Most pets are big fans of routine. They like being fed, walked and played with at the same time each day, and deviations from their routine might cause them stress. Thus, maintaining these routines can be good for their health!
But beyond the usual necessities like bathroom breaks and mealtimes, there are a number of other things pet parents should consider incorporating into their pet’s daily routine to maximize their health and happiness. Making these seven things a necessary part of your pet’s routine will give your furry friend the best life possible.
- Walks: Obviously, one of the most important things you can do for your pup each day is take them for a walk or engage them in another form of exercise. Walks are crucial for dogs’ physical and mental stimulation, so make sure to build in time for at least one a day. Most days, one to two walks around 15 or 20 minutes in length will give your pet time to relieve themselves, get their blood pumping and enjoy the mental enrichment from exploring the neighborhood.
- Dental care: One aspect of daily care all too many pet parents neglect is oral hygiene. Both cats and dogs should have their teeth tended to on a daily basis to protect them from gingivitis and periodontal disease. If you can get into the habit of brushing your pet’s teeth, try to do so once a day. If your pet doesn’t take kindly to tooth brushing, try to help their dental hygiene by providing dental treats or toys that work to remove some plaque from the teeth each day.
- Training: Lots of pets are capable of learning cool new tricks, but consistency is key in getting those tricks to stick! Make training a part of your pet’s daily routine by working on one new command or trick for just 10 minutes a day. You might want to do this before a meal and use kibble as a reward or at another time your pet is calmer, like after exercise. Short, consistent training sessions will help your pet learn commands faster and remember them longer.
- Grooming: If cat or dog hair is covering your home, chances are, you aren’t grooming your pet enough! Incorporating grooming into your pet’s daily routine does a number of things. First, it ensures your pet’s coat and skin are healthy, clean and not matted. Second, it automatically builds in bonding time for you and your pet. Spending just a few minutes brushing out your furry friend can make them feel loved and cared for and keep your home cleaner. Also use this time to check your pet’s nails and trim them once a week or as necessary.
- Physical check: Pets aren’t able to tell us when something’s wrong, so it’s up to us as pet owners to find out. The easiest way to do this is to conduct a quick and easy physical check over your pet’s skin, face and paws. Run your fingers along their skin and check for lumps, wounds, injuries or infections. Then, check their paws for any injuries, dryness or cracking. Doing this once a day will help you spot any problems right away so you can get your pet to the vet or administer treatment immediately.
- Wash bowls: Did you know that your pet’s food and water bowls can be breeding grounds for bacteria? If left unchecked, these bacteria could make your pet extremely sick. Although your pet probably won’t know the difference, it’s a good idea for you to incorporate washing your pet’s bowls into your daily routine. Most bowls should be hand washed or washed in the dishwasher once a day to mitigate any bacterial growth. And don’t forget to wash the bowl placemat, too!
- Playtime: In addition to caring for their health through exercise, dental care and physical examinations, you should also care for your pet’s mind and happiness with a regularly scheduled session of playtime! Take 20 minutes to play fetch with your pup at the park, tease your cat with a toy or test your dog’s skills with a treat puzzle feeder. Building in playtime each day will keep your pet physically and mentally active and build lasting memories that you’ll cherish for years to come.
Pets need more than the bare minimum each day. By incorporating these few things into their daily routine, you can be sure your pet is getting all the care and attention they need to live a healthy and happy life.