Including a Dog in Your Schedule

Creating a Schedule for You and Your Best Friend

That's right. The first thing you have to look at is your schedule. For starters write down when you wake up in the morning, when you leave and when you come home. If your dog is on a different schedule than you he may want to go out at odd hours - and nobody wants that.

Look Around you

The next thing you'll want to do is look at all your resources. Do you live with someone? If so, maybe they could be a part of a walking schedule. The same goes for a dog walker or responsible neighborhood kids that would be interested in an afternoon job - like letting your pet out after school. Lastly, do you have an apartment, or a house with a big backyard? Where you live is important because you might want to set up some playtime as well.

Chow Time

There are two choices when it comes to feeding - free feeding and having a set time. They're both great, but in most cases, having a set time is often the best way to go. Once in the morning and once in the evening is a good rule of thumb. Especially in conjunction with when you're eating. That way, you can have better control over when he has to go out, and you'll have a dog who's less likely to wiggle his nose under your arm when you're eating dinner.

Get Some Exercise

Kansas State University veterinarian Dr. Susan Nelson says that it's generally good to walk and exercise your dog a minimum of twice a day, 15-60 minutes after eating, playtime, and after a nap. And if you take him out after he eats he'll be less likely to act up in the house. Other benefits of walking and exercising include a dog that's so pooped after his walk, that you're free to work around the house during the day and sleep through the night.

Most dogs love being on a schedule, so why not be consistent? Professional dog trainer Adelita Alvarez makes a great point in saying, "When you put a dog onto a schedule it develops a sense of stability and predictability because they have an understanding of when they get fed, take a walk and so forth". Less changes for them means fewer surprises for you. If they know when they're going to have their basic needs met, they won't feel stressed; which in the long run makes for a happier dog and a happier owner.