn’t feeling well with diarrhea, for example. But the majority of the time, you should try to let him out at consistent times each day.


Fido relies on you to give him his meal each day. You decide the correct type of food and portion for his health. The same control should be taken with his feeding schedule. Feeding at the same time and location each day can greatly reduce food-related misbehavior like begging or counter surfing.


Consistent exercise is important and at least 20 minutes a day is a good goal for both you and your pup. When Fido expects a walk after dinner, he’ll likely behave and wait patiently up until walk time.


Establish a place and time for your dog to play. He should know when it’s ok to growl and tug on his rope and when you’d prefer to have quiet time.


When your pup has a long mane, daily grooming is necessary. Do this at the same time of day and Fido will know it’s coming. He’ll be calmer and allow you to groom him when he knows when to expect this portion of his day.

Training time

Maintaining command training is also a good thing ot incorporate into your daily routine—especially if you have a young pup or a dog who just doesn’t want to follow your lead. Spending a consistent amount of time working on basics, or adding new tricks will keep Fido sharp.