Schedules for Your Dog

Because dogs are creatures of habit, schedules are very important. You need to schedule when to feed, exercise and take your dog outdoors to eliminate. Creating a schedule is also a great way to get your whole family involved in caring for your dog.

Why Schedule?

For one thing, schedules make your dog happy. Knowing what will happen and when it will happen gives your dog a sense of security, and can keep the rest of your family on the same page as far as whose responsible for each task. Schedules also help make it easier to train and control your dog. Housetraining in particular is generally easier with a schedule, along with supervision and encouragement.

Scheduling Food

Make sure your family feeds your dog his measured amount of food at the same time every day, according to the feeding directions on the package. whether it’s once a day or more often. Water should always be available.

If you know when your dog ate and drank you will have a pretty good idea of when he will need to go outside. You will also be training his digestive system, which will help take some of the guesswork out of housetraining. Read more about Housetraining and How to Prevent Accidents.

Scheduling Elimination

Remember preventative training - it's always best to think ahead. Take your dog outside when you think he might have to eliminate, rather than wait too long and run the risk of an accident indoors. The more times your dog eliminates outdoors where you want him to, the slimmer the chance for him to have an accident indoors. The clearer the picture to the dog, the quicker he will catch on to what you want. Dogs really want to please you, and you can show them how to do it.

Always accompany your dog outdoors. That way, you can take him to a pre-selected area in your yard to eliminate, doing away with the habit of smelling the whole yard to find the desired area. You will also be assured that your dog has eliminated before bringing him indoors, and you will have the opportunity to praise him.

Elimination Schedules for Puppies

Puppies need to go out frequently. At eight weeks old, a trip outside every two to three hours during the day is suggested. By four months that can be about every four to five hours. Most puppies can make it through the night by about four months of age. By nine months or so, most dogs can get by on three or four trips outside a day, though more are always appreciated.

Scheduling Exercise and Play
Exercise is important for all dogs. Many adult dogs are either overweight or likely to become overweight due to overfeeding and/or lack of an exercise program. Lack of appropriate exercise may cause dogs to exhibit destructive chewing behavior because they become bored or are trying to burn off excess energy.

Taking your dog for walk several times a week can help socialize him, give you a chance to bond while doing something together, and is a great way for you to get some exercise, too.

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