Routine Exercise

Part of developing a strong bond with your dog is creating a daily routine. A pet’s schedule should include time to eat, sleep, exercise, and spend quality time with their people. Creating a regular routine is comforting to dogs and gives them a sense of stability and security. It also decreases stress and anxiety, knowing that all of their primary needs are being met.

When dogs don’t have predictable schedules or enough time in their day for exercise and enrichment, they may grow bored, and boredom is a primary cause of behavioral challenges like excessive barking and chewing their parents’ furniture and shoes.


Foremost on your pup’s mind is knowing he or she can rely on when and where the next meal is coming. Establishing consistent feeding times will not only give your dog peace of mind; it will also help regulate their digestive system. If you have ever been late with a meal, the chances are your dog was quite vocal about reminding you.

Most dogs should be fed twice a day, 8–12 hours apart, generally with a first meal in the morning and a second meal in the evening. For optimum health and longevity, feed your pup human-grade dog food. Luxury Pet Grooming offers this right in our Boutique.

Some small puppies or toy breeds can experience low blood sugar if they are fed too infrequently, so three to four small meals a day may help keep blood sugar levels constant. In addition, dogs that are extremely active may benefit from multiple meals a day.

Exercise and Playtime

Creating a consistent exercise and playtime routine for pets allows them to expel energy in a positive manner. Conversely, a lack of exercise and play often leads to destructive behaviors. And this is especially true for puppies.

Physical activities like walking your dog and playing fetch help boost their physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being. Most dogs need more exercise than most people realize or are able to provide.

It’s best to exercise your dog multiple times throughout the day. Each dog is different, but on average, dogs typically need about 30 to 45 minutes of exercise per day.

Exercise and enrichment for dogs doesn’t just mean running around your backyard. Obedience training and teaching your dog tricks are great ways to bond. If you have an older dog with mobility, sight, or hearing issues, get creative with various ways to provide them with enrichment.

Try to avoid exercising your dog immediately before or after their meals. Large-breed dogs with deep chests are especially prone to the serious medical condition gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), commonly known as “bloat,” which can happen if exercise happens immediately after mealtime. This condition requires immediate emergency veterinary attention and, often, surgical intervention.

Getting Enough Sleep

Dogs need a lot of rest to be healthy and happy. The amount of sleep your dog needs depends on several factors, including age, size, and health. On average, they sleep 12 to 14 hours a day. Puppies and older dogs will usually sleep over 50 percent of the day. The breed, or mix of breeds, will also impact how much sleep your dog needs.

Managing Alone Time

If you need to leave your dog home alone for longer than six hours, it’s best to hire a professional dog walker to take them out to go potty and provide some enrichment. If your dog is struggling with being home alone, they could be experiencing separation anxiety, a common form of canine anxiety where dogs panic if they are left alone. If you suspect that’s the case, connect with an experienced trainer who utilizes positive reinforcement techniques and have a conversation with your dog’s veterinarian.