The aim of this guideline is to give you a feel for how the average day with a dog will add up. You might find it useful starting point if you’re in the early stages of deciding whether to get a dog, and worried about the time commitment.
This French Bulldog is all ready for another busy day
07:00 - Dogs like to go to the toilet as soon as they wake up, so make sure that you go outside with him as soon as you come downstairs. Introduce a bit of playtime once he has done his business, and maybe bring a couple of his favorite dog toys out with you to keep his attention. Just a few minutes will keep that friendship bond good and tight.
07.30 - If you have decided to feed your dog two meals a day, this is the perfect time to give him his breakfast. Eat yours first, discouraging any begging behavior, and then serve his.
08.00 - About half an hour after your dog has finished eating, take him outside for a brisk walk and another opportunity to pee and poop. Typically dogs have a bowel movement between 10 and 30 minutes after they have eaten. Adult dogs are better at holding it in, but puppies can really struggle.
09.00 - This is when you either allow your dog to settle and rest just before you leave for work, or allow him to explore and amuse himself with some interactive toys as you get things done. If you have a garden, he can spend this time there; but don’t be tempted to leave him loose in the garden if you’re going to work. Some lucky folks get to take their pet to work, which is ideal.
13.00 - Most dogs would love nothing better than for you to return home at lunch time every day so that they can be let out to go to the toilet and spend some quality time exercising, playing and bonding with you. Others have to wait patiently for your return in the early evening. If there’s someone who can dog sit for twenty minutes, that’s all the better. If you’re at home yourself, early afternoon is the time to refresh the water bowl. If you have a puppy, this is the best time to give him his midday meal. Most dogs will happily snooze away the afternoon, so don’t feel you’ll be tending to their every need all day.
13.30 - Before you head back to work, make sure that you take your dog outside to relieve himself, otherwise you might be presented with a little treat when you arrive home. Encourage your dog to use some energy by introducing some play (and training if you have enough time), and then invite him back inside to calm down and rest - a crate is the most effective way of teaching a dog to calm down after exercise. To find out how to correctly crate train a dog or puppy follow this link to our crate training section.
18.00 - Offer your dog fresh water again. If you’re getting home from work, he’ll give you no choice other than to make a fuss of him as soon as you walk through the door. Now is also the best time to give your puppy or older dog his evening meal. Shortly after he has finished eating, take him outside for a walk, to use all of the energy he has built up throughout the day, and to take a pee and poop too. You can use some of this time to do some training.
20.00 – A younger dog will want to relieve himself one more time before he goes to bed. Take him outside, but don’t offer any play. You don’t want to get him too excited, otherwise you’ll struggle to settle him down again for bedtime. The most effective method of teaching a dog to calm or settle is crate training.
Evelyn, 5 May 2020
I was on my way to getting a puppy and herd about having a routine this was so helpful thanks.