A new puppy is an exciting addition to any family – but it can also be a little overwhelming, especially if this is your first canine companion.
Knowing how to get into a routine can feel like a challenge, but it can be important for ensuring that you and your pooch are happy and content and create a balanced and harmonious family home.
Fortunately for you, we have all that you need to know about creating a great, sustainable schedule for your new puppy – read on for all you need to know and get ready to enjoy plenty of that all-important puppy love!
Why Does My Puppy Need A Schedule?
There are a number of ways in which a daily schedule can benefit your puppy, and some of the main reasons to implement a routine include:
It Helps Puppies To Learn Boundaries
Puppies learn by example, so it’s essential that they understand what their boundaries are from day one.
By setting up a schedule, you’re giving them a clear idea of when certain things happen, and when they should stop doing those things, including when to wind down for the night, when to go to the bathroom, and when it is time for food and when is a good time to play.
This helps them to develop good habits and makes them more likely to follow through with these rules as they grow older.
It also means that you don’t have to worry about having to constantly remind them not to chew or jump up on the sofa because they already know what’s expected of them.
It Allows You To Manage Their Energy Levels
By establishing a set pattern for your puppy’s day, you can help them to manage their energy levels throughout the day.
This will make them less likely to become over-stimulated, which could lead to behavioral problems such as excessive barking, chewing, jumping, or digging.
By making sure that they always have something to do during the day, you’ll also ensure that they don’t get bored. Try to make sure that they won’t spend too much time alone while you are at work – this can also help to reduce the risk of separation anxiety.
It Helps Your Pup Fit Into Family Life
If you want your puppy to fit seamlessly into your family life, then you’ll need to establish a routine that works well for everyone involved, and this is particularly important if you have young children or other pets in the house.
It is important that your puppy feels safe and content, and a solid routine is a vital part of achieving this.
Your puppy needs to know where they belong, and who their friends are – and being able to rely on a set timetable will allow them to settle quickly and comfortably into their new surroundings.
What Should Be Included In My Daily Schedule?
There are a number of elements that need to be included in your puppy’s daily schedule, and these include:
Food And Water
One of the most important things to add to your pup’s schedule is regular food.
While older dogs will be happy to eat twice a day, a growing puppy needs more nutrition and should be eating around three to four times a day.
As long as you feed your puppy healthy meals, there shouldn’t be any concerns regarding how often they eat, but it’s still best to keep an eye on how much they’re consuming.
If your puppy seems to be overeating, then try adjusting the amount of food they receive each meal.
What Should I Feed My Puppy?
Making sure that your puppy has access to the right diet is a crucial element of helping them to stay happy and healthy. A puppy diet should consist of high-quality protein, carbohydrates, and fats, along with vitamins and minerals.
Puppies require a higher level of nutrients than adults, due to their rapid growth rate, and this is why it’s important to provide them with a balanced diet.
Puppies should be fed four different types of food, including:
- Wet Food – This includes foods like raw meat, fish, chicken, beef, and eggs. These are usually made from natural ingredients and contain no added preservatives or artificial flavors. They tend to be very filling and are perfect for keeping your puppy full until their next feeding.
- Grain-Based Foods – These include cereals and bread, and are great for providing your puppy with extra fiber. Some dogs can be intolerant to grains, so always speak to your vet before adding new things to your pooches diet if you are unsure.
- High Protein Diets – These diets are designed to give your puppy all the essential amino acids they need, which helps support muscle development. When choosing a puppy diet, make sure that you choose one that contains proteins such as egg whites, salmon, tuna, lamb, turkey, and chicken.
Fresh water should be available throughout the day, and easy for your pup to access and reach.
You will also need to ensure that you are adding bathroom breaks into your puppy’s schedule.
Set a timer, and make sure that you are taking your puppy outside every two to four hours, and after you have changed the activity that they are doing.
This will help your pup to associate going to the bathroom with being outside and can be very useful during house training.
To house train your puppy, you will need to get ready for a lot of hard work; this is not a task that can be achieved overnight.
You will need to get into the habit of taking your puppy out every few hours – including through the night – and ensure that they have a safe and private place to take care of their business.
As you get to know your pooch, you will soon come to recognize the signs that they need to go, so be alert and ready to escort them to the designated bathroom spot as soon as you sense something coming.
When out on walks, make sure you encourage your puppy to use the bathroom, as this will help them to get into the habit of doing their business outdoors, and this will soon become a natural part of your routine.
It is a good idea to invest in puppy pads for your home in the early days; puppies are, after all, just babies, and there will be times when they have accidents and cannot control their bodies.
The key here is to clean up any messes quickly and thoroughly, stay calm and friendly, and reinforce the designated outdoor space as soon as possible.
Do not get angry at your pup – frustrating as it may be, they are still learning, and a regular routine, with plenty of consistency and commitment, will soon help them to learn the right things to do.
You also need to schedule plenty of playtime into your pup’s daily routine – this is very important. Regular play offers a number of benefits for puppies, including:
Exercise is one of the biggest benefits of play for your pup, and it is an essential part of their growth and development.
Playing games with your puppy will help to keep them fit and healthy, and will encourage their muscles to develop strong bones and ligaments.
If you want to start playing games with your puppy, then try introducing them to tug-of-war, or other similar games where they have to pull against something – this will help them to strengthen their muscles, and increase their coordination.
Playing games with your puppy will also help to socialize them, and provide them with lots of opportunities to interact with people and other animals.
Puppies naturally love to play – they are always looking for new ways to explore and discover what’s around them, and if you give them the opportunity, they will happily engage in fun activities with you.
If you want to teach your puppy how to behave, then playing games with them will be a great way to do this.
There are many different types of games that you can play with your puppy to combine play and training, from fetching balls and toys to chasing sticks and strings.
These games will allow you to teach your puppy about the world around them, and how to respond to certain situations, and will help to add peace and harmony to your life. When your puppy knows exactly what behavior is expected, and acts accordingly and you, in turn, will feel confident that your pup is well-trained and able to behave.
Finally, playing games with your puppy will benefit their health by providing them with exercise and mental stimulation.
This will help to improve their moods and general wellbeing, which will help to reduce stress levels and anxiety – a dog lacking stimulation will become bored and depressed, and this can lead to behavioral problems such as aggression and fearfulness.
The Importance Of Exercise
It is vital that you ensure that your puppy gets enough physical activity every day, as this will help to maintain their fitness and condition.
As we mentioned earlier, exercising your puppy regularly will help to strengthen their muscles, build strong bones and ligaments, and improve their overall health and wellbeing.
You should aim to take your puppy outside for an absolute minimum of 30 minutes each day, and ideally twice a day. This will help to keep them active and will prevent boredom and depression.
It is also important that you keep your puppy mentally stimulated.
By playing games with your puppy you will be giving them the chance to run around, chase things, jump up on objects, and make noise – all of these activities will help to keep their mind active and occupied.
Schedule regular playtime into your dog’s daily routine to keep them happy and healthy.
Naps And Bedtime
In addition to the fun stuff, you also need to make sure that your pup has plenty of naps scheduled into their day, and that you schedule a regular, consistent bedtime for your dog.
Napping is very beneficial for dogs, as it helps to relax their bodies and minds, and gives them time to rest and recover.
Dogs who don’t get enough sleep tend to have less energy and may find themselves tired and sluggish throughout the day.
Scheduling regular nap times will help to keep your dog feeling refreshed and energetic, and will also help to improve their sleeping habits.
A regular bedtime routine will also help to set your puppy’s body clock, helping them to fall asleep at night and wake up during the day without any fuss or hassle.
When you first bring home your new puppy, they will probably not understand why you’re making them go to sleep at 8 pm – especially when there are sure to be plenty of exciting things going on! Over time, however, they will learn that going to sleep means getting some much-needed rest.
Sleep is particularly important for puppies, as they grow rapidly and require lots of energy to develop properly, and they can sleep from between 16 and 18 hours a day when they are very young.
It is important that your pooch has plenty of time to nap, and that they have a calm, quiet spot to do this. Schedule naps into your puppy’s routine, so that they feel relaxed and comfortable in their own space.
If you notice that your puppy is becoming restless or anxious while they are trying to sleep, try changing their environment.
Try moving them to another room, or even taking them out for a walk if they seem too stressed to settle down – just like humans, dogs can sometimes get overtired, and it can be a good idea to simply start the routine again and try to resettle them.
Make sure that your puppy is well fed before you put them to bed, as this will help them to stay calm and content.
Never crate an anxious or distressed puppy overnight, as this can cause stress and anxiety, which could lead to separation anxiety later on.
Instead, place your puppy in a safe area where they can snuggle up next to you, and give them something soft to chew on. Once they are calm and relaxed you can move them into the crate.
The best way to ensure that your puppy grows up to be a happy, healthy, obedient, well-behaved member of the family is by doing everything you can to create a positive environment for them to live in.
This includes providing them with plenty of exercises, mental stimulation, food, water, love, and care – and a steady, consistent daily routine that allows them to have the stability that they need to feel safe and secure.
Before you know it, you will all be living as one happy, contented family, unable to imagine life before the arrival of your four-legged friend.
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