Routine is best: Why dogs need a routine for their walks, and how to adjust this without upset
Dogs that have a set routine that they come to learn and rely on are dogs that feel settled and secure in their own lives.
It is also important because a dog that has a routine and so, feels secure is far less likely to develop behavioural problems or act out.
When it comes to walks, this is one of the key cornerstones in your dog’s life that they should come to rely on; one of the key needs that must be met reliably, along with things like feeding times and knowing how long they might be left alone for.
However, for the vast majority of dog owners if would be virtually impossible to walk their dogs at exactly the same time of day every single day every day of the year, unless these walks are always very early in the morning. This is because most of us undergo some changes to our own routines throughout the year, for instance, if we have children, to accommodate for the school holidays.
Changing working patterns or shifts, our days off work and much more all factor in too!
All of this means that while it would be wholly unrealistic for most dog owners to be able to set an on-the-dot routine that carries throughout the year when it comes to dog walks, you should do the best you can with this.
This means ensuring your dog gets the same length of walk each day and as close to a fixed time as you can, even if at times you have to adjust the routine.
This article will explain why dogs need a routine for their walks, what this routine should consist of, why you might need to adjust it at times, and how to adjust your dog’s walking routine without upset. Read on to learn more.
Why is a routine for walks important for dogs?
Every dog has different requirements when it comes to exercise, but there is a certain amount of exercise that every dog needs each day. If a dog doesn’t get this amount of exercise on any given day, they’re apt to become anxious, act out, and become quite hard work to deal with.
This is both because they won’t have had the chance they need to work off their excess energy levels, and because of the uncertainty and insecurity that comes when a dog doesn’t know if, or if at all, their need to exercise will be met.
A routine of reliable walks will help to keep your dog feeling secure and stable, making them easier to handle and helping to prevent behavioural problems.
What should I factor into my dog’s walking routine?
Your dog should be able to tell with reasonable certainty when they’re going to be walked, and for how long. This means that you should walk them at around the same time each day, and make each walk reasonably consistent in terms of the minimum length of it and the level of activity this entails.
If your dog is walked more than once, this may mean one longer or more energetic walk and a shorter or more sedentary one, but if possible, try to keep this consistent too.
For instance, if your dog is used to a long or energetic morning walk and one day you cut this very short, they’re likely to be something of a pain for the rest of the day and also, if this happens a lot, insecure about when their need for exercise each day will be met.
Can I add and vary walks?
You can definitely add an additional walk or trip out to your dog’s normal routine, and of course, switch up where you go and what you do. Bear in mind though that your dog should still be able to rely on their fixed, regular walks as well as additional fun or bonus walks too.
How to adjust a dog’s walking routine without upset
If you need to adjust your dog’s walking routine – perhaps in terms of the time you take them, how long a specific walk is, or to add a walk or perhaps remove one and extend another, it is important to make this adjustment gradually.
Work out what you need to change, and don’t do this all of a sudden – for instance, on the run-up to the clocks going back or forwards, adjust the walk time by a few minutes each day, so that on the day that the clocks do actually change, your dog isn’t suddenly an hour out of whack and very confused by this.
(Article source: Pets 4 Homes)