Puppy Schedule for New Owners
If you’re thinking about getting the first puppy for your household, you might be overwhelmed by all the things you need to consider. One thing that people don’t often consider is a good schedule.
It might not be your first thought, but a puppy schedule for new owners is vital. Not only does it make training more manageable, but it makes your day easier overall. Today we’re going to look at why a puppy schedule is so important and even give you an idea of what an example schedule might look like.
Why Make a Puppy Schedule for New Owners?
There are so many things to do as a new puppy owner; it’s sometimes easy to get lost. Between vaccinations, meeting family members, and puppy training, setting a schedule for your pup may have slipped your mind.
But it’s a significant step in new puppy ownership. It’s vital for several reasons:
- A schedule helps your dog understand their environment better.
- A schedule promotes better eating habits.
- A schedule helps your puppy relax more as they know what will be coming next.
- A schedule will help your puppy potty train faster.
As you can see, there are excellent reasons for giving your puppy a schedule. Just remember that a schedule should be predictable. If you miss multiple events in a day or otherwise throw off their program, a lot of the progress you may have made can quickly go away. Be sure to keep your puppy on their schedule as much as possible. A predictable schedule will let you reap the above benefits.
While it might sound like you need to have every minute of your puppy’s life set in stone, this is far from the truth. There are a number of events you should have occurring at certain times of the day. Otherwise, you’re free just to let your puppy be themself.
Let’s take a look at what events need to occur in your puppy’s day.
Time to Eat
The first thing you need to consider is when you’ll feed your puppy. While adult dogs can usually eat once or twice a day, a puppy needs to eat three times a day. The good news is that it’s easy to set your dog’s mealtimes to your own. Plan on having another mouth to feed at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Knowing your dog’s mealtimes can also help you with the second most important part of your dog’s schedule, time for potty breaks.
Setting a schedule for your dog’s potty breaks can help them potty train much faster. As your dog grows, they’ll be able to hold off their potty breaks longer, but you need to make sure your dog knows when and where you want them to potty. You can use a dog’s age to figure out when they will need to go on a potty break. Take their age in months and divide it in half. That’s how many hours they can last between potty time. So a four-month-old dog should be going out to potty at least every two hours. As your dog gets older, they will be able to wait longer between breaks.
Puppies have a lot of energy, so be sure to set your puppy up to succeed. They are going to need time set aside for play, or they are going to use their energy for other purposes.
Scheduled playtime with your pup will also help you two grow closer. Playtime is also a great chance to bond with your dog. If there are multiple people in your household, be sure to rotate who plays with the dog to help them each bond with the dog.
Time for Rest
Any schedule needs time for rest as well. A puppy can sleep up to twenty hours a day, so you must plan on letting them snooze. You can also consider making your pup take naptime in a secluded room or their crate. This can help them get used to relaxing in their crate as well during other times.
Example Puppy Schedule for New Owners
Of course, any schedule should be customized to fit your life. Your dog’s program needs to fit into your schedule. Because of this, no one can tell you what the “right” schedule is for you and your puppy, but here is a good example you might consider when creating your plan.
Take your puppy out to go potty. This is also a great time to play with your puppy and feed them. Make sure your puppy has clean water as well. Your dog will also appreciate a walk around the block to get their day going. After all the excitement of the morning, your dog may want to take a nap.
Just make sure you’re letting them out to go potty at least every couple hours. You’ll want to let very young puppies out even sooner.
Once your puppy gets a nice nap in, you’ll want to get them to go outside for a potty break again. You can get their lunch together, but be sure you send them back outside within thirty minutes of their meal. If you are at home, you can go out for another walk or spend time playing with them. After burning off some energy, your pup will probably want to nap again.
If you are feeding your puppy at your regular mealtimes, you’ll probably get their dinner together while you’re preparing your own. Remember to let the puppy out after eating. After dinner is another great time to burn some more energy as well. Once your puppy is good and tired, help them into their crate and get ready to start the schedule over again tomorrow.
Scheduling your puppy’s day doesn’t have to be extremely strict or regimented. Allow your dog to be themself and remember to allow yourself to have fun with them.