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Having a routine is important to humans but having a routine is also important to pets.

Why Routine Is Important To Your Pets

Your pets need a routine to feel secure.

Just like humans pets rely on daily routines to help them stay balanced in their energy.

Routine is even more important to your pets because they learn through repetition.

Animals learn what to expect and when to expect it through their human’s daily schedule.

This means your pets depend on you for security.

I get to see this first hand every day during the week.

Lyla knows when her Grandpa Daddy is about to return home from work.

She will move from her pillow to the door, sit and wait until he arrives.

Pets need a routine for good behavior.

Sometimes an animal may act out when he or she feels their routine has been threatened.

Of course, you always want to make sure that bad behavior is not a condition of a medical issue first.

If you have eliminated health reasons for bad behavior you may want to assess what changed in the animals life as of late.

Often you will find that their schedule had changed.

Granted, we have a different schedule on the weekdays from the weekend.

Sometimes we may get off track for a day or two during the week.

However, if your schedule has changed consistently for a longer period of time, your pet could simply not be adjusting.

Why Routine Is Important To Your Pets

Animals rely on a routine for good health.

Regular exercise and time in nature are important to animals.

Even if your pet is like my Lyla, and can’t go on long walks, just getting fresh air is good for them.

Animals need to see other animals, even if they are anti-social and just want to bark and growl at them.

Just like humans, animals need vitamin D the sun provides.

Animals fur may block much of this necessary nutrient, just as our clothing does.

So we must be sure they are getting their fair share of sunshine.

Routine is good for everyone.

As you can see, pets are no different from us in this way.

How to help in advice if you know there will be a break in your pet’s routine.

If you are going on vacation, changing work shifts, or anything that you know will cause a change in your pet’s schedule you can prepare for this!

Start with puppy or kitten steps.

The week before the change, start shifting your pet’s feeding times slowly.

Adjust their medications schedule slowly as well if your pet is on medications.

If your pet will be staying with family, or at a border begin to introduce your pet to the new environment.

You can take your pet to the location they will be staying a few days the week before you leave.

Allow them to get used to the sights, sounds, and smells.

Bringing a towel, pillow, or other items from the family’s home, or boarders will also introduce the smells into your own home.

This can be comforting to your pet and make the transition easier.

Granted this may not be fail-proof, but worth the effort.

See other articles on pets and pet care.

Let’s keep our pets happy and healthy with a good routine!

Thank you for reading.

Please comment below if you have any other ideas to share or let me know your favorite tip in this article.




    • April 6, 2017 / 12:02 pm

      It truly does Bill! I stay on MY schedule due to my pets who remind me when it is time for things. They have strong internal clocks!

  1. lisalisa
    April 6, 2017 / 2:24 pm

    I so agree with this post! My daughter makes sure her and her husband have a good routine for their dog, she mentioned if he goes off schedule it’s hard getting him back on!

    • April 6, 2017 / 3:16 pm

      Indeed and mine gets out of sorts, acts off and isn’t happy, which of course then I am not happy.

  2. April 6, 2017 / 3:24 pm

    I fully agree with this! I have a dog and a cat and they thrive on the routines we create with our children. On the off days, they aren’t so good about it! I also find that if I don’t feed them at the same time every day, they get antsy. And with good reason!
    Tamara recently posted…Happy Cat, Happy Life – 7 Steps to a Happier CatMy Profile

    • April 7, 2017 / 12:23 am

      Indeed! Lyla and the cats wake me up for feeding time in the morning. They know exactly when medicine time is, treat time, outside time, you name it. I can not get off any schedule in my house.

  3. April 6, 2017 / 5:58 pm

    Pets are just like kids. Routine really helps them thrive. I’ve never seen my cats have a routine though, but I know dogs do, you know like daily walks at a specific time.

    • April 7, 2017 / 12:22 am

      I think dogs are more particular than cats for sure. I do have 3 cats, used to have 5 and they have routines, they are just not all in sync haha! My Lyla is boss, when she says it is time for something she is always right.

  4. April 6, 2017 / 10:23 pm

    Oh, how true this is. My big boy (Lab/Weimaraner Mix) is my Service Dog, which means that he goes wherever I go. He loves being out and about, but when we travel, I can tell that he just isn’t quite himself. We do try to stick to as much of a normal routine as we can.

    • April 7, 2017 / 12:19 am

      Awee bless his heart! Service dogs are AMAZING animals! My daughter has a therapy dog, not the same of course but still I am so thankful for these special animals.

  5. April 7, 2017 / 11:37 am

    Our dog definitely has a routine and you can see his discomfort when circumstances change every now and then. The moment he sees our suitcases come out, or we get ready to leave at an unusual time, he gets anxious.
    Marcie W. recently posted…Pinot’s Palette Opens A Third Las Vegas LocationMy Profile

    • April 7, 2017 / 11:55 am

      Oh yes that is a distressing time for sure. Thank you Marcie for reading and commenting!

  6. Kathy
    April 7, 2017 / 12:12 pm

    I think it’s great to have routines for pets as well. My cats seem to stick to a normal schedule too. They’re usually up at certain times and sleeping during a certain time too.

  7. April 7, 2017 / 12:59 pm

    This is helpful information, although I don’t have pets I have kids so I totally get it. Most of us thrive on consistency.

  8. April 7, 2017 / 1:16 pm

    Just like humans, our pets absolutely need routines. Great post!

  9. April 7, 2017 / 1:20 pm

    My dog seems to have an amazing internal clock. He knows when it is time to go pick up the kids from school. My dog gets to go and he loves it. I am confusing him a bit today, I picked up my youngest earlier today because when I tested positive for strep throat this morning, I decided he needed to be tested too. Sure enough, he had it.

    I love my dog and am thankful for him.
    uprunforlife recently posted…Top 6 Reasons Why Physical Education is an Important Part of Your Child’s Education #adMy Profile

    • April 7, 2017 / 6:27 pm

      Awee Lyla loves rides too – I bet your pup looks forward to that every day during the week! I am so sorry you two have strep! NO FUN! Pets are amazing. I could not live without them.

  10. April 7, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    Amen and amen…routine for pets is COMFORT ZONE. Anything else can really put their tails in a twist, and it can take a while for them to get over that and calm down.
    Amy Shojai, CABC recently posted…Dog Allergies & Soothing Itchy DogsMy Profile

    • April 7, 2017 / 6:26 pm

      Indeed. We do our best and usually do stay on routine. Now and then things are a little more active around here and Lyla does okay but I can tell a difference. Most of the time it is very relaxed and mellow. She loves that.

  11. April 7, 2017 / 5:24 pm

    I think we’re going to have a different routine later this year so we’re trying to figure out how to best accommodate Mr. N. We’re looking at shifting work schedules slightly and possibly finding a tiny dog daycare.

    • April 7, 2017 / 6:24 pm

      Same with our Lyla. We try to stay on task as much as possible but it’s not always easy or possible.

  12. Ali Rost
    April 7, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    This is all so true! Our dogs know that I tidy up in the morning and can sense when I’m almost finished. They know after that it’s time to get in the car and go for their afternoon play date! Animals are truly the best

    • April 8, 2017 / 1:00 am

      That is awesome! I also love that they get daily rides! Lyla gets rides every weekend. Animals ARE the best!

  13. karlyn cruz
    April 8, 2017 / 7:57 am

    Whoa! I’d love to hear about this topic. Great post. I should get to know more about pets.

  14. April 8, 2017 / 8:28 am

    I did not know pets need routine. Thank you for enlightening me. Pet lovers will surely love this post.
    MARS recently posted…Batanes of the EastMy Profile

    • April 8, 2017 / 12:48 pm

      Oh indeed! Especially if that means a lot of sniffing and peeing lol or FOOD!

    • April 9, 2017 / 11:21 am

      Indeed! We all get off track now and then but they need structure – as you said just like kids!

  15. April 8, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    Yes I remember this to be very true. My cats were like my kids. You have to train them in routine to see positive results. They are smart and will catch on. All your suggestions are spot on. I would often times also tell them to their cute faces if I was leaving. “Mommy’s going on trip. I’ll be back tomorrow. Be good girls for auntie.” Yep, I was THAT cat mom.

    • April 9, 2017 / 11:20 am

      Aweeeeee Yup, I am THAT cat mom too lol! Love it – just shows what a good person you are!

  16. April 9, 2017 / 10:58 am

    Our days are pretty predictable around here, but my pets don’t seem to mind if things get shifted around a bit. But they do expect breakfast and dinner about the same time every day.
    Beth Patterson recently posted…Happy Tails: HarperMy Profile

    • April 9, 2017 / 11:10 pm

      LOL indeed! Cats are smart critters! I have one who lets me know with VERY loud mews and cold hard stares when he has used the litter box so that I can come clean it lol

  17. April 9, 2017 / 4:47 pm

    I sometimes feel as though the dogs are the ones keeping me on schedule! Simon, in particular, is excellent and monitoring the feeding schedule – Even five minutes late and he acts as though I haven’t fed him in days! 😉 On the days when the schedule is off for any reason, I definitely notice a change in their energy. The exception to that is if the change in schedule is due to something fun!
    Alison Reder recently posted…7 Ways to #GetTough Against Dog FightingMy Profile

    • April 9, 2017 / 11:10 pm

      LOL! OMG Lyla is exactly the same way! Right something fun always is “okay” with the dogs but if we “forget” them for 5 minutes they let us know!

  18. April 9, 2017 / 4:50 pm

    Great advice and tips! My goldens thrive on routine. When things go differently, they definitely notice. I would have to say their favorite routine is at night. They always know when it’s time to go outside before bedtime and then their bedtime banana snack! 🙂

    • April 9, 2017 / 11:09 pm

      Ohhh Banana snacks are YUM – Lyla shares a banana with me a few times a week. She only gets a few little bites but she loves them.

  19. April 9, 2017 / 5:07 pm

    You hit a homerun with this topic. Pets crave and thrive with routine. Even when we travel, we have a travel routine that we created for the dog. When we unpack, he unpacks his toys and buries his bone. I kid you not.

    • April 9, 2017 / 11:08 pm

      Haha that is awesome! I think “routine” is what we make it. I have had a few comments about not having a routine due to travel BUT if that is what the pet is used to, that IS the routine. It may be when the travel slows down or stops that the pet will need adjustment time.

  20. April 9, 2017 / 6:58 pm

    I don’t know I mean we travel ALL the time. Routine is not … well not our thing. I mean we still have little things like breakfast and such but if a flight is early … Montecristo eats what we eat, when we eat… he is just happy to be with us. Maybe the with us is the routine bit. He is super well adjusted but our life is not one of routine because … I hate it for myself…. I would hate to think it was stressing him.

    • April 9, 2017 / 11:07 pm

      But maybe the routine is exactly that – lack of routine! He is a traveler ! I think he is just accustomed to it! It may be that if the travel ever changes he will feel uneasy. By the way Montecristo has to be the best name EVER! Loved the Count of Monte Cristo! 🙂

  21. April 9, 2017 / 8:46 pm

    Pets definitely know routine, my crew enforces routine with me every day. Confident, secure pets are ok with a small change in routine. Dogs that aren’t confident tend to need routine to remain unchanged, I have one dog walking client that’s quite insecure. I like to alter routes for most walking clients from time to time just to give them a chance to check out different territory. This client freaks out if our route changes, so I keep his routine always the same, he’s much happier that way

    • April 9, 2017 / 11:05 pm

      I love that you are so in tune with your clients needs! I would hire you in a heart beat!

  22. April 9, 2017 / 10:04 pm

    My routine began changing about 4 months ago when I discovered I would be retiring. I was home more frequently and the girls have gotten used to having me around. It’s going to be different when I leave for trips now because they won’t know what to do when I’m not around for a long period of time.

    • April 9, 2017 / 11:02 pm

      I think it is very awesome of you to get them used to it gradually. Maybe by the time you are ready to travel they will be more used to things.

  23. April 9, 2017 / 10:59 pm

    Having a routine is so helpful! I need routine as a human and my cats love knowing what is coming next. They know what actions lead up to being fed, bedtime, and our comings and goings. Whenever our routine gets thrown off, you can definitely see the tension go up around here.

  24. April 10, 2017 / 4:49 am

    I try to keep my girls on a routine as much as possible because my schedule varies a lot. Breakfast is usually in the same time frame every day, and so is dinner (unless I have a late night.) I think my cats know my schedule better than I do!

    • April 10, 2017 / 11:24 am

      I think your cats do! Cats are so sharp! They know whats up and while I think they are somewhat adaptable to slight time changes it does not make them very happy lol. Mine let me know when I am off schedule for sure. Still, once fed, they are always still ready to snuggle!

  25. April 10, 2017 / 6:17 am

    You’re so right about this! My dogs are totally creatures of habit, they don’t like when things change especially feeding time. They let us know if dinner is late!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    • April 10, 2017 / 11:23 am

      Thank you Cathy oh yes feeding time is one area in which most all animals have that internal clock!
      Love & Biscuits back at ya! 🙂

    • April 10, 2017 / 11:22 am

      That is so sweet that Kilo has to play at exactly 4pm! He sure is a pup of habit.

  26. April 10, 2017 / 11:13 am

    My dog is so funny – his routine is every time my husband walks downstairs he has to be walked! 😉 Even if he was JUST let out a few minutes before. This is very true!

    • April 10, 2017 / 11:22 am

      LOL so cute!! Thanks for sharing I love hearing other people’s animal stories!

  27. Rebecca Swenor
    April 10, 2017 / 3:07 pm

    This is awesome information for pet owners. Routines are important for anyone and anything. Keeping a routine does keep my dogs behavior under control. If something is off than he is off. These are great tips if your dogs routine is going to be disrupted. A blanket is a great way to remind your dog of home. Thanks for sharing the tips.

    • April 10, 2017 / 7:16 pm

      Thank you so much! Oh yes I love that you mentioned a blanket! Great to have one that is NOT clean so their scent is on it!

  28. kelly
    April 19, 2017 / 12:30 pm

    I truly believe in setting a routine for pets, especially puppies. When I brought Edie home, the best thing I did was establish a routine that included, feeding times, potty times, play times, and of course nap times! This was not only comforting to Edie but helped me get through the puppy stage!

    • April 19, 2017 / 7:57 pm

      Haha indeed it helps US too! That is important because they are like little kids and we all need some structure.

  29. April 19, 2017 / 2:33 pm

    This is great! My girls that passed hated when their routine was off – you would see them actually stress when things did not happen when they were supposed to. Just a reminder of how much like toddlers our dogs really are! And when daddy gets home at 5:15 – there better be a ball in his hand and sneakers on those feet because SOMEONE is ready to go play!

    • April 19, 2017 / 7:54 pm

      I love that about when daddy comes home! I am so very sorry they have passed.

  30. April 24, 2017 / 3:08 am

    Thanks for sharing this remarkable idea. As a pet owner, I always try to conscious about my pet care and also when it comes to our daily routine. The family dog puffy is used to this routine. I believe these types of idea will help a lot.
    Michael O. recently posted…Full Review of Pet Feedster USA PF-10 catMy Profile

    • April 24, 2017 / 12:18 pm

      Thank you Michael. Puffy sounds like a lucky dog. Love the name! Appreciate you coming by today and checking out my article.

  31. February 16, 2018 / 9:29 am

    Terrific article with some ‘pawsome’ strategies for keeping routines flowing. Life rolls so much better with a routine…with or without a pet. 😊

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