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Everyone asks me how I do it when it comes to having basically 2 jobs, a home, a relationship, and 4 dogs. The secret is having a routine, not just for me but for my dogs. A routine makes everything go much more smooth because it creates habits that even dogs pick up on. They know when it's time to eat, sleep, and play. And I revolve my routine around their routine. I make sure I give them their regular potty breaks, water, food, and play time. Dogs can pick up on routines pretty quickly and that means they know what to expect from you and you know what to expect from them. In the end, everyone's happy.
Now, Pixie is a model student, I swear. She is the best when it comes to routine but that's likely because I've always had her on one. Pixie is such a big member of my wolfpack because she has such personality and as she is the first dog I ever owned, she kind of calls the shots and let's everyone else know what they should be doing.
So today, Pixie is going to help show you how to create a routine just like the one she is on so that you can live a stress-free life without worrying about accidents in the house, feeding times, etc. So without further ado - here's how to create a routine for your pooch.
Potty BreaksPixie knows when it's time to go out because her body tells her. But I know when she needs to go out as well because I figured out the pattern. It's pretty much common sense. When you wake up you normally have to go to the bathroom right? Well, so does your dog! So first thing in the morning Pixie goes potty. Then she goes potty again AFTER she eats. And sometimes I even try to get her to potty one last time before I leave for work in the morning that way she can hopefully hold it all day until I'm home. As soon as I get home I let her out. She then goes out again after dinner and one more time before bed. Make sure you establish a routine with your dog. Before and after food is a great time to go. Also, right before you leave to go somewhere and as soon as you get home. Then of course some time in the evening, and right before bed. This will hopefully ensure that there are no accidents in between.
Play TimeEvery dog out there needs interaction with their human. It's good for them and good for you so it's important to ALWAYS make some time to give them direct attention. Throwing a ball or playing with their favorite toy is a great idea. Pixie is obsessed with playing fetch and knows the routine so well that after she eats and gets energy she brings me her favorite stuffed toy and waits for me to toss it into the other room.
ExercisePlay time is always fun but I also like to walk Pixie to give her proper exercise. It's nice to get her out of the house and walking on the concrete helps keep her nails shaved down a bit. Since Pixie gets a great wave of energy about an hour after dinner, that's when we go on our walks. She has come to expect it so after she rests a bit, she'll get up and come find me and whine until I put her harness and leash on and take her for a walk. Exercise is good for humans AND pets so even you can benefit from a daily walk!
SleepOf course sleep is part of the routine for every human and animal on this planet. It's crucial for your body and mind just as it is for your pets. For this part of the routine, I let Pixie pick when she wants to sleep and that's how the routine got established. Pixie goes to sleep as soon as I go to work in the morning, and then when I get home she stays up for a few hours and then is usually done for the night by 8pm. Then she sleeps all through the night and wakes up again when I do. When you allow your dog to keep their sleep routine, you are letting them rest and hopefully won't need to worry about a grumpy pooch. Think of how you get when you don't sleep very well at night. That's why I let her sleep when she wants to, because that's what she needs.
FoodFeeding your dog on a routine simply involves feeding him or her at the same time each day. Some dogs eat twice a day and some eat even more than that. Pixie is such a pro with her food schedule that she anticipates it. The second my alarm goes off in the morning she knows it means FOOD!
Speaking of food, Purina's Beneful dry dog food has a new formula and features meat as the #1 ingredient and has no added sugar. So it's delicious for your dog and satisfying for the owner. I always put a lot of thought into what I choose to feed my dogs. They are, after all, a special member of the family with their own personality so by feeding them something they love I know I'm making them happy. I'm so excited that Beneful reformulated their recipes. They listened to the feedback of real pet owners and did 2 years of research in order to meet our needs and the needs of our dogs. Of course the new Beneful recipes still have them same texture and taste that dogs love just with a few more benefits. Pixie seems to really enjoy and look forward to her Beneful Incredibites Dog Food. The small kibble is perfect for her since it's meant for small breed dogs.
Just remember that if you are changing your dog's diet make sure you do it gradually because dogs can be sensitive to the change. You should always transition by first feeding a mixture of their new and current food. You can find more information and tips here.
Beneful can be found at mass retails and grocery stores including Target, Walmart, and Regional Grocers like Kroger and Albertsons. I picked some up at my local Karns grocery store.
So hopefully Pixie has helped motivate you to ensure that you have a good routine that works for both you and your dog! So tell me, what part of your routine do you want to change since reading this post?