If you’ve just gotten an adorable new puppy, you’re probably concerned about setting a schedule for your canine pal; to get started with a practical schedule that works for you and your young dog, you will need to set feeding times, outside times, and nap times that always mesh with your own daily activities and lifestyle. When you set up a sensible day-to-day schedule, your young dog will have his or her needs taken care of while you’re in the home; he or she will also be able to cope when you’re at work or otherwise unavailable.
Luckily, there are some great ways to set a schedule that everyone can live with…here are some tips and tricks that will help you to put your puppy on a logical and organized day-to-day schedule:
Things to Consider
If you’re just starting out with your new pup, remember that he or she is still adjusting to a whole new environment. In other words, your little dog will need some time to get used to your home and to your own personality and habits (and those of any other roommates, family members, and pets).
Since your pup likely came from a breeder, pet store, or shelter, your new canine buddy was probably used to being around other animals (and experiencing plenty of noisy activity at all hours!); now, your puppy must adapt to living with you and leading a whole new lifestyle. Obviously, this is not easy for a very young animal, so do try to be as patient and compassionate as you can while you train Fido in your home.
If you’re kind, firm, and committed to setting a workable daily schedule that is best for you and your puppy, you will see results before too long; however, you should refrain from any training techniques that might seem harsh or disturbing to your young dog. Remember, he or she is going through some very big changes already.
Strategies for Setting a Day-to-day Schedule
Being kind, yet firm, is extremely important, and so is sticking to your own rules and schedule; never deviate from the rules you’ve set, or you won’t succeed in setting the schedule that you and your new puppy need to follow. Starting out as you mean to go on is crucial; for example, if you’re going to be out of the family home all day long after training your puppy, it’s best to give your new pet some alone time each day, so it’s not such a “shock to the system” when you suddenly disappear for long periods of time.
The problem with this strategy is that your new puppy (much like a sweet newborn baby) is completely irresistible; it will be tough to avoid cuddling and playing with him or her when you should be establishing boundaries and reinforcing the concept of “alone time” for your pet.
Try to be strong – remember that giving your puppy this alone time will make it easier for him or her to cope when you’re not there during the day. Stick to your guns and map out a plan that fits your work schedule or busy lifestyle; then, get your puppy used to that schedule right away. As well, make sure that everyone else in your home (including impromptu visitors) adheres to your guidelines.
Strict Feeding Schedules are Very Important
Your young dog should also be fed according to a strict routine; for example, your pup will need early-morning feedings so that he or she may process the food and then go out and do his or her “business”. In order to set a good schedule, plan these feedings for an hour or so (or even two hours) before you usually leave for work, school, or other activities. This way, you’ll have ample time to take care of your canine pal before you leave.
While it’s obviously not fun to get up in the wee hours to take care of your new puppy, it has to be done if you wish to establish guidelines and a workable day-to-day schedule.
Set your three-meal a day schedule for Fido (never forget that your dog will always need access to lots of fresh and pure H20!), and then take your pup out after he or she has a little time to digest meals. This feeding schedule will form the basis for your daily schedule, so choose your times carefully, based on what will be possible when you’re busy with your usual lifestyle.
Have the Right Training Tools on Hand
To make training and setting a daily schedule easier, take the time to collect the right tools for the job. Normally, these tools will include a crate, (for housebreaking, or “potty-training” your young dog), food and water bowls, and a selection of toys, blankets, and safe rawhide bones. Once you’ve collected the right tools and learned how to use them, your adorable little dog will have an easier time learning how to adhere to a regular, day-to-day schedule.